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Autism and the Summer Holidays

As the Summer Holidays draw to a close I’m taking a look back at how Xavier has found them.

 

beach, summer, brighton, autism

We haven’t done a huge amount these holidays to be honest. It’s really hard. Izzy prefers to be out and about doing things. She is old enough to do this with her friends now though. Xavier much prefers to be at home where there is an iPad and WiFi!! Its dreadful really… what do I do? Cut myself in half? I feel like I have really let the kids down this summer. We have had a few days out. Not as many as I’d have liked but at least we managed a few. We have spent a few days with family too which has been nice. Xavier has a fear of dogs and all of the family bar a couple of people have them now. My sister around the corner from us has one too but Xavier is getting better every time at coping with being around the dog. It’s so hard for him and I don’t force him into the situation but he does want to spend time with his cousins (especially on their birthdays) so he copes. Just.

One in particular to Brighton. We met up with a few friends and had an incredibly windy walk to the seafront. The kids loved playing on the beach. Xavier really didn’t want to go home. It has been tough because I also have a colicky/refluxy baby to consider now too so for the best part of the holidays we have been at home. He loves his baby brother so very much and is so good with him. Look at them together. I love this picture so much! You can tell they are brothers can’t you!

 

autism, brothers, siblings, summer, holidays

 

So as the end of the holidays have drawn closer, I have noticed that Xavier has become more edgy. He has been asked by various people if he is looking forward to going back to school? Looking forward to being a Secondary Student? He has always laughed and said Ewww No!!! He does love his school and although he is staying in the same building, he will be upstairs, will have a female teacher for the 1st time in years, there will be a couple of new people in his class, so there are NEW things going on. New things to get his head around. He is 95% a very placid boy. Over the last few weeks we have had a few mini meltdowns. For reasons sometimes unknown.

 

 

So tomorrow is D-Day! First day of Secondary education. I cannot believe how grown up Xavier is. He is so polite, well spoken and intelligent, it is like talking to an adult when conversing with him. I’m really proud of him for everything he has to deal with. It must be really hard for him. I’d love to spend a day inside his head. I bet it is manic in there!

 

A new school year begins, lets see what is in store! He has gone to bed as calm as you like this evening. I hope it will be like that in the morning…. I’ll let you know!

 

 

 

 

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An Open Letter to my sons Teacher

This will probably be a long one and I am already emotional as I type this first line!

From the bottom of my heart I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for Xavier in the last 15 months since he joined this wonderful school. We had such an awful fight to get him there but it honestly is the best school EVER. Even as I walk through the front doors into the main corridor the feeling of calm and happiness washes over me like a huge wave. It is incredible!

I remember my sister was with me when we brought Xavier in for his first settling in session. At this point he was quite upset with me that I was moving him to another school again but was very intrigued. We pulled up outside and he was quite blown away just by the building! We came into the classroom and the other children were just on their way in from playtime. The first one into the classroom was James. His little eyes lit up and he had the biggest smile when he saw Xavier. Both my sister and I were fighting back tears at this point. The children obviously knew Xavier was coming in but he received the most wonderful welcome.

I can hand on heart say that with the love compassion and understanding that you show, it has changed Xaviers life. He has never had that before. He has been branded as lazy or naughty before. You have been so easy to approach with worries or concerns and you have gone out of your way to make sure all of Xaviers needs are met AND more! He is such a happy child now. He is full of confidence, he has friends, he is eager to try new things, there is next to no meltdowns at home now, you don’t even know he is there. Before he joined this wonderful school we had explosive meltdowns and violence due to frustration almost on a daily basis. You’ve not just changed his life but ours too. I honestly cannot thank you enough.

He comes home from school excited!! That in itself was an alien thing before now! He tells me he has been to a cafe and shared a pot of tea with his friend Marlon. He tells me you’ve all had olympic week at school and he has come home with the “Spirit Of The Games” Award! He was over the moon with his trophy. He tells me how far he is getting with swimming lessons!

At Parents evenings we actually have LOTS of work to look at! We used to have literally a few sheets of paper before! His work is incredible! His imagination is just WOW! His school report blew me away! He is for the first time in his school life doing amazingly well! He is learning, progressing and growing! I am so so very proud of him.

He has been on a 3 day residential trip and LOVED it! I never thought I would see the day that he would stay away from home! He had the most amazing time and as you told me when I came to collect him…. He didn’t want to come home!

He honestly is a different child, he is eating more foods and trying new foods, where we struggled to get Xavier in the bath, we now can’t get him out of it! Xavier narrating the school Christmas performance was very emotional and a huge mile stone. He refused to be involved at his previous schools! He is now interested in starting acting classes in September which he has never had the confidence for before!

So Tom, Thank you! For everything. For believing in my son, for understanding him and how he works, for taking him under your wing, for helping him flourish and grow and showing him that school IS fun. For showing me that I was right to fight for him. We will miss you next year as Xavier will have a new Teacher. Its nice to know that Xavier will still see you around the school though. In Xaviers eyes the next teacher has HUGE boots to fill!

Have an amazing Summer!!

THANK YOU!