Wow, what a year 2016 was for so many reasons. I, like the rest of the world it seems was happy to see in the new year with all the potential 2017 has to offer. I have to say 2016 was not an easy year with regards to autism and all that jazz. W’s struggles had a knock on effect for the whole family and administration problems with the Educational and Health Care plan (EHCp) and Local Educational Authority, tested both my patience and sanity, neither which I am not sure I have back yet!
It’s been nearly a year in which I hadn’t blogged but to be honest it all felt slightly overwhelming and though I have countless drafts waiting to be published, none ever made it. Firstly, I had all sorts of problems on what should have been a simple transfer of W’s Education Statement to the EHCp. Statutory deadlines were missed, important information was left out of documents, reports were not included, the list goes on. All this and W still didn’t have a named secondary school for starting in September 2016 until the end of June when the actual legal deadline was back on 14th February. To say it was a tense period was an understatement especially as W’s Anxiety had crept up to an all time high and we were trying to help him manage that too.
Thankfully W started at a fabulous school in September. Neither the school or myself felt it is the correct setting for him but we had no choice. To say it has been a sharp learning curve for all involved is an understatement and W is still struggling on a daily basis, but the school are doing everything to make this work. To be honest, I am struggling on a daily a basis too. One of the problems we had at the beginning is W presents himself as very able, when in fact he is just a mastermind at masking his needs. They are beginning to get there with him!
As I mentioned W’s Anxiety is hit an all time high last year and though has dipped a little, it is still right up there. Thankfully, he made it to the top of the waiting list for CAMHs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health) and is now seeing a great guy who is slowly gaining W’s trust and helping him with his emotions. There is however no quick fix for W and we are in for a long and rocky road but at least now he is getting the help he needs.
The road to getting help was loooonnnngggg. It started with a referral after a trip to the GP, this was when I was at the end of my tether, an acknowledgement he was on the waiting list, an assessment and then it was another five months to have his first appointment. The whole process took approximately nine months and the frustration/problem I found was the waiting. I went to the GP for help due to as a family we could no longer help W, and he was suffering. Then to wait all those months just exasperated the situation. Admitting you are unable to help your own child is heartbreaking, the feeling is complete desolation.
There have been several other trials that have crossed our path over the last year but I think that is enough for now and we are making a conscious effort to have plans to look forward to throughout the year. The main one is we are off on holiday during the summer holidays. We went last year and spent a week in a caravan a stone’s throw from the sea and we all had the most marvellous time. It is all the boys can talk about. They have plans to spend everyday on the beach and are already saving two pence pieces for the penny machines on the seafront arcades. W keeps telling me he is planning on having an extra large ice-cream everyday.
Well on that note I am going to sign off for this time. Hopefully, I shall pop in again sooner rather than later and it won’t be another year before I appear back here.