Please note the photo below features Logan in a gifted jacket from Frugi.
I wasn’t sure about writing this post. I think there is a fine line on what I share about my children’s lives and balancing their privacy too. But I shared this news in my Instagram stories (where the content is only up for 24 hours), and I was overwhelmed with the support and kindness people offered me. I also think it’s a subject that we shouldn’t be ashamed of, so I have decided to write about it.
For about a year now I have been regular meetings with Logan’s teacher(s) in order to get him additional support in certain areas. After research I thought that maybe he was gifted. During the last meeting I felt quite frustrated and in order to get the teachers to understand I wrote everything down in a document, printed it off and took it to the meeting with me. It was 3 pages long. After the meeting it was suggested to me that perhaps I should organise a meeting the Deputy Head who is the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO).
A Meeting with the Special Needs Coordinator
A couple of weeks later I headed for my meeting with the SENCO. Again I took a document with all of my notes and concerns and my husband came with me too. She was excellent and really listened. After we had finished talked she asked us if we had heard of Aspergers, as she thought that maybe Logan might have it.
At the time the word felt like a bit of a shock. But we went away, did some research and started to collect some evidence. At school, the SENCO looked at how Logan was doing at school and any areas where he might need supporting.
Aspergers or High Functioning Autism
Aspergers or high functioning autism (I have had differing advice on what the correct term to be used here is, I’m new to this so bear with me). After I had come to terms with the word, because it felt like a big word. The more I researched, the more I began to suspect that he may very well have it.
Logan has always been very quirky. But I had just put that down to just that… quirks. And those quirks, they are some of the things I really love about him. Many of my friends will have a chuckle about the times he would arrive at their house and before he did anything he would ask to see their vacuum cleaners. Right now his obsession is with cats and Lego. It didn’t really occur to me that children didn’t usually get out of the shower, sit there dripping wet completing their latest build, because you know, Lego is life. He’s my oldest, so I just thought it was something he did.
There’s his sense of humour, his insatiable knowledge for facts, his ability to memorise and remember things and then bring them up and remind you when you have totally forgotten about them. How he is really ahead in certain subjects. His love of books, and how he loves to bury himself in them for hours on end. I found it hard to come to terms with the fact the things I love about him, might in fact be symptoms of a condition.
Then there are things that we have struggled with. Anxiety, sleep, Logan’s handwriting is very behind and he struggles to eat with utensils. He has sensory problems, particularly with heat which makes him cross, he has asked to leave the classroom before because he cannot bear the temperature (this was in winter). Why he struggles to participate in team work. His selective listening and select interpretation of instructions. It is great to finally get support with this.
A Referral to CAMHS
Last week Logan was referred to CAMHS (children’s and adolescent mental health services) for suspected autism. The waiting list is a jaw dropping two years. It will probably be longer than that before we get an official diagnosis. When you see in the news that children’s mental health services are at breaking point, this is an example of this.
The school’s SENCO has been awesome and has already put an Individual Learning Plan in place for Logan with areas on how the school are going to support him. She has also suggested things we can change at home for him. Which I am putting into place at the moment. Small things like special cutlery to help him eat which I was really skeptical about. I bought them at the weekend for him, we sat down to eat a roast on Sunday which is something he really struggles with and is repeatedly picked up for using his fingers. He didn’t use his fingers once, I was really surprised at the difference they made.
I think it’s going to be a really learning curve for us all. There is going to be trial and error. After coming to terms with the label, I am seeing this as a positive thing for Logan. He is still the same wonderful boy we love, this will just get him the support I have been having meetings with the school for about a year to try and get.