Things have been up and down with Little A for a couple of years and it's been difficult. When I first realised I needed some help with A I phoned a health visitor in tears but now we are 2 years on things are getting easier. We had his transitional meeting at nursery recently and it was so good to know that my boy is going to be understood and not left behind during his first year of school. If all goes well he will be signed off the list for these school meetings we attend with a lovely special needs worker. Little A has some sensory issues but he doesn't have any other issues and as long as people who are close to him understand these he will be okay.
He will continue with speech therapy which has been such a gift. I cannot explain how much this has meant to us. With his speech sessions and with the nursery setting and teachers being so wonderful and his skills with socialising and interacting with other children constantly building he has come such a long way. I always said I was offended by the the line "once he starts talking you'll want him to shut up" and I stand firmly by that still. Until you are the parent of a child and you cannot understand a single word they say and they are angry, stressed and frustrated because of all the people in the world you should know what he is saying and you don't, you just don't know what a gift it is to hear words and sentences tumble from his lips after school, at bedtime, with his big sister, with me in the middle of the night, it goes on and I love it. He is still very repetitive which of course is something that wears thin but overall I couldn't be a happier Mum if I tried!
We've had an occupational therapy consultation which was a success. I think it went very well. The therapist did agree with sensory issues, once written down we could see his main issues revolved around touch and he also has trouble self regulating. He is sensitive to noise but a lot of what I described made her feel that it was best to see our doctor (we think he could be experiencing tinnitus which is just horrible because I have it) and to get him a hearing test just to be sure. She also felt the head rocking and banging and the sleep disturbances and night terrors were not sensory so we have been referred to Sleep Solutions. I'm not sure what they can advise, I think we have a mixture of waiting it out to do and habits to break which is all very difficult when we all just want sleep but I'm willing to hear suggestions and honest views on our situation. Obviously I'm prepared for the inevitable hard work and screaming in future too...
We have a paediatric appointment next month which I think may be our last one but I'm not sure. We have a specialist dental appointment coming up because for the first few years we really struggled to brush Little A's teeth and I'm hoping that although now he copes better with the feel of tooth brushing he still finds it distressing, so I'm meeting the dental team to see if they'll coat his teeth to help protect the enamel. His doctors appointment is this week and I'm sure his hearing test won't be far behind! In the mean time, nursery is helping his transition to reception with visits and meeting the teacher (the whole class do this) A will have a personalised picture table of his new class and teachers that we can show him over the holidays. I think this will work with any child who is nervous about reception not just children who may struggle to understand their next step, so maybe if you're worried ask your nursery team or new teachers what they think.
So to sum it all up we are so pleased with A's speech and language, I'm happy with the outcome of the OT appointment because I think there are children who struggle with sensory issues much more than A who could benefit from their time. Since I took A to his first paediatric appointment last year I researched so much into sensory processing disorder and I changed the way I deal with him, our routines changed and when I started seeing what he struggled with I made allowances, or changed things or just understood him more, it's changed him so much I don't think OT could've provided much. I'm thinking of doing some posts about Little A's biggest sensory difficulties (tooth brushing, clothing etc) and how we deal with this. If it's any use to anyone let me know!