… admist the chaos that is a pandemic, I might add...
I'm overtly aware that this time, for a lot of families, has been exceptionally trialling and difficult. Especially, but not exclusively, for those with autism spectrum conditions and other special educational needs. My heart goes out to all those who are struggling.
Mothers, and Fathers, please do your best to look after yourselves during this time and do not be hard on yourselves. Having even half an hours peace, if you can somehow manage it, will benefit your entire family as well as you. Do it!
Thankfully for us, this experience has been wholly positive.
But all families are different. Sometimes, our situations are nothing short of "barely bearable".
I am so, so saddened whenever I hear people are struggling with life because they are making comparisons to others. Remember - people share the happy moments. They don't share the trials as often.
Do what you have to do to get through.
Sometimes, winning is simply surviving. All wins are worth celebrating.
An update on our personal life in this pandemic is available by reading more below the ad.
It's been a while since I posted anything, or indeed added anything, to Hello Autism Resources.
I'm sure you will forgive me, though, as nothing is exactly normal anymore is it?
The boys have been home constantly, other than walking and exploring our local woodland and fields, for 10 weeks now - this is our eleventh. I can't say it has been easy but it most definitely hasn't been terrible.
Badger - our 13 year old on the more severe end of the spectrum - has struggled to adapt to homeschooling in this period. It is a very real effort to get him to engage and to cope with his very complex and specific needs. Factor in the lack of confidence and self-esteem... it's tough. But, in terms of coping with the disruption, the change, the lack of access to some of his most favourite activities (trains!) he has actually done exceptionally well. His mental health has improved, his relationships with us and his brothers too, he is happy and well and meltdowns are not too frequent. Less frequent, actually.
Haribo - our 5 year old, also with autism, is actually thriving. His language has come on leaps and bounds and we have made incredible progress with phonics and literacy skills in particular - which was our main goal for this period. We are working on motor skills, maths and lots of projects with minibeasts and water too. He is very happy, has a fantastic routine going, is sleeping well and is benefitting from so much extra time with his siblings while not exhausted from school.
Bambi - our undiagnosed 7 year old under assessment for his separation anxiety (and we think maybe ADHD) - is happy and growing in confidence. His anxieties are massively reduced, he is no longer picking at his scalp and the damage he did has recovered completely. Thanks to internet connection he is able to keep in contact with his favourite people and friends. Educationally, he is bright as ever and said himself the 1-1 time is helping his focus. (Though, you could have fooled me as boy does he struggle to sit still, concentrate, plan... I knew his teachers were lovely and doing their best already but wow, my hat is off!)
It's going so well, in comparison to life before COVID-19, that we are seriously contemplating continuing home education for the younger two. Badger, we feel, has a lot more to gain from the separation of home and school life - not to mention the resources he will be accessing via his special school in the next few years are essential to future independence.
It's a really tough call though. And as with all parenting decisions, there is a huge amount of second guessing - and triple guessing - and so on. If you have any guidance or just feel like sharing your experience then please do!