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Monday, 6 July 2015

This Journey Will End With A Happy Ending...


This post has been a post that I have wanted to write for the last few months however I have been unable to find the correct words to explain my thoughts and even my feelings on the topic that I want to speak about. I feel that we have been through a tough time, a time which has been stressful. I wanted to write this post to make other parents aware, to let them know they are not the only one's going through what they are going through and they are not alone. There is light at the end of the tunnel, even if the tunnel is a long one.

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Over a year and a half ago I went to the doctors with Maxwell and Ben and we spoke about how we felt Maxwell's speech was not developing correctly for his age. We were shunned into believing it was somehow our fault and Maxwell's speech was due to the fact he had little interaction with other children. I went away from that doctors appointment crying, feeling like a failure of a parent.

As a parent I wanted the best start for Maxwell and I was ready to help Maxwell in any way I possibly could. After our little chat with the doctor, Ben and I put Maxwell into preschool for 2 mornings a week. We believed this would help his social skills and bring his speech on that was so limited. We could barely afford to pay for his 2 mornings a week at preschool however we were happy to go without luxuries for a few months so we could try and give Maxwell the best possible start in life.

After a few months of  Maxwell being at preschool, they expressed their concerns about Maxwell and notified me that they believed that he may have a developmental issue. This was not due to just his speech but they way he acted around other children, the fact he hated certain textures, being a fussy eater, his repetitive behavior and the way he behaved socially.

Due to this we were referred to see a pediatrician. We attended the appointment where we spent over a hour talking about our concerns. We spoke about what we felt Maxwell needed to improve on but more importantly what we felt his strengths were. We came away from the appointment feeling a little deflated, the word autism was used however the pediatrician felt it was too soon to diagnose Maxwell with anything and asked us to see him in 6 months.

Since then, we have had support but limited support and we are still no closer to finding out if Maxwell has Autism. We have had letters pointing out that Maxwell is much slower at developing than other children his age, letters that have been hard to read. We have had to fill forms in - hard forms where the negatives take over the positives. Forms that I never imagined I would need to fill in.

We have had speech appointments, health visitor appointments and more importantly Maxwell has been referred to a few different programs. Programs that have limited spaces, due to limited funding. Programs that could help make a child progress, programs that would benefit a child early on in their life.

Fast forward to now and I feel like a lucky parent, a weight has been finally lifted. Support has been put in place, support that I so desperately wanted and felt my son needed and deserved. We have a little light at the tunnel, however this light is not at the end of the tunnel. As a parent I feel we are starting a chapter, a important chapter where we will find more out about Maxwell.

Maxwell's current preschool have helped Maxwell. They have catered for his want's and needs. They have started to speak to him in Makaton, have created picture cards for him to use and have spent time doing 1 on 1 activities with him and allowing him to do language groups, however recently we were given the opportunity to try and get Maxwell a place at a new preschool. It is not a full time place, however it is a place where he will visit 2 mornings a week and the place will benefit him on a large scale.

Last week we were asked to attend a welcome morning at the new preschool for Maxwell. The preschool is a regular preschool, however it helps children with different needs. At the new preschool they have speech therapists that are there every day, they help children in smaller groups than what Maxwell's preschool currently offer and they create a different learning environment for Maxwell to learn in . They help children with speech problems like Maxwell and they also offer help to children that may have any additional needs. 

We were excited to attend the welcome morning. I felt slightly sick but excited about attending. I had so many hopes pinned onto Maxwell getting a place, a place I felt my son needed and deserved.

It was a stressful time leading up to the welcome morning, we were on edge wondering if we would be able to get Maxwell a place as the places were very limited. Only a handful of children would get a place, what if there were children out there in a worse situation than Maxwell? What if there were other children with greater needs than Maxwell?

Before we went to the welcome morning we were asked to fill in a questionnaire and one of the questions that were asked of us was why we felt Maxwell deserved a place at the preschool? It took me a week to answer that question, to find the correct words to write on a piece of paper about my son, not because it was a hard question but because I simply needed to find the right words to describe what a special, magical little boy I had. 

We went to the welcome morning. we let people observe Maxwell, we let people get there clipboards out and write things down about our son. We did not know what they were writing, what their initial   thoughts were about Maxwell.

We allowed Maxwell to have fun, we allowed Maxwell to be himself. We allowed Maxwell to play freely, we allowed Maxwell to sing freely, we laughed with him. As a parent I felt lucky. I felt lucky that although Maxwell was different to other children his age, he was still Maxwell. He was alive, he was breathing and anything that the world had to throw at us, we were ready to take on. As a parent I was there, happy to help him overcome anything he needed to overcome.

We waited 4 days for a phone call off the new preschool, hours after hours we waited wondering if we had managed to secure our child a place at something which we felt would benefit him. Hours of biting nails, hours of tears rolling down cheeks, hours of feeling scared, panicked, worried. Hours of wondering if we had done enough.

All the emotions I felt, all the words written on paper, all the prayers in my head counted for something as last week we found out we managed to secure Maxwell a place at the new preschool.

All our hopes and prayers were answered. A small stress was taken away. My son had managed to secure a place at the new preschool, a place where I knew that he would blossom, a place where I know he would be cared for, a place where he would have fun.

Maxwell has already started to blossom in the last few weeks. I can not wait to see what the next few months bring us. Things he was unable to do 3 months ago he is able to do now, things we thought he would not do for a long time, he is able to do. I have every little bit of faith that my son will continue to develop into something special.

We are ready for any diagnoses, we are ready if there is not a diagnoses. We will accept Maxwell for who he is. My son is my son. I will always love him unconditionally.



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We are at the start of a journey, this journey will have a end. 
This journey will end with a happy ending. 
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7 comments

  1. I'm really pleased you have got a place for Maxwell at this new preschool. It sounds amazing! Wishing you well on yours and his journey.

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  2. I am so happy for you all. I know how hard this wait has been. I'm Glad that the small light at the end of the tunnel is starting to grow for you, Ben and Maxwell xxxxxxx

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  3. The new preschool sounds wonderful and perfect for Maxwell....I hope he continues to blossom. Good luck with the rest of your journey x

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  4. Awww this is so nice to read. My son is 6 and he got diagnosed with Autism at 3. Exactly what you're describing is exactly how he his. He struggles with social skills, is very behind and struggles with some everyday tasks. But at the same time he's a very bright, intelligent and beautiful boy. He was my first child and we struggled to understand what was wrong... we just thought he was a little bit behind and didn't think much of it because all children are different. However, he wasn't speaking at the 2 year check and was unable to complete the tasks given to him. He's got a short attention span and only will eat selected foods, but schools helped him so much. He can count very well and learned to spell his own name and other words.

    Good luck and I hope you get answers soon xx

    Kate | A British Sparkle

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  5. What a beautiful post and I am so glad he got the place so he can get support if he needs it. Every child is unique and maxwell is no different!

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  6. What a beautifully written and thoughtful post. I'm so glad to hear that you're getting the help that you and your lovely son need. Wishing you all loads of luck for the future.

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