As it has been a while since I have posted much on here I thought it would be appropriate to give you a little update on how Hayden is getting on. I last gave an update on Hayden and autism in March where I looked at the different ways autism affected him. You can have a read of that post here. Some things are still very similar now and others have either got better or worse. Autism is a crazy little world to be part of. Sometimes just as you feel a challenging stage is coming to an end something new generally comes crashing into your world at 120mph. So Hayden is now 6 years and almost 3 months old. Where are we now?
Hayden and Autism – An Update
From afar it would seem Hayden hasn’t made much progress with his speech over the course of this year, however James and I feel the progress is amazing. You just have to listen to him carefully. General conversation still isn’t something that ever really happens in our house with him. If you push him though he will say small sentences. He will also copy pretty much any sentence you ask him to no matter how long it may be. To be honest I am unsure how much speech and language support he has been getting at school. but progress is progress. He will also sing along to his favourite songs. One of his current favourites it Give Me a Try by The Wombats. He will run around in circles in the kitchen singing along. I was on the verge of tears the first time it happened that’s for sure!
To put it bluntly, I am glad we bought a carpet cleaner rather than just hired one! He was doing so well. He was still having accidents regularly at night but in the day he was completely dry. Then came October half term. We were in a real difficult place financially so pretty much the entire week was spent indoors. Hayden didn’t seem to like this very much and it was a really tough half term. James and I have said many times he always seems to poo and wee on the floor when he isn’t happy. At first it was just the odd accident. Now… we have to clean our carpets upstairs almost every single day! At school he is fine though, which is incredibly frustrating to say the least.
Well this hasn’t improved at all. In fact he is becoming more and more fussy over foods. He will not eat my peanut butter on toast but yet will eat Daddy’s every single time. Used to love a roast dinner, now he loves roast potatoes and peas. He will constantly take the salt grinder out of the cupboard and spend as long as he can licking it before he gets caught. Will eat grated cheese but not a square of cheese and he also went through a stage of not even touching a chip on his plate yet snacking on his brothers leftovers until they were either given to the dog or thrown away. He will eat slices of dry bread if that’s all he could access yet give him a sandwich and he wouldn’t touch it!
I do hope as he gets older his love for food will return.
Method of Play
There hasn’t been much change here really. He continues to prefer independent ‘play’ unless it is running up and down the house. Then his brothers have permission to join in with him. Buying things for him is always difficult as he tends to just place objects on a surface then move them to another surface. Or he places objects on top of his iPad. I’m not sure I will ever understand why he does that but if that’s what keeps him happy. Then so be it!
It is hard to say how Hayden is getting on at school. We have had meetings this school year however these have all been working towards getting Hayden’s EHCP awarded. In good news he has now received an EHCP so his school will now be receiving additional funding to meet his needs. More importantly for us, this means we can now work towards getting him into a local specialist school. I wrote before about whether I wanted Hayden to attend a specialist school or not, but after seeing a local one. it is definitely the place for him! We were in absolute awe as we walked around and met many of the staff and students. I could have cried for the entire hour too. I will update you on this in due course.
Towards the end of the summer holidays we were tearing our hair out over Hayden’s sleep habits. But once he went back to school in September and received a new tablet for his birthday we had a breakthrough. We put him to bed at around 8pm with his tablet and that was the last we saw of him. We both felt so refreshed having our evenings back. Unfortunately though this lasted up until half term. Now we are back to 10/11pm plus before he goes to sleep. One day last week he fell asleep at 6pm. I put him up to bed as he had been under the weather so thought he would sleep through. No! 8:30 and he was up again. He finally gave in and went to sleep at 4:30 am!!! We have a follow up appointment in January with his paediatrician so I will ask for some help then.
Or should I say lack of it? He refuses to wear clothes at home. Within 5 minutes of getting in from school the trousers and pants are off. To be honest I’m not to fussed about this unless we have anyone round. Whilst I don’t mind this I really do hope it is just a stage. I don’t really fancy my teenage son running around the house naked.
Now James has been home for a few months Hayden is all about Daddy again. I cannot pick him up from school without a meltdown and/or attack from him. I’m sure the toast thing I wrote about above is for the same reason! His relationship with Kinley is also really sweet. Those boys definitely do love each other to bits! Hayden never used to be fussed when any family came to visit. Now he seems a lot more accepting of their presence. He will acknowledge that they’re there and will even try to communicate with them in some form. I really hope this builds with age too.
Generally Hayden is and always has been a good boy. There are times I could scream from the roof tops but that isn’t necessarily because he is being naughty. His autism seems to make him obsessive about certain things which is frustrating but I know deep down he isn’t doing it to cause a scene or get attention. He has to do it. For example climbing on every possible thing there is to climb on. His lashing out at Ellis seems to have improved, however I am generally the person any violence is aimed at. Usually through frustration. I can tell you now it takes every bit of self control in your body to not want to retaliate when someone hurts you. I know he doesn’t mean to hurt me of course but that doesn’t stop feeling emotionally hurt too. He is getting stronger and stronger so I hope as communication gets easier so will ways for him to channel his frustrations.
Every day is a challenge where Autism is concerned. One of the hardest things some times is me not being able to know how he is feeling on a day to day basis and why some of these challenges occur. I’m sure as the years go by we will be faced by many more challenges. Throw them at me Autism – my boy may scratch and head-butt me but he is pretty bloody awesome because of you too!