You may remember that I mentioned back in June the challenges we were having with my son – he was having meltdowns ten times a day. He was becoming like a toddler – my husband, myself and his teacher were at our wits end. At the time, I put him down to be referred to a psychologist, and spoke to people in the Aspergers Helpline.
Over the summer we all focused on having a calmer house, on playing more together, on praise and positivity. We tried to introduce humour where-ever possible. But still the pressure-cooker of returning to school was ever present. Honestly I was the most stressed I had ever been in my life – even more than bereavement, suicide of a friend, or losing a job. I felt I was ‘in the problem’ I could fix it, but my son was in it – so I did the best I could, but on it dragged.
We learned as parents, how to create a calmer environment, learned how to encourage and lead by example. Despite all this as the end of August approached, I had not one nail left on my hands. We talked about returning to school and every time, he would cry, saying he wanted to change school and ask ‘Why is my life so awful’ – he is eight.
We got Rex and most importantly, he has a new positive, organised teacher, and we now have a new son. He has laughed more in the last month than in the last 12 months. He cracks jokes all day now, everything we do with him from getting dressed, to showering, to homework and transitioning from one activity to another is a breeze.
We have been astounded by this change and we wondered psychologically how this had occured. I spoke with a Play Therapist from Tony Humphreys practice and she said that sometimes in boys around eight, they are learning to be emotionally independent and they can easily get overwhelmed by environmental factors – stress in school and home. They lash out and regress. She went on to say that if positive changes are made within that initial 3-6 months a huge change can be seen. She doesnt like labels- some people need them, but we can be too quick to label.
I always felt uncomfortable with assessment and getting a label. Apparently as you are paying for a ‘label’ professionals feel obliged to provide one for your child. I questioned myself about the benefits of labelling, and was never sure it would help him.
Now as the stress has been elimated from school and from home – we now read the list of symptoms of Aspergers and can see only one which still applies – wouldnt anyone?
Yesterday I spoke with his teacher and she agreed in the 100% transformation -she said he is funny, kind to other kids, helpful in the IT room. All traits an Aspergers child is sadly lacking.
So now I think he is just a boy who is trying to grow up and encountered a lot of stress, and he felt under attack. I have learned he is a sensitive soul and levels of anxiety and stress need to be closely monitored. Myself and Robert both feel that we were wrong to judge him, we now know we have the best boy.
I dread to think what would have happened my wee man if I was working full time. He would have continued his downward spiral. I am not saying mums need to stay at home, its everyone’s personal choice. My choice was forced on me, but now this huge positive has appeared – it has completly overwlemed our family. It is as improbable as rising from the dead – something had happened and we were told there was no way back. We never gave up, we kept being positive and calm, and we were rewarded by the best boy.