Badges – Sat 7th March 2015

By | March 7, 2015

It’s been a (kind of) typical Saturday today, the menfolk heading off to football (but to a men’s team final) and D and I at home.

A day in which I’ve had a chance to sort through the masses of autism-related paperwork, drawings and school reports/certificates that I’ve hung onto, some needing to be kept, some not so and therefore heading for shredding.

When we first received a diagnosis for D, I found that I didn’t want to read anything and everything immediately, we needed time to adjust to this “label” that had been bestowed upon us, time to reevaluate priorities and a desperate need to stand up and attempt to be heard within the system.  Because she wasn’t able to.

Then there was the statement process, then getting D into SN school (the best setting for her), then moving schools with T as his needs weren’t being met, then his diagnosis and going to appeal with his secondary school place.  

It’s all felt a bit non-stop.

Sometimes though, just one item can take you back and remember, remember a time before we’d heard of autism, a time when having a newborn (D) and an 18-month old (T) took up every minute, it was exhausting but fun.

I found this:

A cover from a Shoot Out (football trading cards) album which T used to carry everywhere from the time he was 2.  It was double-sided laminated and patched up repeatedly because it never left his side.

I remember the health visitor at D’s 6 month check being absolutely taken with T.  T would tell everyone the names of the football badges, our child whose speech was stilted, very much restricted to a few words but had memorised those badges and accompanying team names.  People used to remark on how clever he was, how much he loved his football.

Not much has changed, he’s still exceptionally clever, he lives for football and it’s probably just as well he can play too, it would have been very frustrating for him to have his passion and not the co-ordination to play.

Would I change anything? Probably not, apart from maybe acting on our instincts with regards to T’s high-functioning autistic diagnosis sooner, as opposed to waiting until year 5.  

But then hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

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