How to cope whilst your child is being assessed.
You're doing great Sweetie.
If you take anything away from my article, I hope that it's this;
YOU ARE A WONDERFUL PARENT.
Regardless of diagnosis, it’s a fact.
Where to start.
Unfortunatly, dependent on where you live, the waiting list for assessment can take years. ( I know, it’s the most fraustrating thing ever.)
- There are probably hoards of information and ideas flooding you currently, so firstly, I’d reccomend buying a special notebook ( a total excuse to do some stationary shopping!) This will help you note the relevant stuff, and helps you refer back to it later, so it’s all in one spot!
- Check your Support. This is a tough time for you and your family. The People you surround yourself with are crucial to getting through the waiting game. If you have a friend that listens, doesn’t judge, helps you research, and offers to babysit or cook, keep Them forever. They are rare, and so important for your families mental health. There may also be support groups on Facebook, or parent groups nearby. Look around for those wonderful people, it’s nice when you know you’re not The only one struggling, and they may have tips.
- Organise all your paperwork into a folder, I made the mistake of not doing so, and had to scramble for 3 years worth of evidence.
- Visit sites like Pintrest, for information and ideas on things like routine, diets, activities. Sometimes, a great change can come from a picture on Pintrest. ( they make it seem so easy, don’t they?!)
‘Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength’— Sigmund Freud
- If you haven’t already, become familiar with the school‘s SENCO. (Special needs Coordinator)
- They may be able to create an IEP (Individual Education Plan) which will outline where your child struggles in the classroom, and what they will do to help. For example, my son‘s IEP includes, tailored English lessons, extra reading.
- The SENCO will also have Information on support, and help communicate your child’s needs to their teacher.
- You can create a SEN Passport, this is a mini book you can make at home with little pieces of relevant information for their teacher. IE, my son wears sunglasses as the light hurts his eyes.
- Creating good communication with their teacher is a must. They need to know as much as possible to enable your child to learn, it also develops great trust. Sometimes it’s hard to be nice, especially when you feel your child has been left out or overlooked, but it’s totally worth it when their teacher also feels heard.
- Look Up support4sen for more information on what you can do with the school to help your child. They are free, non bias professionals, and they are absolutely amazing.
If you haven’t already, become familiar with the schools SENCO
Probably the most important part of this. You need to look after yourself. I remember the sleepless nights, crying alone, the endless game of blaming yourself, and the worst of them all; comparison! Here’s a few things to remember, as I finish this hopefully, somewhat helpful article;
- You are doing the best you can.
- Your child’s behaviour isn’t a result of bad parenting.
- This waiting will not be forever.
- Look after yourself, you are important too.
- Your child loves you, even if they can’t tell you.
- Do not compare yourself to another parent, it doesn’t help.
- Turn Facebook off once in a while, especially when it hurts you.
- Peoples opinions don’t matter, you will get stared at sometimes; smile at them and wave.
- Some days are all lightning and tears, some days are pure love and joy.
- Update CAMHS, or the GP regularly of their behaviour.
- Don't be afraid to call teachers, drs out on their dedlines. You sometimes need to.
- It’s alright if you feel like rubbish, it’s certainly not easy. Have a pj day.
- Find their special interests, indulge them in it completely.
- Get lost in their world, sensory rooms can be magical.
- Look for any information possible, don’t wait on the diagnosis.
- Trust yourself!
First hug in a long time, on my wedding day
Keep an open heart
and an open mind. good luck.