As a new parent you hear so much about the milestones. The first time they sit up unaided, the first steps, the first words. But sometimes the milestones come a little later, sometimes not at all. Then sometimes you have to throw the ‘milestones book’ away and let them take their own journey.
We knew quite early on with Archie that he wasn’t quite hitting those milestones, and after lot’s of appointments and assessments the professionals soon realised he was displaying signs of Autism.
The more we learnt about Autism the more we realised things were going to be different for our boy. Definitely different but not less. We still want those key milestone moments in his life. We know he’ll have his struggles, he already does.
He’s very behind with his speech and social development. He has numerous complex sensory issues but through his new school we’re seeing major achievements. Ones we didn’t anticipate for a long time. Now he has started a nursery place at a Special Needs school he’s getting the early intervention and support he needs.
It was a huge step when he first started nursery, I felt like I was loosing a year with him as he was starting nursery full time instead of part time due to the extra therapy & support he needs. He was completely oblivious to the fact he was starting school, me on the other hand was a nervous wreck. I knew it was exactly what he needed and was so pleased that he had gotten the place at such an amazing school, but I could have definitely done with this tip from parenting expert, Suzie Hayman:
“Their first day of school is the end of an era. It can feel like a terrible loss as they go off to form bonds with other people. You might find it really hard to let go and shed tears on your way home. Or you can see it as setting them off on adventures, leaving you with time to develop yourself too. Whatever you feel will be communicated to your child. Be apprehensive and your child may feel anxious. Be excited about the possibilities for both of you and they will be resilient. The trick is to get your mind around your feelings beforehand and talk it through with family and friends. Rather than leave the first trip to the first day, practise beforehand. Drive the route together, talking over when it’s going to happen, how it might feel, what you can both do to make it a positive experience. “
He’s still so young but we’re hoping in future he might make those big milestones like other boys his age. Were hoping that he’ll make friends, that he’ll find people he has something in common with. At the moment he’s really struggling interacting with people but we are definitely seeing improvements. Maybe even one day he’ll be ready for his first sleepover. At the moment that is definitely going to be a long way off, if ever, but you never say never. And if he does get invited to a sleepover we’ll be able to look to Suzie again for her tips:
“Sooner or later your child will be invited to stay the night at a friend’s, for a sleepover. Driving there could be the occasion for anxiety and misgivings as well as wild excitement. Sleeping in a house they don’t know, with unfamiliar routines can alarm them. So practice before with overnight stays with people they know such as grandparents. On the way to a party, talk through what to expect and how to ask for reassurance from the friend or parent. Discuss with the hosting parent what to expect – food, entertainment, sleeping arrangements. But you can, and should, veto any video games or films if they are of an age rating higher than your child’s age. Sleepovers aren’t for sleeping but for enjoying – be prepared to collect and drive home a very happy but exhausted child next day, for an afternoon nap!”
We’ve come on a long & unexpected journey since we strapped our little bundle into his car seat to bring him home from hospital over four years ago. He’s no longer a baby, he’s our big boy, in his big car seat ready for a big adventure.
If you’re thinking about a car seat to last through your your little ones milestones then the Graco All in One Carseat is the seat that grows with your child, being suitable from birth to 12 years.