Thinking back to last year and how different ( and utterly awful) Dylan's pre school experience was compared to this year's, made me think just how crucially important the right people and places are.
It's amazing how the right setting and support can have such a positive, life changing impact on your child. Not to mention on us as a whole family unit.
🌟💥 My hero throughout all this though was my eldest Ava. At a time when things were the most strained for us all, she stepped up, grew into her big sister shoes, and she shone. Dylan was having the worst time in the education system, being abandoned, ignored and lacking in the proper support he was meant to have set aside for him ( he came with a MSP - My Support Plan), slowly becoming sad, confused and isolated. It was his big sis who was looking out for him day in day out at school picking up the slack, despite it being her first ever term in reception.
Pre- school and Reception were in together most of the day so Ava witnessed first hand what Dylan was experiencing. She helped him relax when the noise of tidy up time got too much. She helped him by verbalising to the teachers that he needed his pull up changing when he couldn't. She tried to make him feel less distressed when he was struggling to adapt to a new routine. 👼She was his Guardian Angel. She was on her own journey starting school and yet initially, it was spent caring for her little brother.😔
I can't quite explain the mixed feelings when you hear your 5 yr old say, as she puts her rucksack on heading off to school, 'Don't worry Mummy and Daddy I'll look after Dylan for you'. It was a worry she shouldn't have had because it wasn't JUST watching over your younger sibling when they start at your school. With Dylan and his needs, it was so much more!
❤Dyl is now somewhere where his needs are met, he is thriving beautifully and loving his time there. That nightmare is over. Sometimes I used to wonder if it would have been better for Dylan if he didn't have siblings. Would we give him more one on one? Would we manage his routines and needs better? Would he be happier? ... The answer is No. Those two girls love the bones off that boy and he is all the more happier & stronger with them by his side. Together they will nurture him, support him, love him and laugh with him throughout life. And the three of them will no doubt educate many on how autism is a beautiful, unique whirlwind of utter magic to come into a family and into the world! 🙌❤.
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