About Our Boy
Our ASD journey stared when Beckett was 2. We noticed that he wasn't reaching speech milestones; he wasn't attempting sentences, he preferred to signal rather than speak, and his speech was often incomprehensible. We decided to have his speech assessed, which determined he had a mild speech delay and resulted in a 12 month plan of fortnightly speech therapy visits.
As the 12 month mark approached, we did not feel that Beckett was progressing as much as he should have. We requested a reassessment, which determined Beckett was now considered to have a significant speech delay. Around this time we also started to see a shift in Beckett's behaviour. He had frequent meltdowns when he became upset or overwhelmed. His enviroment was a contributing factor on his ability to cope with situations, so almost all of his eltdowns occurred while we were out and about. This was a very stressful time, especially for Beckett. We also observed that his fine motor skills were a little behind for his age group and he had a very hard time making friends at preschool, usually spending his days playing alone.
After a particularly significant meltdown at his speech therapist's office, we decided to take a different course; we started to research ASD assessments. We had no idea where to stat or what to expect, but we had amazing support from friends and family and Beckett's preschool teachers.
Just before Beckett's 4th birthday we received his diagnosis; ASD Level 2. When we told people this, we were mostly met with sympathy and condolences. But for us, the diagnosis was a huge step forward. It didn't change who our boy was, it just helped us to understand that his brain worked a little differently. We now had the knowledge to make sure Beckett recieved all the support he needed.
Since his diagnosis, Beckett has taken part in weekly outreach Speech and Occupational Therapy sessions, meaning the visit him at school or at home so he can learn in an environment that was comfortable and familar to him. He was offered a place in a school readiness program specificlly for children on the spectrum, whih provided him with the confidnece he needed bfore starting Kindergarten this year.
We are now near the end of Term 1, and our boy has absolutely blown us away. He is keeping up with the children in his mainstream school, is paricipating in group activites and has made a close group of friends. His teacher has gone above and beyond to ensure Beckett ASD does not limit his school experience, and she is always researching new ways to best teach and motivate Beckett. He absolutely adores her and loves going to school every day.
If anyone was to take anything away from our story, I hope that it's this;
Trust your intuiton, and ignore other people's prejudices. There will always be people who would prefer to stick their head in the sand and hope the "problem" sorts itself out. But ASD is not a problem. It is a part of what makes my boy and so many others like him so speical. The disgnosis does not limit him; it simply provides him and those around him with the best chance of success.
Beckett is kind, thoughtful, polite and cheeky. He is passionate about the things and the people he loves. He loves to play with others, but is also perfectly content enjoying his own company. He is loving and stubborn and creative. None of this is because of or inspite of his ASD, it's just Beckett.
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