So, it’s the end of another year and I’m in a reflective mood. It’s been an up-and-down kind of year where Tink is concerned. She has grown and changed so much; she’s definitely a little girl now (or not so little – if I had a pound for every time someone mentioned how tall she is…!), rather than a preschooler, and her cheeky personality is shining through. Thanks to the wonder of Bing Bunny, her speech and language has come on in leaps and bounds and she is able to communicate with us and others much, much better. She is slowly beginning to manage dressing and undressing with a lot of help, and her number skills are getting pretty good. Oh, and she was in a fantastic book too!
However, her anxiety levels seem to have increased, particularly since starting back at nursery in September (rather than moving into Reception class with her friends) and we see this through her continued, constant need for a dummy, as well as the awful screaming and shouting we get if she’s not happy about something. She seems even more demand-avoidant and getting her to co-operate with anything that is not her choice is incredibly difficult. We have had no progress on her continence this year and she still withholds her poo which causes lots of discomfort for her and frustration for us. Her eating habits are becoming more awkward, with the range of foods she’ll eat reducing even further and some days all she will demand is chocolate in various forms, and the tantrums she has when we deny her are horrendous (takes after me, then!)!
We’ve had to make some big decisions with regards to Tink’s schooling this year; firstly, we decided that she wasn’t ready for Reception and more formal schooling, so we kept her in Nursery for another year. However, after chatting to her teacher a few weeks in, it became apparent that she wasn’t progressing as hoped, so we reluctantly began the search for a new school for her. After much consideration, we asked the Local Authority to consider our decision to place her in a special school for children with autism, and we are awaiting their decision….
So, 2017 is around the corner, and I hope to be sitting here in 12 months’ time, writing a similar post but with much more positivity! There are a few things I am aiming to do to help make that happen…
- Spend more quality time with Tink: at the moment, she doesn’t go to school all day, so we have some time together in the afternoons, although this will reduce gradually over the next month or so as her hours at nursery increase. I feel that I need to be more present when I am with her – me not on my laptop or phone, Tink not on her tablet, but both of us doing something more constructive. Time outdoors, time spent trying to play a game together, playing with her new toys or helping her to learn to ride her bike. Anything to connect us better!
- Work on her continence: this is going to be tricky for as long as she continues to not show awareness of bladder urges, but I have a couple of ideas to try so that she may begin to understand!
- Work on her co-operation, concentration and attention: I am hoping to plan a few minutes into each day where I will try to get Tink to do a short activity of my choosing (but of interest to her!) – something I should have been doing ages ago, but never seem to get around to doing.
- To give up the dummy – in the daytime at least!: This is going to be hard! She’s so bloody attached to it at the moment! But, thanks to some tips and advice from my lovely Facebook page readers, I’ve got some things to try.
- To settle her into a new school – hopefully!
I’ve a feeling 2017 is going to be an exciting year – hope you’ll join us?