I sometimes get cross when people talk about Fionn, and comment oh but he’s not bad!
First of all, its not a question of scale.
But so few really knew Fionn when he was young.
And to see him now and assume he was always this capable of integrating is really NOT seeing the learning capacity of a child with Asperger’s….with targeted and consistent targets. Fionn is 16 now. And he is aged 16 with asperger’s confusing issues which are now related to age and stage academically. That is what we would expect. Resilience is not REMOVAL of all potential PROBLEMS….. But it is so much worth what we have all invested in Fionn….. and have all learned from Fionn .
Today Fionn and I took out 2 books, we books about “me” – that he had produced at the end of his first year – the one he really couldn’t manage, and his repeated year with a new class and a familiar face in it…the early stages of learning to mix.
We both found it really emotional but i think it is so important to show that the boy you hear on the Radio, or the boy that blogs and suggests ways to do things to other children and parents was EXACTLY as out of synch with the world as he was!
These are just a few of his nursery class pictures.
As i said we were both really emotional going over the books…and he said “mammy look was i always sad and lost?” and the honest answer to this was NO! When Fionn was with us – family and close family friends he was a happy smiling child. But he was amazed as we went through it.
Am posting them to let you parents see the familiar faces, and problems…this was the undiagnosed and confused Fionn.
This picture has the face…the wee mouth twisted and the raised awkward neck, was as near as Fionn ever came to saying “HELP!”. His signs were so subtle and his body language unless you learned to look for tiny clues wasn’t going to raise an I am so lost alert!…
This picture was 3 months into school and again a totally confused child.Very obviously not enjoying a hug with Santa…pulling away and a face that would now make me cry.
This one breaks my heart.It has the soulful wee eyes…speaking volumes…yet we didn’t really know then the full “I’m lost” message and could still put it down to Fionn being a last day of June baby, and having older siblings – no young ones to play with at home. But NOW, informed, it is so obvious!
This is Fionn’s self portrait I have looked through this folder so many times . but today when we were chatting our way through the early days – he pipped up “Mammy look- i gave me a sad mouth.”
How had i noticed the immature painting but not the message??
This picture probably looks a bit insignificant but look at his fine motor skills. …how under-developed they were?
He tripped and fell regularly and fisted all tools -as often with his left hand as his right!
This picture is at the start of book 2- year 2. We had decided Fionn needed to repeat the year and the enormous difference in that year was the fact that he already had a family friend in the class – J. She played out here…he knew her for ever…and he was able through mixing easily and happily with her. to begin to mix with her friends as she made them. This was an enormous step….today his comment was”Look am happy here!”We still had such a distance to go..here he was in parallel play with the boys. That was to be the next year’s target…but the huge improvement was at least he could smile…at least they tolerated him, and the girls lked him…so a massive change!
The best thing we did was to realise he WAS different and needed a real action plan.
Have to open up fully the child that was so you can see he had a long way to come…This was his first year school report…Am HAPPY to say he has achieved ALL and MUCH MUCH more!
so please read this and look at this today, as meaning that how your child begins you FIND the targets, and aim for them…and rest assured, we had to do the very same!