H loves the idea of birthdays; the parties, presents and cake. These special occasions make him both so excited and so anxious he can almost enjoy the run up and memories more than the actual day. I love birthdays too but my other H not so much! 

This year there will be 6 candles on each of H’s cakes and it’s another chance to reflect and be reminded that this SEN parenting journey is ‘not without hope’. 

H came into the world 6 days early as I was induced due to some health complications. He was my smallest and most content baby by far. 

There is a lot of push for ‘earlier diagnosis’ of ASD and even for a test at birth. Personally I am really glad we didn’t know that early and got to enjoy those first 2 years without lots of appointments, therapy and stress about something we couldn’t change. We got to know H before the Autism and it’s such a comfort to know that H got diagnosed at the perfect time for him and our family. 

6 Highlights from H’s 6th Year

So for his 6th birthday I am choosing 6 highlights of our past year which has been our first full one with his ASD diagnosis. 

  1. Seeing the progression is H’s speech and language. There’s a long way to go but he can now share more of his feelings and thoughts with us. 
  2. Discovering a love of minions and managing to almost watch a whole film! Most parents would not consider watching more TV as progress, but we have got to a point where H can engage with a longer show and it’s a huge step on from Bing. Although CBeebies still rocks! 
  3. More training for me and lots of reading! I went on a fab course called ‘Earlybird Plus’ on parenting young children with Autism. I learnt so much and got to meet other families who had similar ups and downs; sharing our struggles and strategies was invaluable. 
  4. H becoming very confident on his scooter with the exception of using his foot for the break. The shoes tell that story! 
  5. Our family trip to the safari park back in August. He loved all the animals, sitting in the front of the car and so much excitement when we went back for a free second day! Precious memories and family time. 
  6. Seeing him engage with and love the texts of year 1. ‘Goldilocks’, ‘Bear hunt’ and ‘Paddington’ have totally captured his imagination and he never seems to get bored of them. His love of what he’s learning is very exciting and he’s always happy to go to school. 

It’s been a year of many laughs, tears, surprises and rigid routine. 

When I first held that tiny bundle 6 years ago I had no idea of the journey ahead of us and I am thankful I don’t navigate it alone. 

Happy birthday H; we love you to the moon and back! 

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

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