Let me start with a bit of background. If you haven't read my blog before, my youngest child (Little A) has autism, with related learning difficulties.
This comes with all sorts of issues, that are difficult to categorise. When he was first diagnosed, he didn't talk. He lost any words, he had started to say, at 18 months. We were told at this point he would most likely be non verbal, as he said very little, so we started learning Makaton sign language, it's a very literal sign language, designed with special needs children in mind.
However, we persisted. Using pictures and sign language, we encouraged and cajoled, and more and more words started to come back. They did come back with a different accent! But they came back.
We have toileting issues. There are some physical problems. Also, his speech still isn't where it should be, and he sometimes gets frustrated if he can't make himself understood.
All through this, I have worked with his (mainstream) school. They made changes to his environment, and assisted me in all sorts of ways, understanding my child.
This year, he started primary. He stayed within the same mainstream school, but in a much smaller 'nurturing' type class, with other children that are either on the spectrum or have other difficulties.
He has truly blossomed in this class, in many ways. One of the biggest ways is his reading. Since starting in September he has shot through the reading levels. He has blown his teachers away with his ability.
Then today, he had a reading test. He is just about to turn 8, has only really started reading properly in the last 10 months.
He has the reading age of an 11 year old!!!
I cannot express how proud I am, right now. He has blown me away! All my children make me proud. They work hard in a world that doesn't necessarily understand them.
Today I am puffing my chest further than normal.
You blow me away, little A.