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Winning one fight at a time - the journey along ASD/ADHD

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

As a parent of a complicated child (diagnosed with autism and ADHD), I am made feel that my role and performance of my role has been inadequate. I don't go with the 'lads' for a drink. My social circle is small. My employers must see that my family come first - I've changed jobs 4 times in 10 years to try and get the best balance for my family (especially my children). I'm told that I didn't discipline my child in the right way. I wasn't strong enough with him. He's spoilt. I'm asked at times (sometimes told) 'Why doesn't he listen? Why isn't he behaving? Why won't he fit in?'

I am made feel that my child is inadequate, incomplete or that he seems to seek difficulty for difficulty's sake. He isn't the same as other children. He stands out on his own. He struggles to make and/or keep friends. He doesn't move right. He doesn't listen. He's aggressive. He's not engaging with others appropriately - he talks too much, he is too blunt or straight and sometimes he's too matter of fact. He's too quick to anger. He doesn't look at me when I speak.

Well, guess what, I don't care what others say, think or how I am made feel in the short term. I will always strive to do my best - nothing else I can do. I will always strive to reach my child - not just to talk to him but to actually get his understanding. I will always fight for my child - no one else will.

To date we've encountered some very good supervising adults along our journey. We've also encountered obstinate supervising adults.

As a parent, I try to focus on the good 'supervising adults'. I hear what the poor ones say but I point blankly refuse to take their opinions on board. If by accident, a 'pearl of wisdom' drops out of the mouth of the poor ones, I will act accordingly (I'm not going around with blinkers on).

As an example, we've very recently started with a new school, a school with an ASD unit. The staff are trained, educated and experienced. The difference between the staff there and at our previous school is night and day. At home time, we have a happy and engaging child. A child that is willing to talk about his day (good and bad). A child that is looking forward to going to school, not stressed or tense about the adults.

Moving schools was a long process. We feel, we were essentially managed out of the previous school - or at least in the process of being managed out. To give you an idea, our lad had 6 suspensions in 4 months (ranging from horseplay to meltdowns and retaliations). We began seriously exploring the idea of moving schools 6 weeks prior to starting. Not a long time calendar wise really but a lot of work, with a lot of agencies. We were very fortunate that our timing was as good as it was. We also had the support of a good few workers with the various agencies.

It was partially luck. It was partially knowing who to fight and when to fight. It was partially knowing that when the system is working against you - can you act sooner to make it work for you. We had one representative tell us that she 'doesn't usually become involved until expulsion from school had occurred'. Another representative who was willing to work with us to secure the best possible placement after having been involved with the previous dealings with the previous school.

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