Well I really thought I should just post a quick one today as I believe it's National Talk About Autism Day - or maybe that can be month, or year?!
As I type Sasha is shouting from the sofa in the lounge, where she is lying watching Balamory after being allowed back downstairs after bedtime for the first time ever (she hurt her foot, couldn't sleep and got very upset, so I'm hoping it will calm her down....). I love it when she tries to join in with the theme tune, even though the words are not very well formed, and she can often tell me what is going to happen next in that episode, or the answers to any questions like 'whose house will we got to next?'! Earlier she also tried to sing the Thomas theme tune for the first time, and it was a pretty good effort, and made a nice change from Twinkle Twinkle ;)
Saw one of the Boyzone guys, Keith Duffy, talking on GMTV this morning about Talk About Autism Day. He has a 10 year old daughter with autism and I admire the way he has taken on campaigning using his name/celebrity-ness to try and increase awareness with others. He did mention ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis) which is a tested concept of teaching the under 5s which has proven good results. I didn't know much about it, other than it is a 1-1 teaching scheme, and a little expensive therefore, so I went away and read a bit more. £20,000 a year is a rough idea of the cost! That was a *little* more than I expected... but then again, what price can you put on doing the best for your child? However it's a very intensive method, around 40 hours per week of teaching the child, and I'm just not sure that we'd want to change our (and Tamsin's) lifestyle to that. I don't mean that in a selfish way, more that I guess I'm trying to 'keep calm and carry on' as normal. I don't want what Sasha has to take over and consume all of our lives, I just want to try and stay level headed. We'll see I guess!
The nursery let me know today that they have received the funding for extra help with Sasha based on her diagnosis, so that's all credit to them for being proactive. Not that it's a lot (think they said 5 hours a week?!) and it doesn't mean she will get a one-on-one assistant, but it should just alleviate the difficult times. Whilst it's good news, it does also kind of make it all even more official and a bit sad... but then it's not like I'm trying to deny it, so not really sure why.
Anyhow must go and try and coax her back into bed (wish me bucket loads of luck, Peppa Pig has started now and she can go on for hours!!!). If you do have any questions about autism, or Sasha, ask anything, I won't be offended and will try and make sense with my answer (but no promises there!).