Following Sasha's diagnosis of autism, I've been through many roller coaster thoughts on what we should be doing to help her. We've tried private speech therapy, and used all the advice and help we could get from the NHS, but stopped short of going in search of 'holistic' or 'alternative' therapies. I honestly don't think she would be any different now regardless of what we tried - she is who she is, and fortunately we're very lucky with that
There have been two major providers of support for us over the last year or so - and I mean for me as well as for Sasha. Our EYAS (Early Years Autism Specialist) has been absolutely wonderful and I really don't know what we'd have done without her. Apart from giving me a break, and helping me to often change how I handled Sasha for the better, she taught Sasha how to share, follow instructions and be patient - although Sasha will only do this when she wants to of course
The second major help has been TRACKS. Please click on their name to see the website. This is a specialist pre-school nursery which has been set up to specifically help children with autism. They rely on charitable donations and would appreciate any donations to help keep up their good work. We were lucky to get a place for Sasha there, and I took her once a week after school nursery, even though it was a 40 mile round trip twice a day for me. It was a real shame there wasn't any similar provision closer to home, as I would have hoped Sasha could attend more often. The staff there all have a huge experience and understanding of autism, and in fact the staff-child ratio was almost 1-1. It is a sad fact, but without 1-1 support at school it is unlikely Sasha will really discover her full potential. She needs to be understood, and that is what they excelled at. I'm so sorry Sasha won't be attending any more now she's about to begin full time mainstream school. Both Sasha and I will really miss that environment - she loved it there, and we know she was loved and was helped to develop greatly.