Anyone who has read my posts tagged “autism” or “sensory issues” will know that my wee girl has been struggling to get settled back into school. Various agencies, speech and language, occupational therapy and autism outreach have all been instrumental in helping the school staff to develop strategies to help M deal with (especially) the sensory pressures she was feeling, and to try and eliminate them wherever possible.
Before M was diagnosed, her head teacher had mostly noticed M’s very poor social skills – she wandered the playground alone at break times, she didn’t know how to join in and play, and she seemed unhappy. Well, actually we were wrong. M did know how to play, she just had no resources available to do so after the immeasurable strain of coping with standard mainstream school life.
She has been eating her packed lunch in the classroom with an invited class mate each day (the canteen is still a step too far) and then they have gone off outside to play. The staff have also noted that after gently introducing some group activities like reading time into M’s schedule that she seems to enjoy working alongside her contemporaries (note I said alongside – she’s not ready for someone to be leading the way).
We are lucky enough to live on the seafront, and therefore I happened to be looking out the window this morning when the school were down on the beach for one of their nature lessons with Wild Things! (an environmental educational charity). I saw this and ran to capture the shot with my camera. It’s an appalling quality photo, shot through a salt-encrusted window and magnified a few times, but you can see M, in the purple jacket, holding the hand of a class mate. What you didn’t see, and I did, is that M initiated the contact and it was returned with a smile.
I think my little girl is doing OK.