Lachlan’s Angels are the wonderful individuals who have seen us through our journey so far, they are his big brother and sister, grandparents and relatives who are always there, our friends who didn’t shy away, the amazing ladies at playgroup, the Speech Thearapist, Home Visiting Teacher, OT and our Health Visitor, all have gone above and beyond their duty to Lachlan, all have helped shape what is now a happy little boy, for this I owe them all everything.
In those long months of waiting an old friend would become the first angel to come into Lachlan’s life. Kirsty works with older additional needs children in a special school, Kirsty was to offer the first light on our journey through a very long and dark tunnel, Kirsty was kind enough to visit us with loads of information and visual aids, it was a wonderful first step to have someone sit down and talk to us honestly about Autism and what it really meant for a child.
I set about reading as much as I could, I won’t lie, some of what I read was harrowing, at times it was very hard to accept all I was learning about autism, the more I read the more I realised it was not a case of if Lachlan would be diagnosed with autism but when. I hoped and prayed as I still do that Lachlan would be a happy little boy, suddenly nothing else mattered we could cope with anything autism was to throw at us just as long as Lachlan was happy, I knew we would find away.
In February 2013 we met Lachlans next angel, The Speech Therapist, she was impressed how far Lachlan had come since his initial assessment as Lachlan appeared to be trying to lable things he liked as parents we were convinced Lachlan wanted to talk, at first I wasn’t sure of the Speech Therapist , as she gently explained that her role was to be to get Lachlan communicating but not nessasarily with speech, it was also explained to us then that Lachlan may never speak other than echolaillia (mimicked speech), I hated the thought that one day Lachlan and I may never chat as I do with my older two, I didn’t want to be looking at other ways of communicating, I wanted Lachlan to speak. It was around this time that Lachlan learned another word which was Daddy, we had heard it before but now it was back and to stay, don’t get me wrong I was delighted but at the same time I longed to be Mummy.
We set about making pictures of everything with an aim to using a PECS (picture exchange communication system) so far this is still hit or miss for Lachlan as he can exchange the card for crisps and juice he chooses not to though!!! The Speech Therapist tried in one session to give Lachlan the choice of two cards one for Twinkle Twinkle the other bubbles, Lachlan ignored her or so we thought, The Speech Therapist made the choice and started singing next thing not only did Lachlan hand Ellen the bubbles card he shouted the word from the souls of his feet!! The Speech Therapist has the patience of a saint and really does care, she has always said she can see a lot of potential in our wee man, I have always tried to believe it, now I know he has.
In March Lachlan started having fortnightly visits from the Home Visiting Teacher Susan, Susan is amazing, Lachlan warmed to her very quickly, the advice and support we have received from Susan have been invaluable, Lachlan has come on so much thanks to Susan’s visits, it was during these visits we realised Lachlan can count easily to ten, I had to bite my lip to stop the tears the day I realised the sounds Lachlan was making were an attempt at saying numbers as he counted the little cars, now he counts a lot, we also learned that Lachlan knows most colours, Susan was laying out coloured matts on the floor saying the colours as she went, red, green, blue and then a very little voice beat Susan to it, to say the next mat was yellow! Lachlan told us! Lachlan likes to randomly point at things and tell me their colour, he can when asked in play give me the right coloured car or ball or take the right one from me. Lachlan now likes to point out letters in logos, he knows the letters C, B, A and S, Susan has also been a great source of ideas and suggestions to engage Lachlan in play, as well as offering advice to playgroup and fighting our corner at meetings and helping me to see the broader picture when something’s have not gone to plan.
It is wonderful to be sitting here tonight knowing Lachlan is a happy little chap, he has moved mountains since this time last year and it is down to the wonderful individuals mentioned above, I feel certain Lachlan will continue to surprise us all in the years to come, I hope as and when they are needed many more angels find there way into his life.
written October 2013