I’m a mother of two boys, Hari-Jac who is 7 years old and Tomi-Wyn 3 years old.
Hari-Jac was diagnosed with autism in November 2019. He was nearly 5 years old when he received his diagnosis. As a baby Hari-Jac was meeting his developmental milestones, but at the age of 18months he lost his speech. He started getting more tantrums because of the frustration with lack of communication, we started noticing that routine was very important to him and new places were becoming more and more overwhelming due to his sensory sensitivity issues.
Hari-Jac started mainstream school in 2017 and we have been very fortunate to have received fantastic support from the school since day 1.
In January 2020 we got in touch with Tim Plant Anabl to see what was available for Hari-Jac. We were looking at booking sessions for him to attend over the Easter holidays with DASH. We had a home visit with one member of the team at the beginning of March 2020, and then covid struck.
With covid, we didn’t know what to expect or how Hari-Jac would be able to cope with such big changes to his daily routine. He was missing school and saying ‘ysgol’ on a daily basis. On several occasions we had to take him over to the school gates to reassure him that the school building was still there but no one was inside. As the covid months went on we could see Hari-Jac getting more frustrated and was having daily meltdowns that lasted hours. Service and support were very limited due to covid, but we did have a few conversations over the phone with Tim Plant Anabl to discuss Hari-Jac’s needs and our needs as his carers.
Tim Plant Anabl got us in touch with Gofalwyr Carers Ceredigion. I had no idea what
support was out there for carers as all this was new to us as a family. Covid restrictions were still in place and no face to face meetings could be held, but it was still lovely having a chat over the phone with the supportive staff. Tracey Patrick told me about the carers fund and respite support that was available.
We were fortunate to receive a grant to buy Hari-Jac a climbing frame for the garden. Our home is Hari-Jac’s safe place and this is where he is happiest. Having a climbing frame in our garden means that Hari-Jac is learning new skills within his safe place and is now overall a happy little boy.
Both boys will be in full time education in September which means I will have little more time for me. I’m looking forward to be able to go on one of the carers walks and socialise with other carers from Ceredigion.
Throughout our Autism journey, I have learnt a lot of new things, but one thing is for sure that what makes life a lot easier is ‘to talk to others going through the same thing’. It really does help. Thank you Gofalwyr Carers Ceredigion for being there, it means a lot.