I talked about 2son’s ASD assessment which was back in April and the psychologist’s immediate response.
We were then presented with a five page report that detailed 2son’s history to date, suggested contributing factors and a conclusion that stated he hadn’t got ASD but that he needed counselling and the family also needed some family counselling. All exactly what I wanted and had been saying right from the start. We were also warned that actually getting a psychologist for 2son would not be immediate as they had to find the right person. So we walked away from our post-ASD assessment meeting feeling positive, but also that there might be a long wait.
It was barely two weeks later that we got a phone call to say that a clinical psychologist had been appointed (psych1) and could we come in. We were also told that 2son had been deemed a priority as he had been out of school for so long and that swift action needed to be taken.
So psych1 is very soft and gentle, speaking warmly to 2son and has a very non-threatening disposition. He gets on well with her and they are seeing each other once a week. He’s only had 3 sessions so far having missed a couple due to his other news. She’s been talking about anxiety and how to cope with it and is going to go incredibly slowly with him as he doesn’t really want to open up at all. He is however quite willing to go although there are days when he just doesn’t want to get up.
The other result from the assessment is that that they referred him to CATE, which is Continued Access to Education. It’s a tiny facility that has a dozen or so students where they start off getting students to get back in the habit of attending school on a daily basis, give them an individual learning plan and have small lessons so they can catch up on their English, Maths and Science and hopefully be able to move back to school. These places are highly sought after (and of course under threat). So I was incredibly surprised to get a phone call from CATE a few weeks ago saying please could 2son come in for an interview. Even then I was expecting a place to be offered in September so when they said that the interview was the start I was overwhelmed.
As I think was 2son. He didn’t go the next day as planned. He’s had to very quickly make the adjustment to having a weekly meeting with psych1 and not long after that is asked to come to CATE every single day. He’s managed half a dozen appearances at CATE in the last few weeks of school and seems to be willing to go, but again, some days he just refuses to get up. That initial week was very stressful for me as I seemed to spend a lot of time running up and down stairs to try and get him to get out of bed, but hopefully he knows what he’s getting into and September might prove a little easier. Managing CATE and going to see psych1 is quite a lot to get used to but hopefully with the summer weeks of just seeing psych1 we’ll be able to manage both next term.
A lot has happened in the last few months to 2son and it’s all welcome. I wish it could all have started earlier, but I also recognise that 2son wasn’t ready or willing to talk to anyone until the ASD assessment which seems to have been the start of progress. Whether it was the formality of the assessment or whether all that time at home had given him the confidence to want hope I don’t know, but I’m just glad things are moving forward.
We have also been offered family counselling and have had one session with thera, she who I have never really connected with. Although a family therapist, she did ask me after the ASD assessment whether I really thought I needed family therapy and seemed hopeful that I would just drop it. Which I haven’t, but do wish it was with someone else. Those are going to be a bout once or month and I’m not sure if they are going to achieve anything but strongly feel that 3son and 4son need a platform to talk about all the changes over the last year.
We also have a social worker who has lasted for more than one visit. She seems very nice although I’m not yet sure what if anything she’s going to do for us other than monitor us and make sure we’re all right. But she’s willing and positive which is a good start.
School has also appointed an Educational Psychologist and was talking about arranging learning plans for 2son as they didn’t expect CATE to happen so quickly either. The EP is also talking about a statement for 2son which I’ve put off until he’s got settled into CATE which also has an on-site EP. So in many ways we’re swimming in professionals actually wanting to help which is marvellous.