In 2010 I had my second child, Jay. I was really excited but by the time he was two, there were some signs that he was different from the other children; it took me a year to get him out of nappies, he wouldn’t really talk and mainly just pointed at things. We joined the ‘Stay and Talk’ course at a local centre in the hope that Jay would interact with the other children but he used to push and hit them.

At that point I had no idea he was autistic. I just thought he was a naughty child.
Monisha
painting

When Jay started school part-time, an incident took place where he hit a camera on a child’s head and pulled the teachers hair - I didn’t know what was going on. It was after that we decided to take Jay to the health visitor and have him checked. We were told that Jay needed better footwear to improve his walking – due to his sensory issues, he never liked wearing shoes and socks and walked on his tip-toes. We also found out that Jay was overweight.

It was the health visitor who referred us to Action for Children to help with Jay’s issues. Janet, our worker there, did three sessions with Jay to observe his behaviour at the Centre and then we met Dr Brown, who diagnosed my son with autism. I was really shocked and didn’t know much about it but the centre gave us lots of practical advice. They advised that I made a chart for Jay at home to help him with his reading and behaviour. We used pictures to write rules for him like no hitting, pushing, etc. I also made a family tree so to help him understand who everyone was and what his relationship was to them. To deal with Jay being overweight, we put him on a diet and the whole family made an effort to stop buying junk food like crisps, biscuits and especially fizzy drinks. We gave him simple food for one year and he is now at a normal weight, which is great.

Because the school didn't have the facilities for Jay to be able to attend, we used to bring him to the centre instead.
Monisha
hands

Action for Children has supported us for the last two years. They introduced me to the autism support group and the Triple P programme, which really helped me establish routines with Jay – they are so beneficial to him and now he and his brother have a proper routine. They also taught me how to deal with children with behavioural problems and how to improve their learning and development. I couldn’t have done it without them.

One of our support workers, Amarjeet, helped us with our benefits and the disability allowance which really helped. Another of our support workers at the centre also came to the school with me and my husband to explain Jay’s behaviour and how they could better support him, which I thought was fantastic, and he is currently in full time school. I am so pleased and thankful to them.

 

During the school holidays, the centre gives Jay play scheme access too – they specialise in autism, which is great so they know how to handle my little boy.
Monisha

Me and my husband have just started a course at the centre to find out more about autism and I am also doing a course to become a teaching assistant. Eventually I would love to work in a special school to help children with disabilities. If I could make a difference to one child that would be amazing.

Action for Children has supported me so much. I am so thankful to them. If there are parents out there whose children are not eating, walking properly, come and visit a centre like this. There is help available.

Did you find this page helpful?

Help us do more.

Your support will help us make life better for the UK's most vulnerable children and young people.