Thursday, June 24, 2010

Orientation Day At Childcare

Little Mr Boy went for his first official orientation day at childcare this week. The emotions I experienced went from elation, excitement, pride, to worry, stress and anxiety, back again and all mixed up. I was nearly in tears from the mess I was in. He was amazing. All the way from the girls school, I had been preparing him in the car: "We're going to kinder now! Erik is going to kinder. Different! Somewhere different. Going to kinder now." etc etc. I expected him to tantrum when we didn't turn down the usual way to our house.

He didn't. He didn't make a peep! The whole way there. He must have remembered from the time we visited for a trial there 2 weeks ago or so. Clever boy. We parked, we walked in. Fine. A little apprehensive walking down the corridor though. But otherwise, fine.

Walked into the room, and he was perfectly fine with that too. He went to the tables to check out what was going on, then came back to drag me over to something that interested him.

I settled him in and left the room. I had to tear myself away from the window to go to front desk and finalise stuff. But I stayed in the building for the time he was in... right outside the room in fact ... and occupied myself by reading and minding baby miss, and checking through the window every few minutes.

He was anxious when he realised I had left the room. I could see it in his face. He circuited the room, as he tends to do, resisting various attempts by staff to offer him food or toys. I sat down at this point, thinking that if I watched too long, I would not be able to stop myself going in to hug him! When I got up again, he was doing this:

See that?! He was putting little coloured toothpicks into playdough! And he was loving it :)

He was pretty much on his own at the table though. But I don't mind too much right now. I don't expect him to socialise immediately. I don't even expect it soon. I'm just so happy to see him ok, and playing, and enjoying himself in a room full of strange children.

One of the carers later told me that he had seen some other kids playing with the playdough and toothpicks, and had wanted to try some too. This is good! Later on, the kids had group time. Obviously, my son wasn't going to join in off his own back. If left to himself, he stays by himself and is usually a bother to no one. During group time, I saw him doing this:

He loves those things. The room leader later said that he had been upset, and she recalled from his trial visit that he liked this one. So she brought it back out to help settle him. At one point during group time, the kids were singing a song that was familiar to him. My sons ears pricked up and he stopped. Then, he turned and looked at the group! Wonderful! Since he had settled down and now seemed interested, another carer came along to try and help with including him in the group time. I love that she noticed :) Look at him... sitting on her lap and listening to the songs:

She even helped him with some actions. To some extent, he enjoyed this. But I did notice he became distressed after a while. She let him go back to the bead frame at this point. I love that she tried. I also love that nobody pressured him to do anything.

I went into the room to collect him just as they let all the children outside to play. I did this on purpose, so I could speak to the carers about the events of the morning. It took a little convincing to get little man outside, as he didn't want to leave the relative familiarity of the room. But once he was out there, boy did he love it!

Finally I went outside to get him. When he saw me, he ran over - I thought for a hug - but he grabbed me and started dragging me towards a plank of wood on the ground that he had been walking along. I tried to get him to leave with me, but he didn't want to go. He wanted to stay. How sweet is that!

The carers mentioned how great his concentration was when playing with various toys; how he wasn't flitting from one thing to the other, but took the time to enjoy the thing he was playing with. I take this as good news for him. They also said he was a very sweet and delightful boy. I knew that already *hearts*. One thing I noticed as well, was how occasionally, he would go find his blanky in his locker, have a snuggle, and then go back to circuiting the room. I like that he didn't carry it around the whole time, but he used it as a little comfort base from time to time.

Overall, the experience was good. Even better than trial day. And I just think it will get better and better. I still feel nervous about leaving him, since he is completely non-verbal and non-communicative. But the care and attention of the staff have really helped to put my mind at ease.

Now I just need to work on my own anxieties about this, though I'm sure they will diminish with time. And I am SO looking forward to seeing what improvements come from placing my boy in childcare. Almost wishing I could 'flash forward' and see... but that would take all the fun out of it now wouldn't it ;)


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Red Velvet

This post is dedicated to Jill, my cousin-in-law, who lives all the way across the other side of Australia and is craving Red Velvet Cupcakes. Wish I could courier these over to you Jill, but I can't, so you'll have to settle for a feast of the eyes only :( .

I have had red velvet on my do list for ages now. Finally got around to it! I think I am a bit behind on the red velvet cupcake craze, but I guess it has been a little slow to hit Australia. Or maybe I'm just slow. I don't know. Haha! I must admit, when making it, I was a bit reluctant to taste the batter because it was, well, so red - it looked like paint! Usually I fight my girls over who is going to lick the beaters and bowl *sheepish grin* - cake batter iz teh bomb, ok? - but not this time. In the end though, I plucked up my courage and had a taste.

It was lovely!... It had a really lovely flavour to it. Sort of aromatic and vanilla-ish.

This cake recipe is adapted from Bakerella (the frosting recipe is mine) - I love her website, it is one of my all time favourite go-to sites for inspiration in baking. If you enjoy baking too you should check it out. Or even if you just enjoy the eating part. Seriously. She's awesome. She invented cake pops! I've made the cake balls before, but not the pops. Another thing on my do list....

Enough rambling. Here is the recipe - it's easy as!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
3/4 cups canola oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp red food colouring

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line your cupcake pan, or grease and flour it if you prefer.
2. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
3. Add wet ingredients in.
4. Mix on medium-high speed for about 1 minute, or until completely combined.
5. Pour into cupcake tin.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean. I usually test one in the middle and one on the edge. Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so in the tin, then place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

How easy is that! And just in case you don't believe me, I'll show you again.

Sift dry stuff in.

Add wet stuff in.

Mix mix mix.

Told ya it looks like red paint!

Pour pour pour. I always make a mess hehe :)

And bake bake bake!

Look at those gorgeous redheads.

Cream Cheese Frosting
175g Philly cream cheese, softened
30 butter, softened
1 2/3 cups pure icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp water

1. Place cream cheese and butter into a mixing bowl, and mix on medium-high until creamy
2. Gradually add in half the icing sugar, mixing well to combine.
3. Add the vanilla and water, and mix to combine.
4. Then add remaining icing sugar and mix until creamy.

So creamy and yummy I think I'm gonna die.

Frost away!

Are you drooling yet?

I loved the flavour and texture of this cake... I can see why people get hooked on it. Light and sweet with a touch of tartness in it. I think it's the buttermilk that gives it that tart flavour. And the texture! So soft and ... well... velvety! Coupled with the cream cheese frosting and it just makes for an 'mmmmmmmm!' combination. My hubby just raved about it too, which is something I didn't expect. The man never ceases to surprise me. When I mentioned that I might use a bit less red dye next time, he vehemently protested ~ "No!" he said; "The colour is part of the charm, it's very striking". On that, I must agree :) I'm not sure that it beats chocolate cake for first place in my favourites, but it comes pretty close I think!

Now you've seen how easy it is, go ahead and make some! My biggest girl has asked me to make them blue next time...... hmm...


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hope Fulfilled!

I am so excited right now, that I couldn't wait to share this with you all.

A few minutes ago, I called the childcare centre that I was wanting to put my son into - remember..? the one that didn't have anymore places for special needs kids? .... After looking around, I still felt that that one would be the best for him, so I hesitated placing him anywhere else. Anyway, I called them just in case something had come up in the last two weeks or so. To be honest, I didn't expect there to be, but I had to check.

And guess what.... they did!!! It just so happened, that someone on a waiting list for something else got into their thing, which freed up that day for my son! They had intended to call me about this, but the lady who was supposed to do that has been sick. Gosh, I hope this all makes sense... I'm too happy to think straight. Actually, I'm embarrassed to say, I'm nearly in tears of joy. Haha! Corny, I know :P.

So, the day is very much NOT the ideal day. Wednesday happens to be their busiest day, but also happens to be the day we go for speech every fortnight. But you know what? I don't care! Less than ideal is so much better than nothing. We can work around the speechie hour. And if the centre is full of kids that day..? oh well! ... there are alot of kids there most days anyway. Who knows, maybe later on we can swap days or something. Or maybe, it will all turn out to be better for Erik to have lots of other kids around anyway.

I am just so happy, because I have been praying for this. This is an answered prayer. I'm not kidding when I said that there was very little chance of a placement here, so this really is a genuine answered prayer. I'm thanking God from the bottom of my heart for this!

Orientation next Wednesday... will keep you posted :)

xxxxxxxxxxxxx :D

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Low Times

Most days, we don't notice Erik's autism very much. Sounds crazy, but we are all accustomed to it now. We are a family that generally runs on routines anyway, and my son fits into that fairly well. I've heard it said many times by parents of ASD kids lately; that what is normal for the ASD child has become normal for the whole family; this is true for us too. We are sort of isolated in terms of social life these days, so we don't really take notice of the fact that things are different here.

But every now and then, I see something that just drives it home again. Usually, another child of around my son's age, or even younger. Then, the difference seems huge.

Tonight, we had some people in our home who had a little girl only 1 month younger than our son. You could see the difference straight away. She was shy, and tired, but she engaged with eye contact immediately. She responded to questions. She looked to her mother for reassurance. She showed interest in the toys and books that we offered her. You could just see the difference so plainly. It hurt so much.

Both hubby and I felt sad tonight. I almost didn't know what to offer the little girl for entertainment, because I've forgotten what 2.5 - 3 year old kids like to do! This also made me sad.

We've done our grieving I think - there is always a grieving process when you learn that your child has a disorder; of any sort. We accept it, we love him, we are happy and grateful for him. But there are still times when we feel so deeply sad.


Monday, June 14, 2010


The Idea
This morning, I had the fabulous idea of taking the whole family out for a shopping trip. You know, grocery shopping; not leisure shopping. I usually go alone in the evening after all the kids are in bed. But, we had spent most of the long weekend cooped up in the house, and we needed to get out a bit. My boy was a bit sick, I know, but he was definately well enough to go out for a short time. It would cut into naptimes a bit too, but they (the babies) can handle it. Nothing they haven't done before. Anyway, we'd only be out maybe 2 hours at most.

So after lunching the little ones, off we went. When we arrived, hubby left me to unload the kiddies while he went inside to hire one of those cute car buggies. You know, the ones where the kiddies ride around in the bottom while you push it around, and you can put your shopping in the top. We thought the boy would love this!

We were wrong. Me and my big ideas. Hah.

The Fiasco
From the moment he was put into the buggy, he started cracking it. What is his problem now? I thought. Well, we wanted to walk. He doesn't like being restricted or restrained. I had forgotten that. Don't ask me how. Anyway, I thought once we got moving in it, he'd realise how much fun it was. I mean, look! - already my big girls were arguing about who gets to go in the second seat. See? Miss Jane won, since she was smaller. And only because we thought that the boy might notice her sitting in it too, and therefore settle down.

He was still cracking it when we walked inside. We stopped halfway to the supermarket to try and settle him. Didn't work. We bought a chocolate frog to try and sweeten the deal and distract him. Didn't work. We went into the supermarket anyway. He does tend to settle down sooner or later usually. Only not this time.

So we had just walked into the supermarket, and paused in the first part there - the fresh produce area - to try and settle him again. He was still cracking it. He started to cough, as he has been a little bit lately. But then, he vomited.

Note: If this sort of stuff grosses you out and you really can't cope with it, I recommend you skip the next paragraph. Otherwise, I am going to speak very frankly about motherly experiences :P.






Ok? Moving on...?

He vomited, and I caught it in my hands. What else could I do? We're standing... all six of us... in the middle of the fresh produce department, and my son vomited. Hubby rushed around trying to find something to help clean it up with. All I had was bum wipes from the nappy bag. That had to do. Hubby got some plastic bags from the check out dude nearby to put them in. I cleaned my hands...

Pick up again from here
.....and I cleaned my little man's face, and we turned right around and walked back out of there. And yes, he was still crying. He cried all the way to the baby change rooms. He cried the whole time I tried to clean him up. Hubby went off to buy him some new pants, as the ones he had on were now dirtied. He cried the whole time we waited. I tried singing to him to help settle him. He was ok with that, till I changed the song.

Then he hit me on my face, on my mouth.

That was a shock. A big shock. He has never been violent. Ever. I know he just wanted me to stop, and he has put his hands on my mouth to do that before, but never by hitting me. Never like this. This really upset me today. I am hoping it was a once off because he was sick.

The Extra Stress
Anyhow, I changed his clothes, and hubby took him and 2 other girls out to the car, while I returned the buggy. But when I went to get Miss Jane out of her seat, she was stuck. I couldn't get her out.

*sigh* STRESS!

I tried for 10 minutes to get her unstuck out of there. Nearly in tears by the end of it. But we managed. And the dear lady didn't charge us for the buggy, since I never got my shopping done. God bless her. We went home, cleaned the boy up properly, and then put the little ones to bed.

Comfort and Support
Pottering around in the kitchen afterwards, my husband came along. He put his arms around me there and we just held each other. Just for a minute.

The Shopping Trip
Later on in the day, my SIL came around with dinner already cooked for us, ready to babysit so hubby and I could spend some time out doing the shopping together. We knew she was coming around, but dinner was such a nice suprise. So off we went, hubby and I, and we took along our eldest girl for some mummy/daddy time too. So I guess in the end, we got our shopping done.

Things were much quieter this time. But because I didn't get a pic of my son cracking it in his little red car buggy, I thought I'd share what we bought on impulse tonight. Come on.... everyone does it sometimes... impulse purchases!! I found it rather amusing, the things that hubby bought and the things that I bought.

Hubby's stuff: Snacky snacks! Crackers, gourmet cheeses, twiggy sticks, chips, and Lemon Cheesecake flavoured yoghurt for ONE! Haha! To his credit, they were all on special, and some of them were bought with the notion of sharing them with me in mind.

My stuff: Quick oats - in the hopes that my son will eat porridge again (he used to love it, but now doesn't like the 'lumpy bits' in the texture), malt extract - 'cause I've never seen it before, and want to try baking with it, and the biscuits also in case I get the urge to bake with them.

See? He is so selfish and I am so family orientated! *halo*, that is not a biscuit packet you hear opening in the background., I didn't just take a bite!

...ok, maybe just one bickie. But I can still bake with the rest!!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Cookies

So I was perusing the internet for some baking inspiration for something to take along to a church group meeting. I came across these. Definately caught my interest! I think in Australia, we aren't that big on peanut butter and chocolate, but I have definately developed a taste for it! Whenever I can find Hersheys peanut butter cups I find myself fighting the urge to buy them by the boxful, because they're so hard to find around here!

So yeah.... these bickies looked absolutely mouthwatering to me, and I ceased my searching and started baking! I should probably mention that I had about 1 hour to get it done, and that I had to supervise my boy over his dinner, nurse the baby, and change both of them into pj's in that time....
.... I know. I'm crazy for even trying. Hah!

But I got it all done! So hopefully, that should give you an indication of how long it takes to make these :) Pretty quick and easy. And, well, lets just say, I can't stop eating them.

I found the recipe here, but adapted it ever so slightly. Mainly in the method because I was pressed for time and trying to multi-task haha! I've also written up the ingredients in a way more relevent to us Aussies :P.

Cookie dough
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
white sugar for sprinkling

Method easy as!
Preheat your oven to 180C. (I did 175C on mine, because it tends towards being too hot)

Sift the flour, cocoa, and bicarb of soda together into a bowl. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, beat together the butter, sugars and peanut butter until well combined.

Add egg, milk and vanilla, and beat well.

Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing in gently after each addition.

Form the dough into 32 balls. I managed to get 35 out of mine for some reason.

Ok! So onto the filling now...

Combine icing sugar and peanut butter in a bowl, and beat until smooth.
Note: Beating didn't really work well for me. It formed alot of crumbs and didn't seem to come together. I was in a hurry too so in the end, I just kneaded it a little bit with my hands. Judging by the final texture though, I don't think that beating it would have worked very well anyway. It was more like a stiff dough.

Form into 32 balls - or the same amount you made for the chocolate ones rather.

Putting it together.....

Working on a non-stick surface (I used baking paper), gently flatten each chocolate ball. Top with a peanut butter ball. Then carefully fold the chocolate dough around the peanut butter and seal the edges. Then re-roll the whole thing into a ball again.

(I was rushing around pretty badly by this time, so I kinda forgot to take pics of all of this, sorry!)

Flatten each ball slightly, and sprinkle a little white sugar on top. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the surface begins to slightly crack. Let them cool for a minute on the tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


♪ ♫ Five little buns in a bakers' shop... Round and fat with sugar on top ♫ ♪

I must admit, I couldn't really wait for them to cool down properly before I had one. And mmmmmmm .... are they ever yummy when warm! I even popped a couple into the microwave for a few seconds the next day. But I don't recommend that, as I ended up burning one of them haha!

If you like peanut butter and chocolate, these won't disappoint. They aren't too sweet and the flavours and texture of the cookie with the filling works beautifully. My family aren't very big on the peanut butter & chocolate combination. Which is lucky for me, because I got to eat ALL the ones that were left at home... woohoo!

No, I don't feel guilty at all! >_>


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Major disappointment in this area. The place where I wanted to send my son has already reached maximum capacity in funding allowance for special needs children. This means that if I choose to send him there, he will not have an aide. The other special needs kids will though. In fairness to myself and to my son, the centre has advised me of this, and have (very gently) actually turned down the application. They feel that he is entitled to the same care as the others, so they won't take him on if they can't give it. I am in agreement with them on this point. But very disappointed.

This is a good childcare centre, and we have a rapport that extends right back to when my big girls attended. Both my daughters attended from around 3.5 years old, in the pre-kinder and kinder rooms. The management know and remember us, and have greeted us warmly every time we have gone in. I felt comfortable sending my boy there because of this, and because the place retains a high standard of care for the children. The workers are all very kind, competent, and chosen because they actually want to work with children, not just because they want the money.

I still sent my son in for a trial this morning though. We stayed for about 1 hour. We were welcome to stay much longer, but the time seemed to drag, and it seemed pointless once we found out that funding was not going to happen.

I had originally intended to settle him into the room, then stay in their staff room for 2 or 3 hours, checking on him periodically. But I found myself stuck to the window looking in from the outside. I just couldn't leave him. It wasn't that I didn't trust the carers - they were great - it's just that I wanted to see every little reaction he had to the new environment. To gain knowledge of how he copes with it: what made him anxious, how long it would take for him to settle, what sort of things evoked his interest, and how he reacted to his peers.

When we first went in, he cried and tried to return to the car. I took some time to settle him.... kneeling down and speaking gentle words 'Erik is ok, Erik will be ok, Erik is with mummy, you will be ok'. Then I offered him hugs. He quieted down a little, smiled a small smile, and leaned in for a kiss. Too sweet :) . He was still a little anxious though.

We then went to the room. He didn't want to go in there either. The carers immediately noticed the new face and came to say hello. I had to explain that he was autistic, and told a little more about his abilities, likes and dislikes. The tried so hard to reassure me that they will take good care of him, and insisted that I could stay in the room or leave, or do whatever I felt comfortable doing. I settled him in, and then went outside. I stayed by those windows for the whole hour we were there. I couldn't take my eyes off him. I don't think my heart has ever been so strung up before!

He was very anxious. I could see it on his face. So many times, I had to resist the urge to go in there. Still though, he didn't seem to lose control, which was good. He went around the room, as he tends to do, just getting familiar with the boundaries and environment. The carers tried to interest him in toys, in morning tea, in a drink, but he wouldn't, or couldn't, attend to such things. He was too anxious. After a short time though, something seemed to click and he settled. He went to play on a bead frame, and even sat down to play at one point! After a while, he accepted a drink of water too. One of the carers noted to me how he wasn't flitting from one thing to another, but that his attention span seemed good. This was encouraging for me.

I decided to leave after only 1 hour. As I said before, it just seemed pointless to remain longer knowing that he could not attend here anyway. When I went into the room, he grew very alert, took my hand, and was desperate to get out of there. I tried to chat with the carers a little more about what had gone on, but he was crying pretty loudly and trying to drag me to the door. I said a polite and apologetic goodbye, and took the boy home.

Some good points:
Although he didn't want to be there, he adjusted very well.
He took some time to get to know the room a bit.
He actually sat down to an activity, even if just for a short time.
He played along side other children.
He recognised me and became excited to see me after the short absence.

Some bad points:
He was quite anxious to begin with. I felt like the smallest incident might set him off.
The whole time, it seemed like he didn't really want to be there.
He could not understand the carers, and could not comply with instructions.

Overall, I think there are more benefits than negatives when it comes to childcare. Even now at the very beginning. And I can only see improvements happening, to the point where all the negatives will eventually become null and void.

Now I just need to find a place for him......


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cheap Entertainment

Packing peanuts!!

My sons sensory issues are not as severe as some others' that I have seen or heard about. But they are there. He mostly has issues when it comes to texture on the palms of his hands. He does not like sand, gravel, grass, carpet...even things like a face washer, he can't tolerate. If he happens to fall over, he will try to land either on the inside of his wrists with palms held upwards, or with his hands actually fisted up so as not to touch the ground. On the other hand (no pun intended >_< ) he does like soap, tomato sauce, yoghurt and water, and he has no issues digging into his food with his hands. So in general, rough is a no-go, but smooth is ok. There are ways to work on the sensory aversions. One thing they often do in occupational therapy (OT) is put things in dry rice that the kids can dig for. Erik never fell for this. We tried dried pasta shapes. Didn't work. We even had them dyed in bright colours. Still no success.

Anyway, last year, I found it too difficult to get out and do Christmas shopping ... newborn plus an autistic toddler = way too much stress. So I did all my christmas shopping online. Among the various packaging things we ended up with, was one box full of packing peanuts. And even better - they were made of rice, not styrofoam! I kept the box *grin*. I opened it up one day in front of the kids, and the big girls got very excited. For my son, I think it just looked like too much texture for him. He wouldn't have a bar of it. But, I put a few into a smaller bucket, and kept it accessible for him. Once in a while I'd bring it out and try again. I liked these packing peanuts because although they look very textural, they are in fact large individual pieces. So I could give him one at a time to check out, thus diminishing the 'scariness' factor. This has worked! I brought the whole box out again recently, and this time after a little prompting, he began to dig in himself!

Check out that hand grabbing a fistful of packing peanuts!

Pouring them out of the bucket. He loved watching them fall.

They went "nuts" with the stuff. Haha! :P

Even the baby got into it. Literally! :P

Fistful in each hand :)

Big mess! But lots of fun - and well worth it if it helps with sensory issues and creates opportunity for social interaction too.

So what's your cheap entertainment?


Friday, June 4, 2010

Moving Along

Things have been moving along at a reasonable pace in terms of resources for my little man. A bit slower than I'd like, but still reasonable. I have to take into account the time I have to actually apply to this stuff as well as the time it takes for things just to get done with the relevant bodies.

1. We have a disability permit. Autism means that my son is a significant danger to himself when out and about. At the moment it does anyway. I can't instruct him to 'stay with mum' or 'wait here' while I get the baby out of the car. He doesn't understand. Once he is out of the car, he will just go - usually run - to where he thinks we are headed. Or wherever he wants to go. The other thing he tends to do is 'drop' to the ground in protest if he feels anxious or doesn't want to come with us wherever we are headed. I don't need to explain the problems with this when we are on the road or in a car park. Care needs to be taken when getting to and from the car anyways, but the disability parking permit makes it so much easier and safer, as it allows us to park the car as close as possible to the building. Obviously, this reduces the chances of injury to the boy a great deal because we can get inside that much faster. I am hoping that by the time the permit expires, he will have developed enough so that we don't need it anymore.

2. Our autism funding has been approved. This means that all the therapy we have been getting for him can now be paid for via this package. Such a relief, because now I know that I can get him the help he needs (within the funding limits) without adding to financial pressures when caring for our whole family. It also allows for the purchase of relevant equipment... for example, a place to keep the PECS stuff, or even some OT resources. This sort of funding is only available until he turns 7. After that, we are on our own I think. I don't know what happens anyway. What I do know, is that the earlier you can start intervention for ASD kids, the better the outcome.

3. We have finalised his enrolment in childcare. This is a tender spot for me. I know that childcare will be good for the boy - I have seen the benefits to him just from times he has spent with other children and friends! But I'm so afraid to leave him in the care of strangers when he is so vulnerable. It's the communication issues that worry me the most. Having said that, I am pretty certain that the centre I have chosen is trustworthy. I sent the big girls there for kinder when they were smaller, and never had a problem. The management remembered me, and they really do have a very professional, warm, caring, and friendly approach to their job.

I took Erik inside his room there to have a look and get a feel for the place. After a few nervous minutes, he began to explore and even came back and took my hand to bring me with him! Very soon, he was smiling and enjoying the atmosphere. A relief for me. We go for a 3 hour trial run next week before formal care starts.

Will blog more about childcare and how it goes for him later down the track.