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.