Below you will find links to our Facebook group, the @senthruthelens official documentary Instagram and YouTube channel.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/170357313601665

https://www.instagram.com/senthruthelens

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTGO708wwrPY5oDytYBD4jw?view_as=subscriber

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Carol xx

We are a family of 4, mum, dad, 2 beautiful children the oldest is 15 he has been diagnosed with ASD, youngest is 8, and she is always on the go, we have had many ups and downs with our son from day one when the teachers at his school told us he is lazy, not interested in learning, doesn’t listen to the teachers, being told by the head mistress, that he is a crawl mean little boy, which broke my heart as I know our son and he is most definitely not, along with that the struggle to get the school to listen and put things in motion to help us help him, they lost two signed referral letter, to start the process off, and with many more ups and downs ( to many to list) with the school over the three years it took us to get an ehcp for him. We were lucky to get him a place at a special school, and it was a good move it took a while but the new school helped, he got more confident and he started to enjoy school, but again that did last by the time I came for him to move on, the school and the lea failed him, it took a year to find him is next school, so have to see all his friends move in and stay in the school an extra year when he wasn’t meant to, dropped him back emotional, and his anxiety levels started to really elevate, but we did find a new school and he loves it, he has his ups and downs, and sometimes they can be hard on him but the support is great. In the middle of all this her became a brother and he took to it so well, he loves her and is so protective, sometimes a bit to much, but as she has grown and got her own personality, we did find difficulties, she loves her brother so much some time she won’t leave him alone, and he can find that very frustrating, so trying to teach them both, a child who is young and learning new things and a older child who struggles with social situation, has had interesting moments, and now we are try to teach her why things are different for him. The next challenge we faced was 2020 coronavirus lock down, as much as he loves school he was happy about being home, but we has the challenges of him missing his teacher especially his favourite one, he feared going out, was afraid to catch it and as we have grandparents living with us, he was really scared they would die from it, so we had nightmares, which he hadn’t had for a while, the fear of being out and people getting to close, so it has been a slow process to get him to be out, we have made sure any place we go it is not crowded if it is we leave, so we have done bike rides walks locally and picnics in the car, he has been to school during lock down to see the new system and to see his teachers which made him feel better, that they were all ok, but we still have many more challenges to face, he is in his last year at the school and he will be heading to collage next, but we will be there , we will always be there for him, what ever happened to support him, help him, teach him, and to give unconditional love, he lights up my day every day. All through the early part of this journey we were alone, there were no support groups, the professional that diagnosed him gave us leaflet and sent us on our way, just reviewing him every 6 months, I got to the point where I thought I didn’t deserve help, anyone to listen or anyone to understand, then 2 years ago a friend told me about a new group that had been set up call Doors Open, it took me a while to pluck up the courage to go, but I am glad I did, I felt at ease and made to feel so welcome from the first visit, and most of all I wasn’t alone in this journey, without Robyn deciding to create this amazing group I would have continued to feel alone, but I can now say I have amazing friends that I know will be there for me and my family.

Kerry xx

Lockdown 2020. How did we cope? Well in all honesty better than what I had expected. To start with anyway.

Hi, I’m kerry. A single mum to 4 young boys, hayden 7, xander 5  cooper 4 and korbin 3. Our family is very ‘ quirky ‘ as they say and we all have our difficulties and diagnoses.

When lock down first happen my eldest hayden who has asd and an e.h.c.p had the opportunity to continue attending school.

I was in two minds, on one hand he needed the routine and things to stay as normal as possible for him to cope with the situation and function ‘ normally ‘ but I got alot of negative opinions thrown at my which made me question myself as a parent. Was I putting him in harm’s way unnecessarily, was I not taken the situation serious enough but after lots of thought I decided I would do what was best not only for my son but my family too. So he continued going to school  thriving with the support of his 1-1 in a quieter less busy classroom.

Not long after I was told because of staffing numbers he couldn’t go anymore. To be honest I was terrified  hayden needs the routine, he doesnt cope well with sudden changes, he becomes violent and aggressive and the whole family is on the receiving end. How would I cope?

I arranged with the school to get some work for him to do at home, I printed off a timetable and set up a little work area in my lounge. Everyday from 9-3 we did homeschooling  it worked for us. We had a routine and something to keep us all occupied.i would post photos of our day on facebook every evening because I was proud that we were coping so well but the negativity again set in.

 I was just doing it all for show! They boys should be having fun not worrying about school work! Or so I was told. Truth was it was my way of coping and getting through it. One day at a time.

You see. Everyone on facebook seemed to be having fun, playing in their gardens, building amazing outdoor areas, having bbq’s, etc we couldn’t do that ( we dont have a garden to escape to ) so for us it was something to focus on to get us through the day an hour at a time. 

But then the school term had ended. We had nothing to focus on  nothing to break up the day. They boys began to fight, get annoyed with each other, every day was just endless screaming and shouting, tears and bruises. I couldn’t cope by myself, I needed a break. I  slowly began to realise how alone I actually was. I had nothing positive to post so no one to interact with. Yes I have friends on social media but they are not really friends, just people I used to know. No communication with the outside world only my boys and as much as I love them I needed something more. Adult interaction.

 My mental health suffered  I already have borderline personality disorder, but i became extremely depressed ontop of that, I would shut myself away in my bedroom only coming out to feed the kids, they’d spend most of the time playing in my room on video games to keep themselves entertained. My anxiety got worse and I was having panic attacks daily, with no one to talk to I felt so alone and so desperate that I started to self harm. I started to drink more, luckily I realised I had hit rock bottom and reached out for help. First it was to my gp who prescribed some antidepressants and offered advice which helped a little, but wasnt nearly enough. I’ve always had an issue opening up and trusting people but slowly I made myself  little by little I got more involved with the online activities Doors open were doing. It was bloody hard facing these people over zoom calls when you feel so low and look like sh… but im so glad I did, my saving grace was a small group of amazing women  whom i have become very close to and dare i say it  even friends with. These 4 particular women have made me laugh when i wanted to cry, empowered me when I have felt weak  been there for my when I was alone and needed it the most. I can not thank them enough and In a strange way I kind of glad covid happened because its taught me alot about myself, my fears  what I want in life and what’s truly important. if it hadn’t I’d still be all alone. Now I have friends  I have support, and people I can open upto. It wasnt all bad.

Kerry

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