The love, hate relationship with assessments

For anyone who has had the joyous delights of having to take their child to a strange place, with strange people, for an assessment, which you know they’ll hate, will understand the complex mix of emotions that an assessment brings.  Many of you will still be eaglely and yet apprehensively waiting to finally reach the top of the dreaded waiting list.  But whether you’ve been there or are still waiting, assessments guarantee to be an emotional ride, for everyone!

Without doubt assessments are heartbreaking, eye-opening and amazing all at the same time.  On one hand you have finally reached, what can only be described as the end of one incredibly long and properly extremely frustrating, stressful journey.  Just to jump on an even bigger and scarier rollercoaster.  But then on the other hand you have finally reached that goal you have been fighting for, for so many years.  You have got your child the assessment they need.  With the hope that you and them will now get the much longed after support you all crave!

As a family we have been down the autistic assessment route and still haven’t quite reached the end of that particular road.  I think as a mother you know when there is something up.  Whatever people say, you know your children and I new from an early age C was a little different (T hates me saying different but I’m never really sure how else to put it). I think C was about 3 when I came to the conclusion that he had Aspergers or HIgh Functioning Autism. So when we got told, I was not surprised.  It didn’t came as a nasty shock.  I did not go and cry, and shout and throw things.  Maybe I should have? I don’t know.  To be honest I just felt that finally my feelings had been proved right. But really, most importantly it has put us in the position, that in theory, we can now access support for him; both at school and home.

Today was an assessment for the sensors; to be more precise Sensory Processing Disorder. I have felt for sometime that this plays a massive role in C’s behaviour and yet SPD is little understood, including by myself.  In Norfolk the NHS doesn’t even provide a service to assess or support children with it.   I find SPD extremely hard to understand.  I accept it, I just haven’t got a clue how to help.  So today, I almost felt excited.  This I realise might sound slightly crazy but this is the report that will make a difference.  If we can try and understand why C throws himself of the sofa 500 times a day, why he cannot sit still for even a minute.  Why he likes me sitting on him.  Why he hates holding hands.  Why even when he’s so cold, he’s gone blue, he doesn’t realise he’s cold.  Why he hates the Hoover quite so much.  If we can just find the answers out for even just some of the many whys we have.  I without question, believe that we can make a big difference to him and to us as a family.  He’s only 5 so right now we need to help him control things.  School needs to help him control things.  But we need to understand how to do this.  School need to understand what a big a deal it is.  Finally, now I feel that we might be getting somewhere.  We might all be getting somewhere!

So maybe this crazy, sleep deprived, coffee drinking mother isn’t so crazy after all….

I do however realise that assessments, reports and diagnoses don’t change things.  They don’t make the problems go away.  They can’t answer all the questions.  But what they do do, is provide a signpost.  A signpost to point you in the right direction.  Every family is on a rollercoaster.  They have their ups and downs.  Some families are just on much bigger rollercoasters than others.  The ride isn’t always smooth but the lower you go, the higher you can also go!

So for everyone out there still waiting for an assessment, don’t give up.  Keep fighting for your child.  It isn’t easy, but keep going.  Our family motto, introduced by my dad many years ago is KBO, Keep Buggering On.   It’s one T and I have now also adopted; KBO.  Because as parents however tough things get, you don’t have a choice but to KBO!!

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2 thoughts on “The love, hate relationship with assessments

  1. Could I ask how you got the assessment for SPD? we also live in Norfolk. I think my son is influenced a lot by this also but it does depend on his anxiety levels, if he is in a new place, people etc etc.

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