Further to my post An emotional start to the school year, I m still not able to get my son to school. His anxiety and fear levels are still high which has made him very sensitive to the world around him. All this has been triggered by a change in routine, as a result of the school holidays and now the new school year.
The school has responded well and sent two assistants to speak to him and encourage him back to school. Even though he is familiar with the assistants he couldn’t look at them or talk to them. He had to sit at the top of the stairs whilst I sat at the bottom which enabled me to communicate between him and the assistants.
His school are being flexible and encouraging him to start back as gently as possible, with the support of an assistant, which is good. Unfortunately even with these suggestions, he still feels unable to return and my observations of him is that he is still too unwell to cope with school. However, he has said that he does want to go back to school, but not yet, which is a positive sign.
The psychiatrist is once agan involed and my son’s medication has been readjusted to suit his physical size (the medication he was on was starting to loose its effectiveness as he grew bigger). Hopefully this should start to take affect soon and lessen the anxiety enough for us to work with him, though we are very mindful that we don’t want our son reliant on medication to cope with anxiety.
The problem with this is that whilst our son has been learning to cope with some mild anxiety, when his anxiety gets to high levels like it is at the moment, he suffers heightened sensory responses which worsens the autistic behaviours. At the moment he can’t cope with people around him, he is sensitive to noise and light and is complaining of ‘white noise’ or ‘drumming’ in his head. He is also struggling to fall asleep. Fortunately some coloured lights that I bought at the weekend are helping him to relax though the current situation has brought home to me the urgency of creating a proper sensory area for him somewhere in the house.
It feels as though we are in a vicious circle at the moment. The worse the anxiety, the worse his sensory responses and his autistic behaviours become which then raises his anxiety levels which starts the whole cycle again. Hopefully by breaking this cycle and reducing the anxiety, he will start to feel better, his autism will become more manageable and we can start to help him back to school.
But as I know from old, this isn’t going to be an easy ride for him or us.