A couple of weeks later, after I had started my new job, I got a call from sister. She was told by the class teacher that I was supposed to have a meeting with the SENco and EP that morning at 10.30am. This was the first I had heard about it (I didn't even know what she meant by the EP!). My sister and the class teacher agreed that it was best to get the SENco to call me on my Monday.
Monday morning, I bumped into the SENco as I was dropping the boys off at the Sure Start centre. I briefly spoke with her and it turned out that she has asked for an Educational Psychiatrist (EP) to see Aled and my permission was needed for this. She also advised that the EP would want to speak with me about Aled. I agreed a time for the EP to call me while I was at lunch and a form was going to be put in Aled's bag for me to sign.
Later in the week I spoke with the EP. I was asked about our home life and what my concerns were. The EP then went on to let me know what she observed and what the class teacher and SENco had said. It (unsurprisingly) turns out that we all have the same concern about Aled's social skills. I advised her that Aled had a review coming up with the child development centre shortly and she kindly agreed to write up a report and email it to me for us to take.
The report was very supportive and outlined observations in his fine and gross motor skills, his 'ticks', the fact that he needs to chew things, his speech & language skills, his social understanding and skills and also his behaviour. The report also took into account what the SENco, class teacher and I had said, even if the EP hadn't witnessed that on the day. It also gave the actions that were agreed for the school to take to try to help Aled develop the skills he requires.
Earlier this week, Aled had his appointment with the Child Development Centre. As I was working, hubby had to take him. Armed with the reports from the SENco, EP and Speech Therapist and with instructions from me as to what to highlight off they went. I am currently waiting for the report to come back, but it doesn't sound good. The consultant has agreed that yes Aled does show autistic qualities, however, the fact that Aled is able to show affection makes him reluctant to give a diagnosis and he thinks that Aled might grow out of it!
Neil pointed out to the consultant that we (us and the SENco) are concerned about how he will cope when he goes up to Year 1 in September if he doesn't have the help he needs and the consultant replied that maybe we should give it a term to see how he is. I was so angry when hubby told me this!! To me that is like the old fashioned attitude of 'chuck them in the deep end and see if they can swim!' The consultant did show concern of Aled's tick's and did say that we do need to keep an eye on that, as it could develop into full blown tourette's.
He did mention a test that can be done to check for autism and that if I really wanted, I can request for this to be done. He said that if it does transpire that Aled has autism, in his opinion it would only be a mild form. I have decided that I am going to wait for the full report to come back and will then seek the advise of the SENco as to what our next step should be.
So, all in all, we do have the support of the school and the EP, but not the consultant. We have our first appointment with the Occupational Therapist in a few weeks, so will see how that goes.