I really haven't blogged very much at all in the last few months, running-related blogs being the exception. I suppose running has taken over quite a bit, butt that's not a bad thing at all. Running has become a passion and a way of life now, something I never thought I would hear myself say! Not only is it something for me, something that I love, but by running the Great North Run I have now raised (including Gift Aid) just over £1000 for Ambitious about Autism. And I shall add to that - I have a number of challenges in the year ahead, not least that I shall be running the London Marathon in April 2014!
This is what next year will entail:
and I am doing it all for Ambitious about Autism.
But, to go back to the lack of blogging recently, I suppose there's quite a lot to catch up on. First of all, is how completely brilliantly J has been doing. Back to school last month was just incredible. I braced myself for the return of the anxiety in the last part of the summer holidays, but it never happened. The first day of term I walked him in to school and he had a huge smile on his face. No worries, no tears. And considering that this time last year he was only able to cope with an hour a day at school on a one to one basis, this is no mean feat to say the very least! I'm so hugely proud of him.
We are also looking at the next step, and that is secondary school. At first I was full of dread in having to deal with this transition. For someone who thrives on routine and familiarity, the change from a small primary school to a big, busy, noisy secondary school will be far from easy for J. But I'm starting to see that there may be a lot of positives. I think that secondary school will mean that he will be able to meet more like minded people. There will definitely be others who have ASD at secondary school, whereas so far J hasn't met anyone else on the spectrum. There will be more that he is interested in - science club, cookery club, computer club. We had already picked out the secondary school that we thought would be the best to meet his needs, and this week was their open evening. J absolutely loved it. He was quite quiet to start with, but as soon as we got to the science labs he was joining in with the experiments, and having a brilliant time. It made me so happy to see. He was able to cope with the new surroundings, the noise, the business of it all, the unfamiliar people. There will be a long transition process to make sure he is as familiar as possible with his new school by the time next September rolls around, but the fact that he seems genuinely excited about going there is a huge step. I think the next chapter will be an exciting one, and one that may be the best possible thing that could happen for J.
As a comparison to this time last year, the school harvest festival was a couple of weeks ago. Last year J went but found it too hard and had to leave after about 10 minutes. This year he casually mentioned a couple of days before that he had been asked to do a reading. So in front of the whole school, and all of the parents, that's exactly what he did. He walked up the steps to the font, did his reading, and gave me a huge smile and a thumbs up afterwards. What a star.
And if that wasn't enough good news, I am the very proud owner of a brand new baby nephew. His name is Harry and, as you can see, he is one handsome little dude.