Jordan’s school journey has been an odd one. Ever since he was a baby I knew he was different, he acted differently to other children. As a small baby he was content and never cried. I remember asking the health visitors if he was OK, as he never cried, she told me not to say it too loud as the other mothers would lynch me. He ran before he could work, he literally ran across the room one day and that was it. He hated the pushchair and liked to be free. His energy was always plentiful, and when Brooke was born that didn’t change. He was 23 months when she was born, he was an adventurous toddler who wanted to do everything and be into everything. I was a young parent too, and I had bags of energy to keep up with him.
It was only when I was at a health visitors meeting yet again that something was highlighted. Someone had walked into the door, Jordan had seized this opportunity to make a break for it. He ran out of the door, I was stood with a naked baby Brooke getting her weighed. The health visitor ran after him, and eventually she came back. ‘He ran across two roads without a care in the world’ she said. ‘He has no fear’ she carried on, ‘He wouldn’t stop’. Then the words ‘I think we should get him referred for ADHD’ were spoken. I told them he was just excitable and sometimes a little naughty. I didn’t want him referred and labelled. He just needed discipline, he needed teaching right and wrong.
Fast forward a few years and he was starting reception in primary school. I had picked the school carefully, it had the bet Ofsted report. He had been in private nursery for a few years before school, I honestly didn’t think there would be a problem. But maybe that’s because he was my first child, I knew no different. Within just a few days the school teacher called me in and asked not to bring him back the next day. ‘He just won’t sit still’ she said, ‘I put him on the naughty chair and he keeps getting off.’ I was at a loss, they offered no support, just told me not to bring him back. ‘Maybe home would be the best place, we can’t deal with him’, so I made it my mission to get him the education I knew he needed.
I had just moved house, and the first school was a 30 minute drive, so I rang the local one and asked them if I could look around. I decided not to tell them of the problems, I wanted them to make up their own mind about him. If they highlighted a problem then I knew there was a problem. So just a few weeks after his first school he was at a second school. In just a few days the school teacher called me in, I was expecting them to tell me to take him away. They didn’t, they told me that they were having problems, they said they wanted permission to refer him for more help. They explained if they got more help then they could help him more. It was then that I relented, my boy needed an education, he needed help.
He was diagnosed with ADHD a few months later, and a few months after that we were in the office of a team of specialists being handed leaflets and a sheet with a diagnosis of Autism. It didn’t come as a shock, I didn’t get upset, it was just Jordan, he was my boy and the diagnosis was just to get him the help he needed.
Since that day he has had more help in school. He has had highs and lows, we’ve had every type of behaviour possible from him. I’ve changed as a parent in so many ways over the years, I’ve been grumpy mum, strict mum, fun mum and just lately chilled mum. I want him to be open with me, I want him to know I’m not there to just discipline him. He is the most kind and caring boy, he loves his brother and sisters. He is an amazing artist and everyday he amazes me more and more.
So he starts secondary school next September, and that brings even more worries. He has no friends, he doesn’t walk to school alone. Will he be bullied? I am going to be spending the next 11 months to help him grow up a little, let him become a tween. My boy is growing up and I can’t stop it, it’s my job to help him, guide him and be there for him.
I love you Jordan.