Happy Birthday Jelly.
It is hard to imagine that this is actually the fifth birthday we have celebrated with you. You have been with us forever, and longer. And whilst you are still short in stature you absolutely make up for it in character.
When you giggle, the whole world giggles with you. There is nothing more joy filled than that sound. When something amuses you, you let everyone know. You are loud and busy and happy. Despite been 2 years delayed compared to your class, you are liked within the classroom and those girls, they just pander to your every want.
You love animals more than anything, although trains come a close second. You play with your farm more than virtually anything else. You cuddle your teddies each night on some weird rotation that only you understand, but you are very clear on whose turn it is next. You still carry little (not tiny) pig to school each day; and bring him home each evening. You would love a guinea pig, but make do with a dog and two gerbils and part shares in your Granny’s two dogs.
This year we have managed to convince someone, somewhere that you need help with your sensory issues. You cannot cope with water on your head, even now washing your hair sounds like murder. You cannot cope with loud noises (unless they are yours), you feel best sitting or laying on the floor. I was really glad when the CAHMS lady asked your teacher to consider what she needed from an activity; that if she needed you to sit in a chair to actually give you a task you could complete, and if it was a difficult task to let you ground yourself by lying on the floor.
Actually that is a point, you have an amazing awareness of your sensory situation. You know exactly what you need and how long for. The ladies at CAHMS are in awe of your sensory awareness considering all the other issues you have going on.
Behaviour and frustration are still a big issue. Sadly, you are still prone to lash out when you are cross, or throw something (most spectacularly a pair of scissors across the room). Thankfully we are all learning about what you can and can’t cope with, and that includes school, so they have changed things for you, so that you find it easier. We no longer have tears every day at the thought of school. And school haven’t mentioned finding a new school for you (for when you go into KS2) for a month or two.
You, me and Dad all saw a geneticist on Friday. He was convinced that you have some issues with your genes, although there are no chromosomal markers, there are lots of physical signs of genetic disorders. We are waiting for a letter to see ‘what next’ for you.
Your life isn’t easy; you have your own challenges to deal with, alongside living with a brother with significant attachment difficulties and ARND/FASD. When he is raging, it can be a challenge to keep you safe as more than anything you want to comfort him. And you get your comfort from us, you want cuddles and back strokes and gentle words, and you cannot understand that your brother can’t cope with those things. That he needs presence, but no more.
You are more verbal this birthday than last; and you have your own ideas and opinions. In no way can we say you are a typically 6 year old, but you are your own person and people like you for being you.