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One Family's Story

Finlay was born in August 2006. He was a healthy baby apart from the dreaded colic! He met all his milestones and once over the colic was a generally happy baby who ate and slept well.

We first noticed small issues when he was around 18 months old. He didn't really like loud noises and being around groups of people. His speech was delayed but we were reassured with comments such as "he's a boy", "he will talk when he's ready" & "your sister didn't speak properly until she was 4" so we weren't overly concerned.

Another red flag was whilst taking him to a regular weekly baby music group. Sometimes he would wander off and be more interested in playing with the doors instead of joining in with the group activities.

He very much liked playing on his own. This was very apparent on taking him to baby groups, he didn't like to join in very much and was wary of other children.

At around the age of 2.5 years, we decided to confide in our local health visitor about Finlay's delayed speech and language and his lack of wanting to engage with other children. She put us in touch with our local NHS speech therapy service where we attended a weekly group session. The therapist gave us activities to practice at home & then referred us to see a paediatrician.

Finlay was observed by another speech therapist and also by an educational psychologist and reports were submitted. In June 2009, at a meeting with the paediatrician we were told Finlay was on the autistic spectrum. In a way we were lucky, as it was only 4 months from raising concerns to receiving a diagnosis.

As you would expect it was quite a devastating and very emotional time. As a parent, the last thing you want is for your child to be different from the norm or face challenges in their development.

However, we were very lucky to access a specialist pre-school as well as mainstream nursery where Finlay made great progress. Early intervention is key and we put a lot of time and energy into researching the best ways to support Finlay to help him achieve the best he possibly can!

Finlay is currently a happy & content 8 year old with a great sense of humour who is doing really well at school.

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