Sunday 7 November 2021

A story about a boy named L

 This is a story about a boy named L. Yes, our L.

A boy who at the age of three and a half received an Autism diagnosis, which began a series of changes for him.

Prior to receiving L's Autism diagnosis, life was difficult for L. Whenever we attempted to raise concerns about L and how we thought that he was different from other children his age, our concerns were brushed off by early childhood educators and various medical professionals. We were told that L was just being a boy, that he was just a naughty child, that it was our parenting skills to blame for L's differences and everything in between.

L struggled to maintain friendships with children his age. We regularly heard other parents tell their own children, in ear shot of us, don't play with L because he is a naughty boy.

Then we received L's Autism diagnosis and everything made sense. He made a wonderful friend in Master H. L began early intervention therapy. L started school and he began to hit milestones and overcome obstacles.

When we moved back to Queensland, we made the decision to keep L back in Prep - in effect he would do two years of Prep (the first year of primary school,) as he had already completed the prep equivalent in Western Australia. We've made a few brilliant decisions for L thus far, and going back into Prep was definitely one of them.

He had another year of the foundation skills needed in primary school and has not looked back.

L has overcome many obstacles to get where he is today.

Late Thursday afternoon, one of the Special Education Teachers at school rang me to say that the school had nominated L for a Courage award and were we able to attend the award ceremony on Sunday morning.

The Lions Club gives out Children of Courage awards to children who have shown courage in overcoming challenges that they encounter, achieving goals and so on. The awards were established in 1983 in WA and were introduced to the Bribie District in 2002.

We're so very proud of everything that L has achieved so far and we know that his future is extremely bright.

The Lions Club also gave Henry a Courage award for assisting L on a daily basis ❤❤

By the time the awards were being presented, L had entered into shutdown due to the noise echoing in the hall and the fact that there was a lot of focus on L and the six other children receiving the awards, hence O being in the photos as she was being the amazing big sister that she is in supporting L.

Mrs S just had to have a photo with Henry.

The Lions Club president, Michael, and Mrs Brooke Savage, our local councillor.

Every step so far, L has had us behind him, encouraging him. And we couldn't have done this without the amazing support team around him and us. His therapy team (Tara, Katie, Kira) in Western Australia, the amazing teachers (Mrs S, Mrs A and Mrs S) and support staff (Mrs DS and Mrs S) at the school that he attended in Western Australia. The parents of the children that he formed strong friendships with in Western Australia - you know who you are. The early childhood educators and OSHC staff who not only believed in L's capabilities but also encouraged him to step outside of his comfort zone - Stevie, Sharon, Jess, Katie, Dannii, Alisha, Beth, Kayla, Dan, Emily. Zaim - L's support worker who was just amazing. The teaching staff (Miss L, Miss E, Miss P and Mrs S) and the support staff (Miss K, Miss J, Miss A, Miss B and Mrs H) at his current school as well as all of the staff behind the scenes at school. Thank for believing in L and for encouraging him to reach for the stars.

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