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At the beginning of the year I wasn’t sure what was next writing wise. I wanted to focus more on the kids, our goals and further development. It’s extraordinary how things worked out with Covid-19. Lockdown and restrictions enabled us to spend more quality time together.

As hard as this year has been in many ways, as I look back, I’m actually blown away.

Yes, home schooling was difficult, we weren’t able to go on our planned holidays or see family and friends but achieving long term goals and witnessing progress first hand has been priceless.

After overcoming initial anxieties, we were pleasantly surprised with how well both kids adapted and coped with constant change. They responded positively to basic repetitive verbal reinforcement and visual schedules.

Conversation skills have developed especially over regular facetime calls with family and friends.

We’ve conquered our long term co-sleeping dependence issue that at one stage seemed un achievable.

We exercised more and thoroughly enjoyed our outside time kicking balls, shooting goals and playing games.

Increased independence, chores around the home and unaccompanied play dates have also been achieved.

The overwhelming highlight for me would have to be overseeing Madi’s online therapy and watching her learn and excel right in front of me.

A one-word appropriate answer to a question has transformed into a sentence and then extended into a full-on conversation! Coming from a child that was pretty much non-verbal to where she is today is phenomenal.

She’s learnt to talk about her hobbies and all the things she loves to do. Tell us about her day and activities for the week. She’s also learnt to recognise more emotions and helpful tools and relaxation techniques.

It’s been surreal to see improvement literally every session and be an active part of it all. The transition from therapy into the home was made so much easier by participating in regular sessions together.

For any parent but especially autism parents progress is everything. To witness improvement after seeing your child struggle for so long is so rewarding.

It feels like all the years of hard work are really starting to pay off and we seriously could not be happier.

It’s an incredible feeling to tick boxes off and encouraging to look forward to the next step.

I know this year has been tough on so many but honestly for us it’s probably been one of our best.

2020 will be remembered for so many reasons, a year we’ll all never forget.

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