I needed help to support my son Michael and to understand why he was having problems at school. The Depute Head Teacher was leaving but she contacted Gerry our Local Area Co-ordinator to see if she could help us.
Doctors could not agree about why Michael had difficulties. They suggested ADHD, autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. We did not understand what they were telling us but Gerry helped to make sense of it all.
Gerry helped us to prepare for school meetings and medical appointments. She made sure we were fully involved and that everyone listened to us. If we did not understand what people were saying at these meetings she made sure it was clearly explained.
I started to read books which could help me understand Michel’s difficulties. We used some of the ideas in the books to help Michael.
Gerry met with my family and staff at Michael’s school. We made an ’About Me Book’. This gives information about Michael and about what he likes and dislikes. It also tells what is important to him and how he communicates. Everyone who is involved with Michael knows about his “About Me Book”. I take it to all meetings and appointments.
Gerry introduced us to an organisation who provide information about Attention Deficit Disorders. They also have a support group for parents. They arranged a test for food allergies and now Michaels has some food supplements to help him. Gerry found out about youth clubs and activities in the area which Michael might like to join. She also helped us to complete a claim form for Disability Living Allowance.
We have built a level of trust with Gerry, so we are able to talk about things openly and honestly as a family. Michael says “Gerry helps me to behave better in the house and to have good manners. She helps sort things out for me at school”.
Things are slowly getting better for us all. I feel calmer within myself knowing that I have support. Gerry is at the end of a phone if things get bad.