As wonderful and rewarding it is to be a parent there are many trials and tribulations when you are the parent of a child who has complex needs. From the first realisation that something is different to the trying to establish what that different is, can be a massive struggle. Diagnosis can be so difficult.
Sarah is mum to Thomas who has been coming along to SNAPS for nearly 3 years. Thomas is 6 and at 2 and a half, he was diagnosed with GDD (Global development delay). GDD is the general term used to describe a condition that occurs during the developmental period of a child between birth and 18 years. For Thomas, this means that he has trouble communicating with others and has a hard time understanding his emotions. This has a knock on effect to his relationship with his family and Thomas often finds it frustrating as he cannot always convey what he feels.
Sarah believes that Thomas also is on the Autistic spectrum but getting a diagnosis for Thomas has proved a slow process. A letter was written to paediatrics in July of last year and referral for assessment has still not been made. Sarah’s endeavour to find a diagnosis for Thomas has been supported by ZigZag and Cluster support but without a referral, Thomas continues to be supported without an actual diagnosis.
Thomas is now awaiting one to one sessions with a TAMHS (Targeted Mental Health in Schools) worker and Sarah is hoping that after these sessions a referral to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service ) will be made. However, this is still no guarantee that Thomas will receive a further diagnosis.
SNAPS does not require a child to have a particular diagnosis in order to support them. SNAPS is family and child led in their approach which means that children like Thomas can be somewhere in which he feels comfortable. He comes to SNAPS as it is a safe environment where he can play and swim and have his development monitored by health professionals. Sarah continues to fight for Thomas and also continues to bring him along to SNAPS where he is a much loved, if not much louder member of our SNAPS family. If you have a similar story and would like to share it please contact firstname.lastname@example.org