To send autistic DC1 to nursery 5 days a week?(23 Posts)
He loves it there- the staff are great. He has not had a diagnosis yet but it’s quite clear he will. I think it will be high functioning. I am due to have another baby in the next fortnight and struggling. It would help me massively- I just worry it’s too much for an ASD child and I’m doing him a disservice? Can any mums of autistic children advise me please?
How often does he go now?
A big jump from, say, two days to five, might be tricky for him, but a steady increase could work, especially if he loves it.
I would if he loves it but be mindful of him coping
As others have said, maybe build him up to it if possible, and be prepared to change the arrangement at short notice if he struggles. I have a son with severe ASD and there was no nursery locally that could cope with his needs: he was at home with me 'til he started school. His teacher started him off gradually and he was full time and coping brilliantly very quickly. I think having other children around him and learning to share and interact with others will do your son the power of good. Obviously his needs are paramount, but make sure to take care of YOUR needs too: if you are happy then you will be able to focus on helping him and making a happy family.
If he loves it, if he and the nursery can cope, then yes. But keep a close eye on things and monitor how it’s going daily. He will need time with you to understand how the family dynamics change when he has a sibling too, and support.
I was going to say YANBU. Needs must and working full time is a necessity for most.
But if you're having a baby in a fortnight presumably you're not at work for at least the next 3 months?
If that's the case, I would look at the amount of time you have before you have to go to back 5 days and build his nursery time up slowly over those months until he is reaching the full 5 days just before you need him to.
All 3 of mine are autistic and Nursery has been a game changer for the younger two. They built up over a few weeks from 3 mornings to 5 mornings (my mum was seriously ill and I needed to be able to care for her) and with the right support from switched on Nursery staff they have absolutely thrived!
Can you speak to the Nursery about starting a transition from 2 to 5? It sounds like they’re receptive to his needs which is brilliant.
My son with high functioning ASD was in nursery full time and loved it because of the stricter routine (that I would really have struggled to give at home). If he's happy there I would go for it. My son obviously struggles socially but I do think that being around other children has helped him massively and he has learned lots of positive social skills from the other children in nursery. The nursery he was at did have lower staff:child ratios which helped him (and now he's in school he has 1:1 support). The staff were amazing with him and one of the nursery staff still babysits for us to this day as she just seems to get him. I have also found that it's really intense parenting a child with ASD and if I didn't have that break from him I would've been a much worse parent because of it.
Just be mindful of the impact a new baby will have on him regardless of whether he's in nursery full time or not. I found that having a younger sibling really unsettled him and actually nursery offered him the stability and structure he needed at a time of total disruption. The time we did then have together could be more heavily focused on him and his needs because I was also getting time with just the new baby.
Good luck with the birth and whatever you do decide to do.
5 full days a week? To coincide with the arrival of a new baby? No I wouldn't, he'll feel totally pushed out.
If he can cope then deff do it.
If been at nursery where we have had children with autism that effected in a big way. They have thrived and have a very good relationship with the staff.
If the nursery are good at catering for his needs then you will both benifit
Thanks everyone- he is there 5 days a week at the moment , all day Monday and Tuesday and then until lunch on other 3 days. TBH bringing him home for lunch is exhausting when he could have it there and he gets a bit confused when they set the tables and he’s not staying. We have agreed to me picking him up just after lunch so he doesn’t get too tired in 3 out of 5 days.
Not going back to work at the moment but i be recovering fr a c section and looking after a new baby. Hopefully he’ll be able to bond etc in the afternoons although I’m expecting regression and issues so I’m not disappointed.
It’s only an extra hour and 3/4 on 3 days out of 5.
I actually think that he could benefit from it, not feel pushed out. If you put it to him as something special “just for him” and he enjoys it!
Barbarian- it will start before baby arrives so hopefully he won’t feel pushed out and as I said he’s already there 5 days just for a shorter time. I am Trying to tread carefully but also really struggling emotionally with having another just as I realise the extent of this one’s needs. I’m exhausted.
Any advice mums on how to introduce new baby to him? I’m terrified. I’ll be coming home from hospital with her and not sure if he should come with dad to collect us or I should bring her into house when he’s already there or he should come home from nursery to find her there? I know I should let someone else hold her/ carry her? Anything which helped you?
I would be telling him about the baby now. Using lots of "social stories" (borrow books from the local library and nursery). Do lots and lots of talking about the new baby. Talk about how babies cry. Talk about how Mummy (and Daddy) will be tired. Talk about the things he can do but baby won't be able to do. (And even if he is non-verbal still talk about it lots).
If he can cope with hospitals and is prepared for it, and wants to, then I would take him to collect the baby. But if it is the kind of thing to stress him out, then don't.
I would try to have your arms "baby free" when he first meets it. And introduce him to them in the cot. And if he can possibly/wants to - let him "hug baby" whilst sat in an arm chair or similar.
My babies always gave a "present" to the older ones, and received a little something the older one had chosen (even if it had to be "saved for later").
I’ve tried books and talking to him and he really shows no interest or understanding. I’ll keep trying but I just don’t think it’s sinking in?
entirely depends how he is coping and what support is available. some nurseries are great, some less so.
I have a child with severe low functioning autism and had to put her in nursery from early on as I am working I really wish I would have had the option to keep her at home as it did not do much good to her.
When DC2 came along and I was on mat leave, I actually took her out for the duration of my mat leave as I couldn't afford the nursery fees. It was a tough year for me but she was so much more happy and settled at home.
I would give it a go and see how you he gets on but if it is causing more stress for him, I'd take him out.
It may not seem to sink in, but you have to persevere. I would also talk to nursery - so they can at least ask him if he's looking forward to being a big brother etc. Also get him involved in things such as sorting baby clothes (even if he sorts them by colour rather than size or purpose). show him pictures of himself as a baby. Point out babies when he is out.
But a lot depends on your son. Does he cope with loud noises? Can he cope with crying? Is he interested in babies or other people? What about smells? Can he cope with supermarkets? or Hospitals? Is he affected by lighting? What is your hospital like? (As to visit to suss out if your son could cope.) Will you be in for several days?
Does he have other "safe people" in his life?
And don't be surprised if he is totally non-interested, is very interested or only notices the baby after several months.
Re introducing the baby:
You know those books where you order them so that the main character’s name is your child’s name? Sorry I’ve forgotten what they’re called! If you can find one about a kid getting a younger sister and explain this book is about him, then he might get it a bit more. At the moment the idea is this massive abstract concept to him (and the story about some other kid getting a sibling is probably a bit dull 😁).
Does he like planning things? Like if you were to present him with the problem ‘we need to get a present for the baby, what should we get?’ would he be into that? If you could make it so he was excited to give the baby a present that would be a good start.
Thanks everyone but he really is not able to sort baby clothes with me or plan. I got him a doll and nappies and it was just thrown on the floor. He is not at all interested in babies and other children. He is under sensitive if anything to loud noises and enjoyed the recent fireworks. He is however a scratcher and also tends to want to bounce on beds and throw himself over my shoulder and things like that so I worry. He also still breastfeeds for comfort ( suckles) which is awful for me but the only thing to comfort him when he’s hurt or overwhelmed so I’m planning to let him continue that for a bit in tandem with baby. I know you’ll think I’m mad but it’s the only tool to work in difficult times.
I’ve talked d to nursery and they said they’d get me some picture sequences to help him but we’ll see if they do. I’m just so worried about everything and because of that I’m worried about bonding with baby.
If he enjoys it then why not? Being around other children, if it's not causing him too much anxiety, will only help him.
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