Hello everyone I know this is a trivial question on a very sad day but what are people's experiences of portage .i received a letter today saying my daughter aged three who has autism and learning difficulties has reached the top of the list for portage as Ididnt know I was on a list for it this was a lovely surprise but I was wondering what peles experiences of portage were.
Portage stops at 3 here, but actually I think that it should be carried on to when they start school if necessary. I've done Portage twice. First time 11 years ago and it was brilliant, so helpful to help me learn how to play with DD as I was so bewildered with all the shitty medical stuff I was doing with her that I didn't enjoy her that first year. When I had DS4 I self referred as I realised when he was 18mos that we needed help as I rightly suspected that he had ASD. Portage worker was great, cued into his likes and dislikes engineered learning objectives around the likes, helped me with his DLA and wrote a brilliant report for his Stat Assessment disagreeing with the ed psych about the autism. She really championed his corner and was a tremendous support to me. Do it. You won't regret it.
It amounted to a nice lady listening to me tell her our worries about DS while we drank tea. It was a nice chat, not very helpful on practice terms though. Maybe that was because we didn't have a diagnosis at the time.
Portage is amazing for ds. He is very, very clingy and can be extremely wary of strange surroundings and other people. Therapists struggle to engage with him because he wants to spend the whole session curled up in my lap with his head buried in my chest, any attempts at interaction end in screaming hysteria. But our lovely, patient portage worker, visits us every weeks and has built up a real rapport with him. She has helped him to play with toys (he really showed no interest in toys for a long, long time), and now gets him to focus on one toy, she has helped him point, and sign, and implemented activities that physio, ot and salt have recommended. But most importantly he smiles when she comes in and laughs at her jokes and lets her touch him and he will actually turn away from me to play with her. This is huge.
She has also been wonderful for me, giving advice and support and talking through stuff about preschools and schools. I'll be a bit lost when it finishes.
I havent found ours so great in terms of engaging my DD. She seems to have a set repertoire and its not one my girl takes to. But shes been a good source of support in terms of info on benefits, getting us into an SN group with a lot of facilities and is now helping us make decisions and visits to special schools and nurseries.
Portage was brilliant for my DS2. She did things with him that I would never have thought of doing with him eg playing with foam when he was 1 and couldn't sit up yet. She also helped me set up a support group for other parents. I remember DS1 cheerfully telling her "I'm so glad it's you and not (insert name of social worker)" when she came round once .
Portage was great for my DS, who has CP. We had a lovely worker who was really helpful. She helped DS get settled into preschool and made the referral to an EP to start the statementing process. DS used to get excited about her visits, which was sweet. He used to go and sit at his little table and clear a space for her toys when he heard the doorbell x
Portage for DS1 who had CP, don't know how much she "physically" helped but was great for support, advice and general chat & DS loved her. She was also HV assistant & was present at some of the surestart groups we attended so we saw her outside of portage as well.
She also came to see me when DS2 had behaviour issues (not as portage but HV support) and referred him for further assessment & eventually was diagnosed as ASD.
Awww feel all sentimental about portage worker now......she was great!