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Can’t believe the summer holidays are over already or that Henry’s school uniform is laid out on his bedroom floor ready for him to put on tomorrow. The further Henry progressed on the Son-Rise Program we have thought about and talked about the possibility of Henry going to school but it was so hard to imagine it actually happening and now it is about to! Bridget, our fantastic volunteer and friend, who has been with us from the beginning, always said this day would come even when I struggled to see that far, which was quite alot! Well Bridget, you were right! Thank you forward believing so much. X

Henry has changed so much and this summer holiday I have really noticed a massive difference in his attitude, demeanour and personality. He is so much more flexible and calm. But there is something else that I cannot quite explain properly but it is something to do with how ‘natural’ he is. How naturally he speaks, converses and acts. It really is a joy to watch and behold! I think me and wawrwick have both been in awe of him. His speech has come on so much and he seems to be able to talk spontaneously with ease and seems to be using many more connectives and talking in much fuller and complex sentences. He made jokes and although he is struggling with our sarcastic sense of humour and doesn’t like jokes where he is the subject and takes it very much to heart, he is able to get over his upset very quickly!

I thought about our first holiday to France in 2009 a lot while we were away. When we decided that we should try for a holiday again after not going anywhere for a few years because it was just not an option, we left with great apprehension after doing a lot around holidays and travelling and boats in the playroom. Henry did do really well and we had a lovely holiday but I could see a real difference in how we all interacted. In 2009, despite having a really lovely time, we were still doing everything around Henry. One of us would be with the girls while the other one was with Henry, generally scouring rockpools for hours or emptying sand out of his shoes after every step he took because he hated the sand and wouldn’t walk barefoot. This time we really didn’t need to do anything different for Henry and we were able to do everything together. This isn’t to say that Henry copes with everything, particularly when he isn’t getting exactly what he wants, but I think me and Warwick are much different in our attitude and this really helps Henry but also that he is able to regulate himself so much better. It really is amazing. On holiday he only crawled under the table once and I was easily able to comfort him, especially as now he tells you what is wrong virtually all the time.

Henry coped so well with the tent and going to the toilet and shower blocks and even all the rain and thunder storms and life without the x-box, although we did have the iPad so he didn’t totally go ‘cold turkey’! The only thing he struggled with was missing Beau, our dog! On the first day all he talked about was Beau and how long till we saw her again and thank goodness, this did get less but at least once every day he said ‘I miss beau’! He was extremely glad to see her again when we got home!

I know that he is ready for his next challenge, and that we are ready to face our new challenges as and when they present themselves. We are by no means thinking we are done. As we have said many times we have so many people to thank for making this possible. A special mention to all our team, past and present, who have given up their time and stretched themselves in so may different ways. They should be so proud of themselves for making such a difference. Thank you!

When I said goodnight to him I told him how proud I was of him and how well he has done in his little life. Don’t know if he realises what I mean but he has fought so hard to be where he is, sometimes literally! It all feels totally surreal at the moment, can’t imagine how it will feel tomorrow when I get him ready and send him through those doors! (Luckily we are comforted by the fact that his 1-1 support is one of our lovely volunteers, hopefully he’ll remember to call her ‘Mrs Towers’, this has been making him smile!)

In France we took the children to eurodisney, ‘the place where dreams come true’. For us the real dream has been coming true every single day since we started off in the playroom 3 years and 7 months ago and have got closer and closer to our little boy as he emerged from himself. Thinking of all our other families in their playrooms all around the world, the real place where dreams can come true and wishing Henry lots of fun and happiness at school. As Marlin tells Nemo in one of Henry’s favourite films: ‘Go have an adventure Son’. X


  1. Sarah Reindl
  2. Dave Taylor
  3. Penny kay

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