Skip to main content

Conners Questionnaire

Conners Questionnaire for Autism assessment.


Ryan saw the Paediatric Team for the first time on Wednesday 12 November 2008, two days after his 7th birthday. The paediatrician we saw was the first person to take me seriously and agreed that we had a right to be concerned about Ryan’s development and mental health to date.

That day was the first time that the term Autism was used officially. The paediatrician made an urgent referral to the Educational Psychologist team, gave me a bunch of questionnaires to complete and some that the school needed to do and off we toddled with a further appointment for 6 months time. 

I make this episode sound light, but it really wasn't. We had spent over an hour with the Paediatrician who had taken an in-depth history of our lives thus far (fortunately I had kept diaries which really helped answering the myriad of questions). The reason I make this sound light hearted was simply because of the relief we felt that we were finally being taken seriously. Remember I had first raised my concerns when Ryan was only a year old. To fight for something you so strongly believe in for 6 solid years zaps so much energy you have to sound light hearted otherwise you would simply implode.

Equality is not the same a justice.
Equal is different to justice.

Mental Health

After the appointment and over the next 6 weeks up to the end of the year, Ryan did not complete a full week in school. He tried to climb the school gates that needed 3 staff members to eventually get him down. He ransacked the reception classroom twice. Locked himself into the school toilet, I was called and had to unpick the lock to free him, but he bolted and attempted to scale the school wall this time taking 2 members of staff and myself to get him down.

Ryan said his only friend in the world is his imaginary friend Cheese. Cheese lived with us for several years in fact. On 10th December 2008, the School then lost Ryan. He was eventually found by a year 5 pupil hiding in a small cupboard under the stage area in the school hall. He proceeded to fight with another pupil and was excluded once again. Would someone care to count how many exclusions his has had so far please and let me know. Thanks.

To top the year off Ryan bolted from the house on Boxing Day 2008, threatening to kill himself and headed straight for the main road. From that day forward all doors and windows had to be kept locked and keys hidden. Home became a prison on lock-down. No-one visited and we couldn't take Ryan out. It simply wasn't worth the meltdowns.  

We were not living, we were simply existing.  Owen in all this was the possibly the most affected. The teachers used to call him out of class in school to 'deal with his brother'. We could not go out as a family.  His own activities were often disrupted. He couldn't have friends over to play. Life is incredibly unfair to the siblings of Autistic children.  They have to stand on the sidelines, often in the shadows while their brother or sister 'gets all the attention' and a totally different set of rules. Trying to explain the complexities of Social Justice to Owen at 9 years old was as frustratingly hard as trying to deal with Ryan's meltdowns. 

The blog post Everybody is Different talks about Owen's point of view. 


Popular Posts

Missing Education due to Illness

The Importance of Attendance If you read any news articles on education, correspondence from your child’s school, or are simply clued up on parenting then you will know the importance of school attendance. Schools place a great deal of focus on targets and will often offer incentives and competitions to encourage and increase attendance figures, but what if your child has a serious illness. What happens if they really are not well enough to attend school. What happens then? Attendance targets at Ryan's school are currently set at 95% attendance for the school year. Therefore realistically your child can only miss 10 school days due to illness. Medical appointments such as GP or Dentist do not count, but you are encouraged to make these appointments outside of the school day where feasibly possible. If your child consistently misses school, even if it is only one day a week, that equates to 39 days over the school year. Even missing one day in a week results in pressure on the

Questions to ask after Cancer diagnosis

Cancer Sucks I have shared with you Ryan's lymphoma journey where we have talked about the ups, the downs, the protocols for drugs, the side effects, but I realised recently I have never shared the questions. This post is all about what to ask when you receive a diagnosis of cancer. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is never ever going to be seen as good news. It can never be dressed up or made pretty. It is devastating, it is gut-wrenching, it is life-changing. There is so much information to process you will not think of the questions you need to ask or you will have hundreds of questions you want to ask all at once. These are just some of the questions you can ask once you have processed the news, in order to gain a better understanding of your fight ahead. General Information What type of cancer do I have? Where is it located? What are the risk factors for this disease? Is this type of cancer caused by genetic factors? Are other members of my family at risk? What lifestyle c

Chemotherapy Cycle 5

What is Normal? With this being our penultimate cycle of chemotherapy I have had several family and friends comment to me “oh I bet you can't wait to get back to normal”. This has really thrown and upset me because it seems to come across that they have failed to comprehend the fact that we have 2-3 years of maintenance ahead and at least two more general anaesthetic surgeries. Not to mention physiotherapy as it is expected Ryan will take 12+ months to heal from the effects of being poisoned from the inside out. Normal is long way off yet. While everyone else appears to all be getting excited that Ryan is coming to an end of his chemotherapy protocol treatment, Ryan himself is becoming more and more tired with the cumulative effect of the onslaught of the chemotherapy drugs and is spending long periods of time in hospital after each cycle with infections due to his impaired immune system now as a result. Ryan is far from excited. Ryan is exhausted. We still have one more cycle t

Worrying About the Future

  Worrying About the Future. Ryan said to me recently. "Childhood gave me Autism. My teens gave me cancer. What will adulthood bring?" Big worries for someone so young. So much pressure and conditioning are placed upon us about the importance of education and the set path that the majority of us will take through the system to university and/or the job market. What happens if you do not follow that path or miss so much education that the path is no longer open to you. How do you plan for the future? What options are there available to you? Ryan was excluded from his primary school in year 2 and I home schooled him for a year while we worked with the Educational Psychologist to find a placement that would suit his complex needs at the time. Due to his speech, language and communication difficulties the decision was made to withdraw him from Welsh-medium education and focus on English only which meant our choices were limited in the area of Wales that we call home. We


Emergency Surgery On the morning of 25 October 2016 Ryan was complaining that his PEG feeding tube was unbearably painful. He was due for a review anyway that day at Velindre Cancer Centre and a PEG specialist nurse came for to look at Ryan. She said the site was a bit weepy and raw, she thinks he possibly caught or pulled it in the night. She is confident that it is fine and she also gave it another good clean.  A week on and we are back to square one. The district nurse came out on Monday 31 October 2016 to advance (turn) the PEG tube as is needed each week after the first month. The nurse was unable to move the disc and caused Ryan an incredible amount of pain. We ended up having to go to the Teenage Cancer Trust ward in Cardiff, where two gastro nurses met us and spent the best part of an hour, torturing Ryan while they 'forced' the PEG to move, which they eventually did. Or so they thought.  The following week, 7 November 2016, the district Nurse came again to the h