There are many things that make Z happy – being outdoors, numbers and letters, and his iPad. He loves to listen to opening music on his iPad whilst spelling lots of words, or doing sums on the floor.

When we're outdoors he loves the open space. He loves to run and climb, he loves the swings and he loves to jump in the sea and play in the sand.

When we're at the beach we see other children playing in the sand with their buckets and spades. Z is happy using his hands or rolling in it! At first I had the attitude ‘no, we do this’, but that isn't what makes him happy. If the feel of sand in his hands makes him happy, who am I to say no? He'll quite happily sit in the sea splashing the waves as they hit him!

Yes of course I get the looks, I get the ‘you’re mad’ comments, but Z is happy – and isn't that really all that matters? I can change wet clothes – if it means Z is enjoying himself for 30 minutes, I'll let him do it.

I think he gets a lot of sensory feedback from the wet and dry sand going between his fingers. The same goes for swings, the netted swings where he can lay and look at the floor whilst getting higher. We recently tried him on a few fairground rides. The faster they went the more he laughed and giggled!

Jo is mum to Z, nearly four who was diagnosed with autism at 2 years 10 months. At the moment Z is still pre-verbal, he's starting to say the odd word, and his best friend is George our Chihuahua. They both love to go for walks and play in the water! - Read more of Jo's blogs at First Time Valley Mam