Relief or Cry?

The family dramas of recent months have been decreasing, in terms of managing my son’s behaviour and my own emotions towards them, but still more issues than I would like. I still do not see it as the ‘crisis’ my son’s previous school was alluding to, although some may disagree, but he has handled things better than some people may have expected from him. However, the continual changes to his school timetable are not helping, and yes, I know there are issues at school that need to be dealt with and prevented, but what to do right now?

We eventually got an appointment to see a paediatrician for a second opinion, and they have said possibly my son has mild autism that needs to be assessed and investigated further. I don’t know how to react to that, feel relief or cry? I still don’t completely know what to think… Am I annoyed that a previous childminder was possibly right? No, as she said it in a really unhelpful way as I held long term suspicions, but was reassured by other health professionals I was over worrying and I don’t see how she said anything that was supportive or helpful, but came across that I had a child that was possessed, not just having difficulty communicating some of his feelings. Still onwards or upwards, as still a long road to travel down yet.

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ITS TIME THAT OFSTED PUT A STOP TO ILLEGAL EXCLUSIONS AGAINST CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

This blog is just so apt right now for us, thanks for writing it

A boy with Asperger's

Yesterday was a rather productive day.

Its a day that two years ago, I longed to see.

Yesterday was all about reaching out, creating awareness and getting heard.

It was those important factors above, and a few more besides that encouraged me on the given tasks I had been set. Tasks I thought would never happen but was now about to suddenly surface.

The task was that of sharing our story with the world.

Two years ago I felt as if no one would listen. I was able to successfully bring every aspect of our story to light and people would take notice… Every aspect but this one! Now I’d been given an opportunity to change this.

It all began when the charity “Contact A Family” sent me an email with an attached survey surrounding the topic of “Illegal exclusions from school” Of course I had a lot to say…

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Isolated

I never felt so alone dropping my son off at school this morning, to be honest I don’t normally do the school run, my mum has been filling in for me due to this reduced timetable for my son that the school has enforced. However, for the past couple of weeks I have been doing the Monday morning school run. My son was not overly keen to go to school this morning, but he went in without a struggle, although we have this usual routine of waving goodbye at the school classroom window before I leave through the school gates and I could see he was forcing himself to look happy. However, I hoped he would manage to cheer himself up. Considering he had an extra long weekend with us due to the school’s decision to close the school on Friday due to the wintry flurries, I thought that he had made a good effort and was trying.

To be honest I felt lost and alone as much as my son today, had Mum girly gangs swearing behind us in front of the children (probably don’t get half as much grief as we do), babies in arms and showing off barely there baby bumps, and well I just feel a million miles away from this. I don’t want to get involved either, just not bothered and do not fit in, but worry about my son fitting in. I try not to worry and carry on with my day, and get myself to work, but less than an hour into the school day his teacher calls me that they cannot cope with his behaviour again and he has been excluded from school again. My tether is threadbare and something is about to snap!

Back to School

Half term break is over with, am I glad it has come to an end? Yes and no really, I loved spending time with my son, but was running out of steam by the end of the week thinking about interesting things to do each day. To be honest we were so busy by the first half of the week, that we needed some downtime by the end of the break. In fact, after the first day back at school, my son has come back ill and cannot go to school for the second day, hope he feels well soon, it has been one chesty cough and cold after another since January. I also dreaded the meeting with his school about my son’s behaviour as soon as he went back, but I think my son was happy about the break we had and is looking forward to the next, although seems far away at the moment. He joined the line at the beginning of the day at school with the friend he has formed an attachment to and bumped into at Softplay during the school holidays. In fact our soft play day was the worse day for us of the holidays, never tried this soft play centre before as obviously we are new to the area, but was busy to be expected, because of school holidays and the weather was crap that day, but with over a 45 minute wait to get in, registration fee, expensive entry fees with paying for yourself to get in too, the experience was a bit of a let down. Facilities were not in the best state, complete carnage, mile long queues for food as well, a bit of a mess and got shouted at by another mother for grabbing a chair for my OH to sit at a table with us, the family at the adjacent table was leaving, but another family arriving was eying up the table although I had been stood there for 5 or 10 minutes next to it sorting our things out. Anyway we eventually moved as didn’t want to be sat next to a hostile family. The best part of that day was seeing my son bump into his new school friend and seeing them enjoying playing in the role play rooms, making the most of what I could just see as carnage and a state ha!

Going back to school issues, finally met the school Senco, and a language assessment has been done on my son and he is at the level where he is suppose to be for his age group. So, his issues are not down to a language delay, I am relieved, but never thought he had a language problem. However, he obviously finds it hard to communicate and deal with his anger and frustration issues, and after talking to his previous paediatrician she is sure in her opinion there are no medical issues behind his behaviour, although has helped us get him referred again in our new area for a second opinion. So, these settling in issues at school are frustrating and at a loss still, however, recent illness is not helping his attendance or progression. Yesterday he did have a good day, when he does return to school I hope he can keep up the good work. I have left images below of some of the best bits about our week off together.

Trip to The Postal Museum, London

Trip to The Postal Museum, London

Mail Rail, The Postal Museum, London

Sorted! Play area, The Postal Museum, London

Another adventure with Ted and Churchill

Meeting Robin Hood, Nottingham

Visit to the Kitty Cafe, Nottingham

Visit to the Kitty Cafe, Nottingham

Fortress Play Area, Nottingham Castle

Holidays

Half term holidays have begun, and to be honest the lead up to that hasn’t been great. We were hoping that my son would have started settling into his new school by now, but no, seems to have gone a step backwards and has got himself excluded for the second time round after having another emotional meltdown in their care, this time over he feels he was wrongly accused of hitting someone. Whether he hit someone or not, teacher says she didn’t witness it, but told him off anyway in her ‘we don’t hit’ kind voice apparently, I am not happy with the way it was handled. I cannot excuse his overreaction, but feel this needn’t have escalated in the way it did. Cannot see a paediatrician where we use to live anymore as they realise we are now out of area, so basically just left us to fend for ourselves. I put a complaint in, which consequently got them to pull their finger out and help us make two new referrals in our new area, one for a second opinion as the paediatrician thought he had no medical conditions such as autism. I don’t know whether he has, I agree that if he does it is not obvious. I suggested to the school as I was running around in circles at the time trying to get these referrals made that they can refer him themselves and they said they do not have enough evidence, which exasperates me, as they have enough evidence to cause us to take him home early twice and find it difficult to say something positive about my son’s time in school.

Beyond the school troubles, we are settling more into our new home and our son’s behaviour has started to calm down at home, as he was quite hyper and getting a bit disrespectful. We are continuing to go to a Gymnastics club here, which he is persevering with, it is quite different to his old one so he is getting use to it still. I think the old one was a better fit for him and he found the class structure more familiar, as there was a repetitive routine, with only slight changes. This one seems to be slightly different each week, plus there is less coaches and apparatus, but he surprises me and is giving it go, and wants to return, so that is the main thing. He loved the new local weekend playgroup, despite my partner hating it, but we are going back next weekend and my partner said he will try to be less grumpy hehe So what can I say we are not getting the behaviour that school experience with us, yes, he tests the boundaries every now and then, but not having destructive meltdowns with him and not seeing him be aggressive with other children in our care either, yes, he has less opportunity as he is our only, but we do take him to places where there are other children.

We started the half term by visiting a local farm, the sun was out, but was very cold still so we had to wrap up warm. However, he had a lovely time exploring all of what the farm had to offer.

Collage crafts at the farm

Crafts at Standalone Farm

Collage crafts at the farm

Crafts at Standalone Farm

Train ride

Play area at Standalone Farm

Action shot with daddy Sand pit fun

Sand pit fun in the sun

What a pair?

Baa!

Model railway

We look forward to having more fun together during our half term break and forget about any school troubles until our next meeting, groan!

Take care my lovelies

The last 2 weeks

So what can I say that I didn’t say the last time, new house is starting to take shape and getting more organised, but still have a fair way to go and well the garden, the less said the better, we will try to sort that out when it gets a bit warmer. Also doesn’t help that viruses have been spreading through my family like wild fire for the last 2 weeks.

My son’s behaviour has taken a down turn at his new school, again, in fact a complete nose dive, although I wonder if the alluding illnesses we have been suffering from have contributed? However, again do not want to be told off that we use illness as an excuse, but most adults are complete grumps when they are ill. Fed up of posting on mothering forums about our issues for support and not even trying to meet new mothers on these social media Mum apps and the alike. I have tried a new local Gymnastics class and playgroup, more for his development than to be social, does that make me a grump? Most probably

Settling In?

4 weeks have passed by since the move, including Christmas and New Year’s festivities, although we didn’t do much for the latter, apart from tidy up the old place the best that we can, which apparently was not appreciated that it was our best effort. Almost got into a dispute about that, but after highlighting a few technicalities the owner had to back down. Honestly, wanted to charge us for moss on the outside garden wall and the alike. Anyways moving on from that saga.

Slowly unpacking more each weekend at the new place, put most of our pictures up last weekend and it is starting to look more homely, even my son said ‘it is really our home now’, like he just got it’s not just a holiday home despite all our boxes being stacked up in it with our belongings. Still yes, it is our home until we can eventually find a proper forever home one hopes.

We have been missing our old playgroup and gymnastics classes, but have tried new ones of both things in the area. The new gymnastics class is run by a smaller club in a school hall building, less coaches and equipment, but my son said he wanted to go back that is the main thing. I am hoping to get him back to a similar club in terms of equipment and more one on one coaching provided at some point, but local waiting lists are long. The playgroup was more craft based than the old one, but think my son is now ready for that as before he just wouldn’t have had the concentration. He can move around from table to table trying various crafts, my OH didn’t like it so much as it was a bit happy clappy, and it was, but I can let that go for the sake that my son liked it there and it is good for me to see how he behaves around other children other than doing something like Softplay.

This leads me on to how he has been settling into school, he was doing fine until last week. They started him on half days/morning only sessions for the first week, they told us they couldn’t see any significant concerns other than he was a bit quiet the first week (I told him he was not really quiet, but just nervous because everything is new), but then they said they wanted to try him on proper full school days, the first 3 went well it seems, but last week there were some incidents. However, which seem to coincide with me complaining to the old school about our childcare refund and their data error about having his parents down living at two separate addresses, not there is anything wrong with single mothers, but don’t insinuate wrong information and expect me to be OK with it! I believe the old school have been in touch with the new school causing trouble again, in fact I have it in writing from them that they have done so, and it just magically coincides with the downturn in my son’s behaviour. I have to say my son’s behaviour was at his worse since starting a reduced timetable at the other school, firstly I don’t think he knew whether he was coming or going, was not burning his energy off as there is only so much my nearly 70 year old mother can do with him in the winter and yes, possibly some feelings of agitation and anxiety with the move.

However, the last week or two we have noticed an upturn in his behaviour at home and think he is settling in his new home here, and not so much the ‘Crisis’ his old school were over-egging it was going to be. Rather do a move like this at his age than when he is older and has more established friendships with children. We have another glorious meeting with his new teachers this week, and hope it doesn’t spell more trouble as it often does.