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Our last CDC appointment

It has taken me some time to sum up my thoughts about my son’s last child development clinic appointment, which occurred about a week ago. The last time we saw the consultant was back in March where he was doing a wait and see approach, wanted to give him time to settle into his new school and environment, but the consultant gave us some ASD and profiling questionnaires for both us and his teachers. I think as usual we are at the same conclusion as last year with the NHS, we have radically different answers and results than the school. We see less of the problems, not saying there isn’t any issues, he is not a perfect child, but we do not have the level of meltdowns in our care and he definitely is having issues at school and other care settings. However, I still need to be utterly convinced ASD is the right label for my son. I don’t think the ASD conversation last week was handled sensitively by the paediatrician in front of my son and nearly caused a meltdown in the surgery itself. To be honest my son was managing to control his behaviour as long as possible with the amount of waiting around we had to do, as our CDC for our area is in the most inconvenient place and no where near us. We waited for two buses, instead of getting an expensive taxi this time, which are difficult to get hold of where I live. I know you are thinking why, but there just isn’t enough local taxi firms where we now live. One of the bus journeys was nearly an hour long, and we ended up having to arrive early for our appointment due to public transport connections, and his appointment ended up running slightly late anyway and he did his best to entertain himself in the waiting room with the toys they had. He also had a lunch time appointment, which isn’t the best time of the day as he was getting hungry and had eaten all his snacks that I packed for him on the way, but we had no other choice to accept or otherwise wait another month or so for another appointment. I have complained, a) suspected ASD diagnosis not handled sensitively in particular in regards to my son’s suspected diagnosis b) I think we have waited long enough to get an assessment in school, and this should be triggered before the half term arrives, I know I probably have unrealistic expectations in particular with regards to how the NHS operates, but NICE guidelines recommends assessments should be done within 3 months when there are any suspicions of autism c) We have a right to see the answers to the school’s questionnaires.

I am now waiting for answers to my questions.

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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

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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

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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.

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Blah!

Feeling blah!

First week we have really tested the back to work/school routine, done our best, but time is tight and puts us under pressure. My lo has seemed happy, but yes, still getting into trouble, groan, headteacher now wants a meeting with me. Not even thinking about it. My son’s referral assessment appointment finally came through earlier this week too after all the drama that came with trying to achieve getting it in the first place.

Feeling tired, tired and not even where I want to be at work, not talking about job roles, but just with my workload. My OH still being stretched thin with his mum going back into hospital again, just don’t know when the drama will stop.

Trying to have a nice weekend, saw an interesting production of the Stick Man today with my two favourite boys, and hoping for another good Gymnastics session tomorrow morning for my son like we had last week!

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Nursery woes, plus sunshine, ok rain, but happy rain

Sunday 21st May 2017

We had another meeting with my son’s nursery earlier this week, and the Community Nursery Nurse who we last saw over a year ago attended. We answered her questionnaire and it was concluded the answers we gave wouldn’t trigger a referral, and that the observations the health visitor made during a 2 hour assessment at his nursery had reported no concerns either. Relief, some would think, but nursery are still pushing for something and don’t know what they want us to do. According to the nursery he is not behind in his key milestones, he is meeting all of them and above for his gross motor skills, which is good as he was a bit behind a few years ago. The Community Nursery Nurse then suggested have they thought he maybe gifted? The nursery seemed dumbfounded by this suggestion. I am not sure he is a child prodigy or anything, but I think he is bright and has lots of potential if he can get engaged with something, but it does take work. I also think he has outgrown nursery, but what to do? I think he maybe experiencing a mixture of under-stimulation and overstimulation there, and needs more guidance with his social skills around children, he is our only and his cousins who he doesn’t see very often are much older than him, but I think the nursery are slow to spot the signs and intercept at times. We have no where else to go until he moves on to primary school.

On the plus side, we went to the weekend playgroup we have been regularly attending for the last two years, garden party, changed to an indoor party due to, well, our lovely British weather. They were celebrating 5 years of running playgroups and activities for the community, and have recently opened a community garden. My son had a lovely time and enjoyed himself, especially playing with his new friend he has recently made at playgroup. The two boys seems to be on the same wavelength and enjoy each other’s company very much.

Today we are making a second attempt of trying a gymnastics session, and hoping he gets involved a bit more with the warm up activities this time, but we will see.

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Bear, our absent Friend?

IMG_4570

Monday 20th March 2017

My son’s nursery had the idea for him to take a teddy home and record it’s weekend with us, my son was very excited about it. I had only heard about this before as my sister’s sons who are quite a bit older than my son did something similar a few weeks back. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to it, but would go with the flow as my son seem thrilled about it. Unfortunately Friday came and my son had blew his chances with teddy by bad behaviour. I knew the nursery had to enforce some kind of discipline for his behaviour, although never get a good understanding from them what leads up to these so called ‘moments’. I know my son is not a angel all of the time, but it would be nice to know his triggers and root causes for his ‘moments’ whilst in their care. Although, I have got to point I just listen and let them offload, if it gets to a more serious point I will take action, but at present he is just acting his age. Maybe I am a softie, but thought it was a bit harsh to build this moment up and then take it away from him. Although have to say I was relieved teddy wasn’t prying into our lives that weekend as felt pretty rubbish on Saturday anyway, and the only exciting thing we did was go to the disco event on Sunday. That’s the other thing I hear these teddy escapades can get quite competitive between the parents, what a bore, huh?