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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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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!

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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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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

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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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2017 so far

It has been over a year now since my OH got made redundant, and I am proud that he was able to secure another job so quickly and has recently got a temporary promotion. One dark cloud has been lifted, but 2017 has been a so so year for us, with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. OH’s mum has been in and out of hospital like a yo-yo pretty much all year, after my son’s heart scare was clear and that anxiety was out of the way, his behaviour began deteriorating with all childcare providers and now not even settling into school well, despite these troubles we can see real progress and leaps in his development at home. The mystery is his behaviour for us has been a lot better than it has been for ages, yes, there are some negative moments interspersed along the way, but nothing like school is telling us. I have had him assessed by a paediatrician who thinks nothing is medically wrong, so completely stumped as the school has finally excluded him (one day suspension) and I fear this will just get the ball running on that, and will be one of many. I am not completely happy with the way school has handle things, and yes you might as well say either blame the boy or his parents, but I really don’t believe in this school’s tough love approach. 

Really at the end of our tether about this, OH is under a lot of pressure as he is trying to make a good impression in his new role and I am trying to fulfil the hours I am suppose to do at work, and feel I am just managing to fulfil that part of the bargain.

Overall had such a awful start to my son’s school, despite our best efforts, plus other negative things that have happen during living in our current location. I want to move and my partner agrees, it’s just finding a place and hoping we can find a school that is more suitable for him. I do not believe a move is going to magically solve things, but think we all just need a fresh start. I was honest with my son’s current school with our moving intentions and that he is only staying on at school until the end of this term, and unbelievably they told us not to move, do schools control all aspects of your life these days, from nosey home visits, constant scrutiny and deciding whether you can move house or not?!?!?

Still where possible trying to remain positive, although difficult with things constantly trying to bring us down.

Family shot with Peter Rabbit
Threading beads, yep, he does concentrate sometimes
LO and mummy on our half term adventure
Building towers at Softplay
Pumpkin Patch visit and our lanterns
My son’s poppy remembrance card
Progress at gymnastics

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The Assessment

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News hot off the press from the initial assessment by the paediatrician, my son does not have ASD and it is very unlikely he has it!

Again, you think we would be celebrating by now, but no, we have not been discharged as yet as his behaviour he is apparently presenting at school is still very challenging.

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If only?
However, there is a huge difference with his behaviour displayed at school and at home or social settings we take him to. Of course we have some issues with his behaviour, but very different to the ones he has at school, our issues is bed-sharing to go to sleep, occasionally running off (although a recent marked improvement) and the occasional fussy eating. The aggression is not as bad with us, but yes, sometimes he can be a grumpy uncooperative bugger, but nothing I cannot deal with.

The paediatrician also said maybe I am too much of an expert on my son and preempt his tantrums a bit too much, and should let him get on with it and try to problem solve these incidents for himself, and then yes, get yelled at by some some chav family that my son has got crossed at their child ha!

So that’s where we are, in limbo and no man’s land. His school have made it clear they don’t find his behaviour easy to manage, but have no idea where we go from here.

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Been suffering with multiple chest infections and colds as a family, and stress of this probably doesn’t help me.

Looking forward to resuming our son’s gymnastics class tomorrow after a week break because of illness and hoping he is still making good progress here!