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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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.

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

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!

 

School ☹️ Home 🙂

I don’t know what to say, I feel sorry for my son. He is trying to love school, I remember his first official day starting school, he tried to hold back the tears and he was constantly blinking, and his lower lip was starting to tremble. I could see he was nervous about his first day. Then upon collection as we took the first week of school off of work and collected him early everyday, he was so excited to see us and I wanted him to be enthused about going to school, and gave him a medal for his bravery.

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His medal for bravery for his first day at school

However, as weeks have gone by and he has had his first month at school, our son is being constantly reprimanded for bad behaviour, we have been called into meetings and I am not even sure I agree with their way of handling it. We are being criticised we are not firm enough, whereas I think their tough love approach is not helping, making his meltdowns worse and I feel sorry for him. I don’t do time outs or naughty steps, I have tried to in the past, but I just end up in a battle of wills with my son and it does no good for me either, and just end up making myself feel more stressed and angry. I rather do time ins for my son and I think they work better. I think the school want a quick solution and more worried about staff ratios, hence, I want an assessment of my son completed and if he needs more support and funding for more one on one attention, I am prepared to fight for that.

https://www.positiveparentingconnection.net/time-out-vs-time-in-whats-the-difference/

Last weekend was a real downer, the school called us in and the headteacher said ‘it was the worse behaviour she had seen in her 30 year career span’. I realise she might want to emphasise the seriousness of the situation, but I don’t appreciate her professionalism for saying it or how even saying that helped. After a good cry that evening, I refused to mope about the entire weekend with my son. We went to playgroup as usual, the volunteers wanted to hear things had turned around for our son starting school, but unfortunately I had to say they hadn’t. However, he had a nice time at the playgroup and I couldn’t fault his behaviour there. We went to the library to return some books and get some new ones afterwards, and the only struggle we had was he wanted to run off while we were trying to walk to the library. This has always been one of the ongoing issues we have had, running off, fussy eating (some not his fault as he has had intolerances and a hyper sensitive gag reflex when he was younger), refusing to sleep sometimes even though tired (this is something we experienced a lot less of now) and his dependency on me to fall asleep, he is scared of the dark and being on his own. However, we dealt with the running off issue and had a good talk with him, and have to report he said to me at the beginning of this week ‘Mummy, I am learning to walk by you’.

The school wanted me to punish him all weekend, but I was never going to do that, I talk to him about his bad behaviour and told him he mustn’t do these things and we talk about alternatives, but then we move on and give him another chance. We enjoyed the disco that I got tickets for ages ago despite us all being a bit coldy, he was less apprehensive about a darkened, noisy dance hall, loved the falling metallic streamers and the giant balloons, and I loved helping him trying to reach and hit them back up in the air. We didn’t stay as long and left early, before my son got too hyper and timed it just right.

The other thing my son has been doing really well at is his preschool gymnastics classes, joining into both parts equally and letting me move to the upper viewing gallery part way through without a fuss. He has earned a Star of the week sticker 3 times in a row since the beginning of term and his first badge, and he has truly earned it and it is a big leap forward for him.

Today we went to a church fayre run by the organisation that runs the playgroup we regularly go to, first it was nice to see my son taking the initiative to do some crafty things as a lot of the time he isn’t interested. Particularly the sand art work as it required concentration and patience, and it seemed very therapeutic for him. He also picked out this bracelet for me to make up for the jewellery he has broken in the past (his words), I forgive him for that as he was a lot younger and going through a grabby stage even though I tried my best to keep things out of the way. He also picked out a necklace for his nan who has recently been recovering in hospital, and might finally be going home again this week!

Hoping we carry on with the progress at gymnastics, school I am not so sure where we are heading with that.

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!

Last night before…

No, not Christmas, but before starting school.

School uniform bought & all labelled ticked.

Stories about starting school read to our boy ticked.

Settling in sessions attended ticked.

Continued going to weekend playgroup to mix with other children ticked.

Mummy more nervous and apprehensive than my son, most definitely!

We had a nice last day before starting school, managed to do a few overdue chores to the house over the weekend, it made me feel better before we had a home visit from his teachers. He was better behaved than the time the health visitor came to see us, perhaps because the focus was more on him and felt the health visitor focused too much on my history than on my son, which was actually really draining for me.

We had a nice afternoon at soft play and the playground, gave him a relaxing bath and a bit more time to play with his trains before bed, and let him choose some books from our last library visit for his bedtime story. So, time now to settle my own nerves and hope my boy has a nice first morning at school.