The Bombshell

Firstly, I know I said in a previous blog I would try to work with the childminder, but oh well I couldn’t after the third whinge from her and the week before that she insensitively dropped the ‘autism’ bombshell on us.

What has alarmed me at first, my son said she was not around to witness the event, I thought maybe he is lying, but he is not. Although since then she has admitted each time there is an behavioural incident between the two 4 year old boys in her care she is not around. The third time I am starting to lose my patience, yes, I am aware that childminders cannot always be in the same room, but they are still suppose to be in earshot and have everything in sight to what is going on. It is obvious she doesn’t. We already said if my son continued to be disruptive in her care that we would review the contract and whether he should stay there. She decided she wanted his last day to be within her care to be the end of last week, and has been very awkward with refunding us, although we have most of the money back now.

I am in shock on the last day in her care she tells me my son was able to get hold of tent pegs and get near her baby’s head with them, yes, he could have hurt the baby’s head (1 year old child), but he could have hurt himself too. She seems to be completely oblivious to the problem that he shouldn’t have been able to get hold of them in the first place, this situation should not have arose and where was she not to notice he had got hold of these? She admits she shouted at my son that day. However, I also discover unexplained bruises on my son the next morning, and my OH’s mother is admitted back in hospital on Sunday fighting an infection/sepsis. So yes, it has been a shit week again, but have been trying to smile through it, only just.

I am left not knowing what to think about transitioning my son onto school, does he really need a referral, is something really wrong developmentally (as we have always been told no and the health visitor said she had no concerns over his social emotional development on her last visit in July) or have we just been unlucky with shit childcare? The referral is happening, but doesn’t look like anytime soon and because I have asked the childminder about how the bruises happened today she has threatened the LA (local authority) on us. Just unbelievable, but bring it on.

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Any normal parent would question unexplained bruises on their child?

Sometimes feels like we are actually back at school, rather than my son

After having a really positive weekend last week and starting to feel quite upbeat about things, now feeling deflated again. I had a difficult time with a certain colleague at work and not sure why they were behaving in such a rude manner, but asked for this particular job to be reallocated as I could no longer work with the person and to be honest I am still a little fuming over their tone. However, person is leaving for another job, so end of story dealing with it, but just was not in the best mental place to deal with someone being a twat for no reason with everything that has been going on for us.

My OH’s mum is still in hospital and after 2 weeks of confusingly not knowing what action the hospital has decided to take, they finally know she has broken her hip and still confused why it has taken 2 weeks to discover that, and now his mum is waiting for a operation, which will still take a good deal of time to recover from. I have to say the in and out hospital trips that have been happening since the beginning of this year have been exhausting for all of us.

Then having my son’s nursery inability to look after my son and manage his behaviour has been disappointing as well. I hoped he was getting on well with the new childminder and he seemed to be, the drop offs have got a lot easier and no more dramatic goodbyes. However, this week his pal from his gymnastics sessions has started again, although haven’t seen the boy at the sessions lately.

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On the same wavelength these two, but yes, my lo does need the learn the art of being kind to his friends at times

My son was very excited to have some similar aged company at last with him at the childminders. Although I think this week he has been feeling a little too at home at the childminders, relaxed and himself and over excited about having a playmate, which is a good thing, but with that he shows both his good and bad sides to his personality. I finally get told again that some of his behaviour is unacceptable, her daughter has been dying to tell tales on my son for weeks, but being shushed by her mother and I think perhaps my son irritates the 8 year old girl, I mean I don’t suppose a 4 year old boy and 8 year old girl have much in common. I don’t know how to take it, but as far as the health visitor is concerned there is nothing to worry about his behaviour and he is just displaying normal behaviour for his age. Yes, he can be a monkey at times and some of it is boundary seeking, but most of it is manageable and he is not constantly embarrassing us when we are out with him. It’s disappointing as he has started to enjoy going to the new childminder, and I know he does like the other little boy that is attending, but I am starting to get fed up with those that are fed up of looking after my son because yes, he isn’t always an easy child, but he doesn’t have special needs or any indication that he has. I am not withdrawing him for another childcare provider and will try to work with her, and realise soon he will be spending more time at school and hope that is good for him. The school transition sessions have gone OK, again no dramatic tearful goodbyes, so that is something, he has seemed very happy upon collection, but don’t know fully what he has been like at every session as we only got to witness the first one. I don’t know if he got over excited or did any inappropriate things, but hoping he responded well, but don’t know until we start to get more feedback from the teachers.

Anyway it is a shame as I was just starting to get optimistic and now just feel doubtful, but we are doing our best by our son, we regularly go to playgroups to socialise him with children his age, taken him to story time sessions at the library to work on getting him to sit still and interact with that, preschool gymnastic sessions, helping him to follow instructions, participate in both larger and smaller group activities (he responds better to smaller group activities usually at the moment), wait turns, sit still and develop patience. We walk almost everywhere and try to do lots of physical activity either by going to soft play or outdoor play at playgrounds and parks and swimming when we can. We read to our son every bedtime ourselves.

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Marble Reward Jar, hoping this helps

We are trying to only reward him for good behaviour, have even now got a marble reward jar to help my son visualise when he is being good better. He has always enjoyed filling up jars with coins, so I thought this would be a more simpler way to do it than our previous star chart award system, which was just getting too exhausting for us too keep up with and we’ll probably put that away for when he is a bit older. I don’t know what else we can do, but keep re-emphasising how he should act, but sometimes this parenting lark feels like we going back to school and being told off for something we cannot control while we are not there to supervise.

A letter never sent in the end

Some may wonder why I said on my FB page I was going to be a bit quieter for a while, well it was nothing really major, no loss of life, serious illness or anything. However, my life has been turned upside down for a bit as that dreaded time has come that my son has been no longer enjoying his time at nursery and got suspended. Yes, that’s right my not even 4 year old boy was almost kicked out, but we made the decision not to return him anyway.

This is the letter I almost wanted to send over the weekend to his nursery after the depression started to sink in. The nursery knew that the back up care I had was gone, so feel their recent actions was not just coincidental and accidentally timed to be simultaneously parallel with my mum’s holiday.

The letter never sent

I would like to stress how your knee jerk reaction has made others feel in my family.

A chronically ill woman who already suffers depression who is getting over two recent falls that had immobilised her, sobs her eyes out over her grandson, you are aware of this, my partner’s mother has been in rehabilitating in hospital since March to April.

Spoilt my mum’s holiday already before she has gone on it, a holiday with my older sister and her two boys that she doesn’t see very much as they live a good distance away from her. Now my family’s problems are going to be on her mind throughout her holiday that she should be enjoying and that she can’t support me. My mum lost her brother two years ago, a very dear uncle that my son did meet, but can’t remember and all of us lost my father two years ago, my son never got to see him, only went to the funeral when he was 9 months old. My father had cancer and was just diagnosed days after giving birth. You are not aware of the family bereavements, but you are aware of my mum’s holiday, told his keyworker and additional sessions were booked. This makes me think your actions were predetermined to cause provocation.

My other older sister who is also a survivor of child sexual abuse is very angry you could ever have thought of such a thing, you haven’t denied it either. She has offered me her support as your actions have start to make me feel unwell again and have sent me back into depression, I was possibly going to be weaned off my medication this summer and that is not going to happen now. This sister also has an autistic teenage daughter and is disgusted by your emails, and treatment, this is not support it is purely bullying tactics.

Seriously if you think something like that was happening, why have you been beating around the bush for so long? Why not just go straight to a child protection officer to start a thorough investigation?

Your recent actions make me suspicious of your motives, and are covering something up or just want my son out of the way as he is too much hard work and you are worried how it maybe perceived by not only other parents as the nursery manager said verbally to us, but by an Ofsted inspection, we are not paying you enough anymore and this is more a business matter masquerading as a welfare issue.

My son is a happy, healthy, active and sometimes mischievous boy as he is not even 4 yet, sometimes needs help and guidance with his social skills and his emotions, which he obviously has not been getting at your nursery nor the attention required to stop him from getting bored or disruptive. I believe he has been getting more attention for his bad behaviour than his good behaviour, and will continue to act up if this is the behaviour management tactic taken. I do not believe my son is a serious threat, and his behaviour can be managed. I think your suspension was an over reaction and your staff should not be wearing necklaces around small children anyway as part of your uniform/jewellery policy and for health & safety.

These issues are clearly not going to be resolved as we have repeatedly said we have lost faith and trust in your nursery’s ability to care for our son and manage behaviour not for just our son, but any child, as do not believe our son is the only one that acts up at your nursery. If we do not receive the unused credit owed to us refunded back to our various childcare voucher schemes by the 25th June 2017, including the deposit, I will be consulting legal advice that part of my company schemes can provide me with.

That was the letter above, but my OH persuaded me it wasn’t worth me sending it, we already had said enough and my family history or any other issues were none of their business. I gave the nursery permission to fill in the ASQ questionnaire that the health visitor gave us, our answers were radically different, but the bit that hurt me the most is their belief my son has an awareness of sexual activity, such an unfounded claim. Eventually we did get a reply from the nursery to agree to refund us on Monday, 5 days after the suspension. I have found replacement childcare, my son has had a trial session today and it seemed to go OK, so will keep my fingers crossed. I have no problems with putting labels on a child that needs extra support, but feel it is very damaging to put a label on a healthy child that does not need it (let alone even go down the road of medicating a child that does not need it) and that is what I feel the nursery has been trying to do, not to support him, but to justify their reasons for not being able to manage his behaviour. Also to divert attention that something untoward was going on, seriously if there was those kind of concerns going on then report it straight to the local child protection officer rather than drag it out. Anyway, I have just found this whole experience unbelievable and shocking.