Well we're nearly at half term and I have to say that our start to the academic year has been horrendous! (hence why I have been a bit quiet on the blog front)
September has been a nightmare from start to finish to say the least! I'm not going to go into everything that has happened but I will tell you the main things...
DS started back at school during the first week of September.
As he was starting back with new staff, new children in his class, I knew this was going to be huge for him!
As per usual, I prepared him for the forthcoming changes as much as I could but knew that he would struggle to some extent.
So the first day, I picked up the little Superstar from school he came home and had a meltdown.
The next day was the same, the day after that and the day after that.
Bearing in the mind that before this, his last meltdown was months and months ago, I still had predicted this.
However, as the weeks went on, I expected his behaviour (and meltdown) to improve and decrease but unusually this didn't happen.
As the weeks went by, his behaviour became more intense which puzzled me.
Initially thinking that he was just struggling with the transition back to school, I arranged with school to try a phased return. Taking him to school in the morning, picking him up just after lunch with the idea to slowly increase.
School agreed to this and we did this for 1 week but still no difference.
Now remember, we know our children the best, better than anyone else in this land.
DS and I live together, we're together everyday. We play together, we eat together, we sleep together and we even bathe together! We have a strong bond, a connection, a trust and I know that no-one knows this child better than me!
Very soon, I learnt that something was wrong in school. DS may not be able to come home and say "Mummy, I'm struggling in school because they've painted the wall yellow and you know how I feel about yellow"! (for example) but his behaviour was telling me very clearly something was wrong so spoke to DS's teacher about my concerns.
DS's teacher is a lovely member of staff, she has a lovely way about her and DS is very fond of her, like I am - she made some suggestions such as the classroom was a little different now such as been re-decorated, new ceiling installed etc etc.....but no I felt that wasn't it...
During the next week, DS reluctance to go to school was very much increasing.
He was fighting whilst I was getting him dressed, to get in the car and to go into the school building. It was heartbreaking seeing him so upset looking at me pleading with his eyes until one morning I decided enough was enough! I was no longer going to 'force' DS into school whilst it was distressing for him and decided then and there that I was going to home school him as I was no longer prepared to put him through something that was obviously so distressing for him,
That week I bought a few quality education toys and card games, specifically with colours as I know DS has a interest in colours at the moment so I wanted to start with that which he enjoyed.
We also went on a nature walk to a nearby forest with a picture card of things we had to find and collect such as acorns, red leaf, orange leaf, squirrel.....once we had spotted each of them we gave a big tick next to their picture - it was good fun.
We collected some Autumn things like leaves, twigs etc and we made a autumn display in the kitchen as well as doing some leaf rubbings.
Another day we went swimming and took advantage of everywhere being nice and quiet with all the children in school it was perfect for DS.
A few days later, I accidently learnt that the classroom was still being worked on, new equipment was being replaced a few weeks after the academic year had started!
I instinctively knew that, that could very possibly be the cause of DS's anxiety and stress and arranged a meeting straight away!
That meeting must have been one of the worst meetings I have ever been in my life including meetings I have been in with my job!
The member of staff that represented the school was dreadfully unprofessional as well as very unsupportive!
I'm not going to quote what was discussed in the meeting but believe me it was dreadful! I said what I needed to say and challenged what I felt I had to challenge but I'm sure I got my point across!
It concerns me this particular member of staff's knowledge of autism seems to non-existent!
It was very clear that she just doesn't get it and sees alot of behaviours as 'naughty' or 'playing up'.
I can't even begin to express how furious I am about that and have very clearly communicated that I do not want her anywhere near my son!
I also put a complaint about her with the head who was very apologetic.
So now as we are nearing the end of October, DS is only just settling into school.
He isn't as fighting to go as much and will walk happily in but he isn't quite back to his usual self yet but I'm hoping that we're going in the right direction.
I would like to think that so called 'professionals' (though I'm going to lose that term loosely with this one!) have a good understanding of children on the autistic spectrum who work in a special school with a large in take of ASC students but no clearly not!
Very disappointed to put it politely :(