Our First Half Term #SmallStepsAA 

By | October 22, 2017

Hurrah, it’s half term from tomorrow, half of me is delighted that both T and D will catch up on sleep and the other half knows that they will miss the routine of school that they both crave.

It’s felt a challenging half term and I thought I’d share what’s gone well because I do prefer to be positive, it’s better for my wellbeing!

First off, for T, the major change has been that he has to catch the train to his mainstream secondary school, after his school coach service ceased, this has meant a longer day for him and its guilt-making to watch him set off in the semi-darkness of last week – obviously once the clocks change, this will be the norm for the next few months, rather than an occasional.

There are so many challenges for T, a train change at the main station, the hustle and bustle of a London-bound commuter train (even though he only travels one stop on that line) and then a further walk to school.  He’s very good at texting us his progress and can get a tad Victor Meldrew-ish if there are delays – in T’s eyes, why should there be? If a train is due at that time, it should arrive then, that’s the black and white element of his personality.

He’s into his pre-GCSE year and, on the whole, is doing well in his chosen subjects, tiredness and irritability due to his longer day have played a part and, I suspect, there is a bit of resentment that the school offered no assistance with the school coach situation.

There are times when I feel that his school completely ignore his high-functioning autism diagnosis, we realised that we have had no communication from the SENco during his time at secondary school and, as parents evenings are very emphatically five minutes per teacher, there is little oppportunity to have an indepth discussion about how his autism may manifest itself in a classroom situation.  We have had a couple of recent emails which suggest that they are either not aware or don’t fully understand how T’s thinking or social awareness can come across.

He’s still heavily into his sport and has started to take an interest in what he could potentially do at the end of his school time, we think sport will play some sort of part but, to be honest, as long as he’s happy, that will do us.  

D has had some pretty major challenges too, she had gone up a year in her SN school and I was very concerned about this at first as she’d been in a class with a pupil who has spent the last few years verbally and emotionally bullying her.  At meetings with school before the end of summer term, I was assured that they would be keeping a very close eye on this situation and, so far so good.

She would also be undertaking a higher level of work as – and this still gives me goosebumps – her school feel that she may be able to take an exam, which is more than we ever dared to hope for.

With this feeling of pride comes with the realisation that, if she’s anxious on the day, it might not happen, I also cannot see her physically sitting for the duration, in a quiet environment with pupils unknown to her.  I am also concerned that she is not placed under too much pressure leading up to this.

We have an upcoming meeting in November to discuss the implementation of her EHCP, something that is well overdue and, at every annual review was mentioned, but not followed through as there were other pupils taking priority – which we fully understood e.g. those leaving school and those newly joining.

Another change of course is her continuation of school transport, whilst I heal from my foot surgery.  I have had to request this continues beyond Christmas and into the spring and summer terms as (and this disappoints me to write) my next surgery to remedy my left foot is unlikely to be before next March, after a consultation at the hospital last week.  Fingers crossed that we get to know a decision soon, I don’t want this hanging over us.

D has got fully into after-school clubs at school too, with her doing theatre club, band practice and tag rugby (yes, I know!).  These all increase her tiredness and grumpiness and, although she assured me that she wouldn’t be a “grumpy teenager” (her words on her 13th Birthday a few months back), the eye rolls and strops have increased.  

I won’t dwell on the fact I have been hit a few times this half term, it’s all part of the increased pressure she finds herself under, I think.  And puberty, which has hit her like a ton of bricks.

The main thing is, she’s happy (on the whole) and home-school communication is a massive improvement already on the last two years, there are a few lines in the diary every day, which is great for conversation prompts, when that teenage grumpiness comes home too. 

So, on the whole, it’s been a half term of changes and challenges for everyone but we’ve got there! 

(I love the image above, such a good way to think).

Do you remember reading about the BAPs awards last year, the blogging awards for SN bloggers? Well, the nominations have opened for next year’s awards and, if you click on the link here, you can find out some more information about how to nominate and make someone’s day.

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Kelly-Anne | Mimi Rose and Me on 23rd October 2017 at 8:33 am.

I adore that quote, it’s a good one to live by. Glad she seems to be happy on the whole front!
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EssexKate on 1st November 2017 at 9:42 pm.

It must be frustrating to not have reassurance from the school that they understand T’s needs, I guess it’s like so many things, they have so many priorities and if he’s not causing major problems and the parents aren’t causing a fuss then it wont be prioritised.
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Emily - babies and beauty on 2nd November 2017 at 12:01 pm.

Well done! He’s a trooper because even a train journey for me would be a lot xxx
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Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... on 2nd November 2017 at 12:42 pm.

I would hate to commute by train each day and can’t imagine having to do it as a child! Glad the first half term has been mostly positive for you all
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Kira on 6th November 2017 at 12:13 pm.

Would done little man 🙂 glad you had a lovely half term x
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