Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Nursery and school

It's been a while I know - I'm sorry.

It's just you know with back to school, Dollop starting nursery...oh and having to miss her first week because she was ill. And I'm struggling with drop-offs at nursery each day because Dollop is getting so so upset. I know she's fine within 10 minutes. I know they'd ring me if there was a problem. But it's heartbreaking (as it was when it was Mini all those years ago) to leave her crying. And I know there are lots of people who get upset because their children don't show emotion, but I think they're both just as bloody hard! And I'm struggling to compose myself ready for a series of appointments I've had each morning this week...because of course there is the super big news.

We're changing Mini's school.


Yes, after a horrendous meeting with Mini's teachers where it was made VERY clear that support was not going to be available, we are looking at other schools. Ins and outs?
- Well, the home/school comms book doesn't work for Mini's new teachers, so we're not having it, we'll have to cope with just the reading diary which they find perfectly adequate (Funny though, they're not writing the diabetic child's blood measurements in his reading diary?).
- After just 3 days at school, the teachers were happy that Mini asks to go to the toilet, so they won't be implementing the bladder training that the hospital consultant has asked them to do.
- Mini seems confident and happy, so they see no need to give me notice of changes in school, clearly he needs no preparation.
- Unlike previous years, Mini doesn't need to have a primary attachment figure in school because he seems fine.
- They've seen no signs of wetting, so clearly that was just a past anxiety.
- And no, they don't really need to meet with our social worker because they have children of their own, they understand how precious the children are.

And that's just what I can remember from before I broke down and cried in front of them. No, I'm not writing that for dramatic effect, it happened. I then turned into a blubbering wreck for the rest of the day.

They appeared to believe that I am totally paranoid. They appeared to believe that I'm just an overprotective mother of a little darling. They appeared not to believe the violence and aggression we endure. They appeared to 'know it all'. We believe they have been spoken to by the head teacher who has made it clear that additional support is not to be made available. Now we really do sound like paranoid parents.

So, this week I'm viewing schools. I've read OFSTED reports, I've spoken to admissions, I've spoken to a number of schools, I've read through prospectus after prospectus, I've sought parental opinions, I've asked around for advice and tips. I've viewed an OK school, I've viewed a fantastic school. And now I am going to push as hard as I can to get Mini into the right school, where he and we will get the support needed.

So forgive me if I don't post very often at the moment. We're fighting for Mini right now, and we're about to start Attachment Focused Counselling too, so bear with us while we ride this rollercoaster, I'll be back as often as I can.


16 comments:

  1. Hi there.. I guess you know this but just wanted to remind you that you don't need to fight for the new school.. Just put his name on the waiting list.. His name automatically goes at the top of the waiting list similar to any LAC child.
    The school's attitude makes me a bit cynical. Why do not they take the health professionals' advice? Is it financial thing or is it something they want less headache? XYZ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have to go through our admissions team, but we've found out that if Mini had a statement he'd get in without having to wait - because he's ex-LAC. I'm prepared to fight to get him in now without a statement because it's in his best interests to move now.
      I have no idea why they're refusing to do what the consultant asked, I'm really quite upset by it, but they see no need to do it, and I can't force them. It seems the more I advocate for him, the more they dig their heels in.

      Delete
  2. hope it all begins to click for you very soon - hope the fantastic school really does listen and take on board your worries hopes and fears and advise given by other sources. it is heard doing the drop off's isn't it. and emotionally tiring. keep us posted xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. The fantastic school has another adopted child already and the SENCO is well aware of the issues we are facing. He's worked hard to understand the challenges adoptive parents face, and couldn't have been better. He asked ME the right questions, rather than the other way round and I really hope I can get Mini there.

      Yes, emotionally draining and I've found I've felt quite vulnerable emotionally recently - pleased to have a day off today to take Dollop to hospital!

      Delete
  3. brilliant he asked you the right questions - sounds like this fabulous school will be on the ball for you and mini. great x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - just hope I can get him in there soon!

      Delete
  4. I know you're going through a tough time at the moment, so it's impressive that you've found the time and energy to blog. The attitude of the school Mini is currently at is almost beyond belief. To not want to support a child, as suggest by his mother, who knows him best, and health professionals shows a massive level of arrogance and ignorance. Changing schools may not be the easiest thing for Mini, but continuing to be educated in such an uncaring environment could be far worse. I will keep my fingers crossed it is all resolved soon.

    Thanks for being part of the Weekly Adoption Shout Out.xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I think it'd not only help Mini, but all of us xx

      Delete
  5. I really hope you get the right school sorted out for Mini - it's so important that you're happy with the place and the people that are going to be his 'home' for 7 hours each day! With my teacher's head, I remember that sinking feeling when parents (many, many parents!) would be in time and time again looking for 'special treatment' for their children, and the difficulty in sorting out what was really necessary and what was just pandering. For the cynical and jaded, it's all too easy to just dismiss every parent - this is inexcusable. I was SENCO at my small school for a while, and never had any training or awareness of issues around adoption (never even came across an opportunity for it) - I'm not sure I would have done any better for you, which is something that gives me some shame. But I hope I would have listened at least - especially to a parent that arrives with instructions from a consultant!! That seems outrageous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I think the thing is I've provided them with information/links/reading, our CAMHS therapist went in and spoke to the SENCo, I offered them a meeting with our PASW, I've had a number of meetings, and we did start to get somewhere last year with strategies that they were prepared to use. The frustrating, and TBH downright upsetting thing is that it's all been scrapped and deemed as unnecessary. It was acceptable last year, why not now? And yes, refusing to do what the consultant deems vital is inexcusable.

      Delete
  6. Sorry to hear that you are having so many problems with the school, it must be awful to be made to feel the way you did/do. I believe every school should listen and take the lead from the parents, after all it's us that knows the child better than anyone else. I hope you manage to get the school you are after and this all irons itself out sooner rather than later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, so do I. Even if Mini doesn't get on well in the new school, at least I know we'll have support from the staff.

      Delete
  7. I hope you find the right school for him. We are having our own issues with Buzz's school and it is so frustrating because we know if they would only listen to our advice Buzz would respond to them.

    I hope everything comes together for you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is frustrating isn't it. I do see it from their point of view - they don't see any obvious problems so why should they change their practices. However, I'm not asking major miracles here, just a few things that might help!

      Delete
  8. That's awful and so short-sighted you are doing the absolute right thing to move him you will never change them, if they don't 'get it'. My ASD son started year 7 at the big school this time, he had a superb transition programme in the summer and is being supported so well as he is still getting anxiety issues. We chose the school years ago after a short meeting with the SENCO when my gut reaction was that she would understand him and now we are so pleased we made the right choice for him. Lots of his primary friend's parents chose another school for what I believe are superficial reasons but we stuck to our guns so he went there with no friends but he feels safe and is making new friends now.
    Stay strong for him it will al be worth it in the end xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I really hope it will be worth it. I think Mini might be one of those kids who always dislikes school, and it may be that a new school won't make any difference to him - but knowing they 'get it' and will support us as parents will make it easier for us to handle Mini's anxieties. xx

      Delete