sometimes, one day rolls into the next….notice how ‘unschool’ days seem to produce easier outcomes for the grizzlybear family!
I was wide awake til 1am researching approved ways to get the school and sen team to correctly analyze and understand the function of behavior. A task I realize now was probably pointless as why would they take advice from me?!
I’d emailed numerous professionals who had been or are involved in his case… Not at all expecting a response in the small hours!
Between 1 and 6 I apparently did some version of sleep but if your soul is tired sleep is futile.
Babybear joined me in bed apparently perplexed about what to wear on a ‘I-should-be-at-school-day’. Trouble averted, we agreed that joggers and flip flops could be entirely suitable for a fun filled learning with mum day at home. With my timetable prepared and a fall back plan in my pocket (should the shit hit the fan), we delivered biggerbruv to his school and promptly began our home-ed day.
Huge success with a full hour on angles. Remarkable retention of newly imparted mum-wisdom and happy faces all round as the 8 year old maths whizz conquered mathematical challenges one after the other. We took our agreed break, played a quick game and then I set him down to his ‘allowed’ TV selection of David Attenborough’s Planet Earth series as mummagrizzlybear had some assertive calls to make.
By lunchtime I’d spoken to the senco, the autism support team and the Ed Psych amidst enduring a horrendous meltdown over the literacy task whilst simultaneously using my newly found paperwork to analyze the ‘functions’ of his behavior and still be a source of comfort to him so as not to put him through the same torture as he gets at school.
We ALWAYS follow through one way or the other post meltdown. My best guess is that the majority of the destructive unwanted behaviours are a means of ‘escape’. I’m also 90% certain that there is a specific handwriting literacy barrier contributing to the issues faced at school. However, despite the meltdown and after the ‘right’ support was given to help him come down from the severe overreaction to the writing task, he did return to the table and complete the ‘poster’ all about him!
Day 3 ended in quite an unexpected way, whereby through the power of social media and the share of a picture on mummagrizzlybear’s Facebook page, a fellow mumma and dear friend knew I needed a break and swept in to offer me an outing and some much needed giggles and wine time. Tired and sporting fabulously greasy hair, I forced myself through the shower and felt refreshed as soon as I got in her car! Daddybear took the boys to their swim lesson and it went so well, the swim instructor text me whilst I was sat in a bar above the sea front, just to tell me how fab the boys were.
Red wine down the hatch, I’d giggled my way past the idea that I had no clue what I’d deliver to my support group the following morning at work, but in true mummagrizzlybear style I’d wing it and still be awesome! The benefit of some time out to chew the fat meant that despite the red wine headache the following morning, day 4 started with a decidedly less ‘burdened’ feeling.
Day 4. Unschool-day 2
Super ‘wine’ friend also doubles as amazing ‘childcare’ support friend and allowed me to get off to work without a seconds stress about how she would cope with PDA’er. As is common for a lot of children with PDA, if our babybear is comfortable with the caregiver and trusting of them and reassured by their attention to the details that matter most, he will do us proud and can be a delight to be with. Why can’t school provide such an environment for him?
The afternoon was a juggle of having CAMHS visit at home, grandparents unexpectedly swing by and trying to get out the door with biggest bruv to a secondary school open evening.
CAMHS had received my concerned email sent at silly o clock a couple of nights previous and his case coordinator had reviewed the situation with his psychiatrist. The outcome being that they could offer him additional medication if we wished to try a small dose of SSRI to see if that would help with his school related anxiety/meltdown issues. Neither the medical professionals nor us as parents favour the medication route and all agree that until the environment has been confirmed as having been suitably modified, we would steer clear of additional meds at this time.
Day 5 unschool-day 3
Camhs called to confirm they had called an emergency meeting with the APA School but as the earliest the senco could make it was Tuesday, they’d advise not sending him back to school on Monday. Tough one, as babybear likes his routine and verbally is telling us he wants to go back to school. Changing the ‘plans’ as far as he’s concerned could do more damage, so despite the knot in mummagrizzlybears stomach we have contacted the school to agree that he will return as expected but that if ANY incident occurs, they are to call me for support until we gave had the meeting to discuss the things they need to be doing differently!
I’m not even sure where the rest of day 5 disappeared to. Mummagrizzlybear was experiencing mega tiredness but still found herself for 2 hours on the side of a wet and windy rugby pitch that night before crashing out midway through a movie with daddybear (not unusual!)
Weekend plans as usual in the grizzly household were due to be frantic, with me needing to be in 3 places at once. However the pitiful weather made unexpected changes to our plans and instead the morning was smooth. Daddybear spent the morning fundraising with babybear in the local Morrison’s, despite the little PDA’ers original objections, he must have been superbly supported to conform and join in, so much so, that he even enjoyed helping to raise £1100 towards the rugby club. Good effort! Biggestbruv saw the mornings weather and tried to opt out of the secondary school taster session of surfing… However… We follow through with what we say we are going to do… And it sounded a more pleasant option to bag packing to mum a grizzly bear so we jumped out of bed, lined our tummy’s with a bacon bap and arrived at the stormy seafront equipped with my coffee, a good (forever unfinished) book and a folding chair!
The rest of the day has been entirely rained off. We’ve wimped out of plans we had made and we’ve had our first Saturday at home (albeit just the afternoon and evening) just being at home! I’ve ignored the ironing and instead snuggled with movies. Biggestvruv has had his fix of the Xbox and daddybear and I both resemble the somewhat distant memory of the relaxed version of ourselves! Babybear struggled here and there with the lack of structure and pre-planned activities but he got the hang of chillaxing once more.
Sunday plans start as every winter Sunday will, aside the rugby pitch so for now, its a glass of wine and cheesey x factor to complete our restoration before we start week 2!