So this morning little man leaped from the comfort of his bed, washed without my pleas and got his clothes on super fast, “Ok most items were back to front or inside out” but when I told him so, there was no swearing or exaggerated body movements just a little boy who giggled and started over again. You see mornings like these have been far and few between… In actural fact they have been absent for some time. Yesterday morning little man was filled with excitement with a scoop of anxiety for he was about to embank on a journey, a new routine that no longer involved the mainstream primary school he had attended since he was five, the place he had grown to trust only to have it all fall apart and his spirit crushed. He had started to believe that he was so different from others that he would never be accepted. He started to state he wasn’t “normal” and created this image in his head of what he considered to be “normal” sadly in his eyes he didn’t fit into this image.
This hasn’t changed, I think it will take sometime before he excepts who he is (my fantastic little man) but on day two of his home tuition his already making progress. It’s very early days but I already see a child who wants to learn, a child who packs his school bag the night before and looks forward to the following days learning. So… Many parents take that for granted Not me and though I know this can change as quick as it started I hold onto these days with both hands and remind myself of them whenever things get bad.
Well, Friday was the day we first met his tutor (as not to disclose his indentity we will refer to the tutor as James)
We met at my home around 5pm. Little man sat looking at the tv he had refused to Switch off. He made little eye contact with James and instead of acting silly or rude like he often tends to when his anxious or just in a new situation, he was instead quite not saying much at all. We spoke for a while, discussed little mans needs and how mainstream school dealt with those needs. We talked about the effects isolation had on him and work we had been doing at home. I like to think of myself as a good judge of character… as I had a good feeling about James, I didn’t feel as if he was sat judging me or little man. James had already read the proposed statement (that is in need of amendments) and also read the appendices which included my ten pages of parental advice. He has experience of working with children on the autism spectrum and didn’t seem worried about teaching little man a job many would refer to as a “challenge” towards the end of the meeting James asked Little man if there was anything he would like to ask. Little man rolled his eyes and pulled his thinking face. Having thought for a few seconds replied, “fancy educating someone like me in a library!” He turned to me and said, “mother I will do my best to be quite” bless him… Though he was making a some what valid point as he is naturally a loud speaker, tending to shout as opposed to talk. Jame’s response was great… He made no big deal and said that all will be cool.
During the weekend little man seemed less anxious about Mondays leap back into education and getting him to sleep Sunday night wasn’t as hard as first expected. He had again been awake all Saturday night not sleeping till the early hours of Sunday morning… I didn’t let him sleep the whole of Sunday daytime and though it was hard work and resulted in a crying moaning monster throughout the day I managed to keep him awake. So after a few melatonin and a warm drink and bath, he slept on Sunday night (Ok it wasn’t till 1am and was my bed he slept in not his own… But this was good enough for me!)
It was pouring with rain on Monday morning, I mean pelting it down bucket loads, For this reason I changed the clothing I had already laid out for little man as I knew the jeans would get wet and rub on his skin causing a sensory related meltdown. I waved my daughter off at 8:30 am and set about the morning challenge one I hadn’t had to do for weeks (near on a month) waking little guy up for school. To my surprise little man rose to the challenge and with plenty of reassurance got ready for his big day. We got a lift with the promise of taking public transport the following day (which put a smile on his face) As I waved him off it felt totally strange… I was leaving my little man with a complete stranger, who I was trusting to take good care of my child, to have patience and understanding when it came to his “odd” or “challenging” ways… I felt that same sickening feeling in the pitt of my stomach on his first day of school I wanted to cry then and wanted to cry now.
Most of the day I was on edge… Everytime the phone rang I held my breath, “please don’t be James” I would think! But the call never came and to my relief on collection from the library little man was smiling. We took the train home and little man didn’t stop, “James showed me this, James told me that, James said this, James laughed at that” he was the happiest I’d seen him in ages. The only downside side to his day was the headache he had brought back home with him. He mentioned the lighting was some what strong and flickered at times. He also told me all the lights were different… Some brighter then others. With this and the fact he had engaged in work throughout the day his head was paying the price. However he still spoke about James all the way home and once back indoors… That was in till he sat on my bed only to fall fast asleep. This was at 4 pm and he wouldn’t even wake for dinner!
So yes the next day was just as postive if not better. His father took him on the train and I got a lay in:-) well that was in till a certain cheeky one year old woke me with a slap in the face!
His home book stated that the day was perfect with little man having had engaged in plenty of work. Once home he had continued in learning mode and was on the PC creating a presentation on bullying.
I really do hope that things continue to go as well. I am worried that little man will have problems reintergrating back into a school environment and the effects his mainstream school has had on his confidence and social skills… But for now I’m just going to enjoy seeing my little guy smile.
Positive Statements made by little man these past few days…
“I can’t wait till tomorrow”
“I think James likes me because his kind to me”
“Mum did you know James never shouts”
“James understands me”
“We went tescos together and we even got a trolly”
“He trust me and don’t mind being out in public with me” (effects of never going on school trips)
“His my friend and my teacher”
“I like being with James he treats me like a normal boy”
(breaks my heart knowing he often feels so different)
Positives I’ve noted in two short days…
Lots more smiles
Keen to learn
Positive feed back in his home book… Day one stated how well they got along and little man even tried hard and completed some work. Day two even better… He engaged in all his work and was a joy to work with.
Comments like these were sure to make me cry. I couldn’t help it! I had waited for what felt like forever for some positive feed back on little man. I’m so proud of him and very thankful to his new friend james.
My little man is on top of the world and it’s been a long time coming!!