Tag Archives: psychologist

The child behind the mask.

8 Jul

It’s been a while since I last posted anything and if the truth be told I’ve just been so tired and not in the mood to blog. It’s rather annoying when your head is willing and happy to blog but your fingers and rolling eyes can’t keep up the pace. Nevertheless here I am with a head full of stuff that I need to write. I think its wise to start this blog by letting you all know I’m still alive and then jumping onto what’s been happening in terms of little man and his floundering education.

Since last time I posted thinks have progressed in some ways but have become progressively worse in many others. It’s so soul-destroying knowing your little boy is not being seen for the true bright child that he is. I’m not blaming the staff for this I’m blaming the educational settings in which I chose to place my son within only to find it the battle of my life to remove him from them.Yes, I can pull my child out tomorrow but any parent going through what we are will understand that without a statement I will be forced to place Little man in yet another mainstream school which in itself will only cause him heighten anxiety. Yes, maybe another mainstream school better suited to his needs, more understanding and willing for the challenge is out there! But how many schools will we have to send him to in order to discover it? Well, I’m hoping that at last something positive will happen and somehow the right steps taken. The reason for this small hope that I cling to is one my Solicitor has put in my appeal for a statutory assessment and two because the school have decided to put in the Assess one form with a number of professionals evidence to prove his current place of school is not the right place for him after all. To many this sounds extremely positive and yes it does to me too but I’ve learnt that with the educational system nothing is set in stone and sometimes the outcome isn’t what you expected nor wanted it to be.

The meeting that was held at little mans school on the fifth of this month was not only the largest we have had yet (In terms of the number of staff and professionals that attended.) But it’s also the one that’s had the most positive outcome. What I didn’t expect from this meeting was for it to be an incredibly emotional one. I was only in the room a few minutes before I could feel myself getting upset. I’m unsure why I hate showing my emotions when in the kind of situation I was in, I just do. I already knew that certain people were attending and I found myself nervous for the best part of the weekend. Every meeting I’m the same but this time it was more than that. I think it was because I had a certain subject to raise and wished I didn’t have to because the communication with the school had improved a little and also the fact I would hear everyone’s opinion on my child. Little man has a range of difficulties and I’m aware that many of these will cause a problem in the setting he is placed in. I am his Mother who has stressed my concerns for such a long time without them being heard. Yes, once I finally got little man the referral to CAMHS they were great. The first clinical psychologist little man worked with was the one who first made Aspergers known to me he was the one who handed me tissues to wipe my tears and gave me a ton of reading material to get stuck into. But what I’m most grateful to him for is being that first person to listen and tell me CLAIRE IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT! These are the words that I still tightly hold onto through everything that has come our way! The battle to convince school that something was wrong, the many assessments, the oh so familiar looks from strangers, the diagnosis, two court cases for attendance and like many this very meeting. Sadly this psychologist left for a job in the sunnier parts of the world but we met other understanding professionals along the way and we were very lucky to meet a great specialist teacher who would also attend this very meeting. Others that stand out from the crowd is his morning teaching assistant a person that has better skills than most and In my opinion could do with a raise. She really should train and find herself a placement working with children like Little man as her support and dedication to my son is a rare gem to unearth and when Little man has finally left his current mainstream school she will be sadly missed by him. It was the statement written and read by this teaching assistant that was very overwhelming. To hear someone other than yourself speaking about your child and at the same time expressing concerns that have been your own concerns for many years can bring about a roller coaster of different emotions. I felt sad, worried, helpless, and surprisingly a little relieved. I went through one extreme to another and found that for once I didn’t have to convince any one person in that room that my son did in fact have a range of problems that were down to a diagnosis of Aspergers. His teaching assistant stated that Little man is for ever anxious and for this reason he is very unpredictable. Little man often lashes out and children are scared of him but have in time learnt ways to ignore and deal with certain behaviours. Wow can you blame me for becoming upset. My son was seen as some kind of aggressive monster by other children. All I could see was this little boy who himself is faced by fear as his scared of the world he lives in. I also heard from an outreach worker who works with little man once a week. She was the one who opened the meeting by stating that although she could see a gentle polite child she also saw an anxious one who is unpredictable and once she loses his attention it’s near on impossible to get it back. She finished by saying working with Little man was like walking on eggshells. This is a statement that I myself have used to describe the behaviours displayed by Little man.

A number of other people spoke and in turn I see a clear picture emerging of a child who was constantly trying to be someone he wasn’t. Hiding his interest in fear of them being seen as stupid by his peers. He was wearing this mask and with it he became a ticking time bomb. My little man had become a child that others feared, others liked, and others were unsure how to approach. All this because he just wants to fit in he just wants to be liked and seen as what he calls “NORMAL” The front door to our home closes and outcomes this child who just wants to relax and be himself. He grabs his pencil or my glasses and then will corporate these unusual household objects into the game that he will often play for hours. My son has transformed himself into a real moving, talking and beeping London bus. Whatever you do don’t try to ask him how his day went nor what he wants to eat for dinner unless you want abuse, tears or an overload of emotion displayed in an undesirable way. Now is his time to offload the stress of his day. This is his coping mechanism as well as his favourite thing to do. This is when little man removes the mask that he has created for himself! This is when his HAPPY.

The meeting went well and although the topic of school trips was brushed aside by the Head till after the meeting, I was still pleased with the outcome. Meeting the ASD outreach worker was extremely helpful and I only wished I had met her sooner. However we do plan to meet soon and I’m looking forward to gaining some more advice from a lady with her expertise and knowledge of the spectrum. We now play the waiting game to see if the LEA assess and if he will be assessed at his current school or in an emergency placement in a specialist school as advised.

In terms of the discussion surrounding school trips (Allotment gardening project) and my upset at little man being excluded from a number of them only to now be told he will no longer take part did happen but it was after the meeting. However I am pleased my Mother was present and that the discussion did happen. All I will write on the matter is that I do believe little man has been discriminated against in terms of not being allowed to attend and take part in the project just like his class peers. Anybody who is a parent will understand my upset and concern on the matter but although it’s upsetting I have decided not to write about it leaving the matter to be addressed by my solicitor.

MUM’S GONE BANANAS IN HER PYJAMAS.

17 Apr

Has Anybody heard about the latest warning signs signaling mental health problems in mothers of young children? Rumor has it that mothers who wear pyjamas at 8.55am In the morning could be suffering from an undiagnosed mental health condition.

Sound crazy? Well the author of this blog does happen to be a loony pyjama wearing momma. So what do you expect?

As a child growing up I was told to never judge, Not to make assumptions about another, No matter what the circumstances. With this I become a firm believer of the saying never judge a book by its cover. So it’s sad that once an adult I discovered that those who are considered to be trusted professionals did not follow this rule. I’m not talking about the unwanted stares and rude comments made during our Autistic childs latest meltdown which always leads to the assumption that your child is nothing but a screaming, argumentative, stubborn brat. Even though yes that’s simultaneously just as annoying. No I’m talking about a professional, one whom you trust is making extreme assumptions based on your appearance at almost 9 am in the morning.

Let me explain as I’m guessing this crazy woman isn’t making much sense. As a Mental Mother of three young children, Ok two at the time! One who has Aspergers and displays a lack of interest in both sleep and school. Why in Gods name would I need to worry about the dress code I have chosen to display when opening my front door to The Educational professional who has finally agreed to pick little man and his sister up for school for a few weeks before the end of spring term? Has the country gone barking mad? Yes I answered my front door at 8.55 am in my pyjamas. I’m guilty what can I say. Does this action give you the right to question my mental state of mind? Did I answer my front door in the nude with a bottle of jacks D in one hand and a Benson&hedges in the other? No I did not So what the hell is the problem. Can’t you put pen to paper and come up with something constructive, Like how best to keep my son in school. After all it’s took a long time and effect on my part to build up some kind of routine and get him to come in at all. I’m sure some fantastic rewarding ideas may come to light if only more time was spent on him instead of these crazy judgemental assumptions so unsparingly given about his mother.

My son started school back in 2005 and since this time I have raised concerns in relation to a number of issues one being little mans reluctance to sleep of a night and another being his refusal to get ready and go to school. Still being assessed at the time and not yet on Melatonin  I was having a pretty crap time of it. Please remember Little man’s awake then it’s pretty likely that mum is too. Lack of sleep if any resulted in my looks having to take a back seat at least for a bit. People I’m not saying I was so tired I stopped washing! NO I’m just pointing out that having dragged Little mans butt out of his Pitt ( Which isn’t easy given his only been in it a meer few hours) Then chasing him all over the house and then pinning him down to dress him, Only to be successful but once your back is turned his back down to his undies and you do the WHOLE  thing again. Yes chasing, pinning and dressing often occurred three sometimes four times before a true result was made ( Thank God we are passed that Now ) This was more than a little time-consuming and extremely tiring I must add. So given this can you see why I may not find time to get myself sorted? Is it actually wrong or selfish that given the fact my child had kept me wake half if not all the night that I may be considering heading for my bed to recharge my batteries ready for the night ahead once the coast was clear? Next time I will be sure to put my face on and dress up in my super mum costume. Yer Right O.

Looking inside my Sons records did I expect to find notes and documents, Some addressed to members of the school and LEA? Maybe I did but I did not expect them to state concerns about my mental wellbeing because I wore Pyjamas. However was I surprised that such assumptions could be made in relation to my Mental state? Absolutely not! Just as I was not surprised to see that mistakes were made. No it wasn’t the Senco that collected the children! That is just one of over 20 inaccuracies and a few other that are utter untruths. Each and everyone can be so easy to prove through letters, note and documents within the same record or those I have of my own.

I also discovered that certain reports that had been written for other professionals within and outside of school refered to my childhood battle with OCD ( Obsessive compulsive disorder ) Which started at the tender age of 7 years. I do not see what bearing this information has in regards to my sons educational needs or diagnosis of Aspergers? It was only spoke of when family medical history was taken on a few of little mans assessments in relation to his diagnosis of Apergers. I had no reason to reframe from sharing such information with the professionals ( Not school ) involved in the care of my son. I’m not ashamed of my OCD just as I’m not ashamed of little mans autism I just don’t understand the reasons behind the schools choice to take the information from an assessment paper relating to little mans condition and then sharing it with others who in my opinion need not know or have no reason to know. I wish my sons diagnosis was so freely shared amongst the same people

It May seem I’m somewhat angry, annoyed and upset as a result of the pyjama MADNESS. I must be otherwise why the long post. I went through three stages… Anger, Upset, Laughter… By the time I wrote this I was pissing my pants. This was because it’s nothing but pure silly nonsense. How can I spend time worrying about this playground name calling. I have bigger worry in my life-like will my child receive the education best suited to his needs? Or how about will my daughter forever suffer as a result of her brothers Aspergers and the effect this has on both their school lives. Am I wrong or are these comments merely they’re to be hurtful or just because who ever wrote them lacked the ability to write something of intelligence. I don’t need to be a Psychologist, Doctor or a Mental Health practitioner to know that pyjamas are not a warrant for a diagnosis of any mental health condition but more suited to whoever wrote such a nasty comment in the first place. Hence the reason I decided to write this before firmly taking it on the chin!

So I fault it would be irresponsibly of me to finish this post without having given readers a WARNING.

Readers do you think you are safe behind the closed doors and the bricks that form your house when you are looking like something the cat dragged in? Don’t be hyping yourself up in the excitement of the prospect of settling down with a hot cuppa coffee and watching a little Jeremy Kyle! Hell No. Be getting yourself looking respectable as you don’t know who’s gonna come knock, knock, knocking on your door and be offended by them betty boo Jim Jams.

A book from god

14 Dec

I have a few Aspergers books.
But Aspergers-syndrome by Tony Attwood is one of the best. Tony Attwood a clinical psychologist had written this book as a guide aimed at parents and professionals. The book has discussions, frequently asked questions, advice and suggestions on everything Aspergers. I really rate this book. It’s a must have for parents with children with Aspergers.

Getting a diagnosis

10 Dec

Are you worried that your child or someone you know has Aspergers. There are many sites on the web that offer help on getting a diagnosis. Please note that this is not an easy process. Be prepared a  for long wait.

discuss your concerns with your GP or if it is a child you are concerned about you could speak to his or her school. They may have a educational psychologist that could help.

The best way to avoid a long wait would be to chose the most costly option which is to go private. There is a great organisation which goes under the name of Oaasis. They offer a great deal of  information and support on all things AD. And if you are thinking on taking the private route this organisation really can help. To contact Oaasis you can phone them on there free number 0800 902 0732 or visit there web site at www.oaasis.co.uk.

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