An incredibly successful day

For both #1 Son and myself.

At 09:00 this morning I strode off to school suited and booted for #1 Son’s initial evaluation meeting for Special Education Provision.

I’ve been both dreading and looking forward to this by turns.

He had to meet certain specific criteria to qualify for an IEP – which is an Individualised Education Programme.

Basically it was to see whether or not he could be statemented.

I spent a year working in the SEN department of Oxfordshire County Council, so I knew how hard getting one of these could be, at least without a metric tone of supporting documentation and medical backup.

And the autism assessment process is stalled a bit. It’s just so slow.

So I had reports from:

  • An Educational Psychologist.
  • An Occupational Therapist.
  • A Speech and Language Therapist
  • The School’s own SENCO

Which came home on Friday, which I read, re-read, highlighted and annotated.

I went up to this meeting agreeing with the reports, but prepared for battle if needed. I knew they wanted to help him, but criteria are criteria and he had to meet them to get the extra help.

At the meeting were:

  • Myself – daddy stayed at home with TT
  • The Principal
  • His class teacher
  • The school nurse
  • Head of SEN services for the district as meeting co-ordinator
  • The school Counsellor – who #1 Son has dubbed “The Feelings Lady”
  • The SENCO
  • The Occupational Therapist
  • The Speech and Language Therapist
  • The Educational Psychologist

It was a full meeting. I was completely drained both physically and emotionally after it. He’s not the only one in this household who can get overwhelmed.

So he couldn’t be registered with a disability due to autism, as the school cannot diagnose that.

He couldn’t get the IEP on cognitive ability because the reports proved he is average to above average in almost all areas.

So what’s left? Well, a few things but the main one is Developmental Delay.

That is a blanket term that covers a lot of things, but the one that covers him best is social, emotional or adaptive functioning.

I don’t disagree. He has severe sensory issues, cannot relate to his peers (but is great with much older and much younger children), confidence issues and is struggling generally.

I just feel a massive sense of relief.

Within 10 school days we will get a copy of the IEP and once we read it, sign it and return it, it becomes “activated” and off we go.

There will be more meetings, more reviews. This is not a one-off thing, but the main hurdle has been jumped and he will get more help.

And now for the second good thing of the day.

I went for a pre-operative assessment with the surgeon who would perform my hysterectomy if agreed to.

Well, take a shufty at this ladies and gentlemen:

For those in the audience who cannot read doctor handwriting (it’s a skill), he had agreed, without any hesitation, to perform:

A TOTAL ABDOMINAL HYSTERECTOMY

WITH BILATERAL SALPINGO OOPHERECTOMY

They are taking Every. Single. Thing. Out!!!!

I could have kissed Mr. Surgeon Man.

πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ

I’ve been warned that because they will go in through the belly it’s going to be the full six weeks recovery time for the procedure alone, coupled with six months to feel myself and back to normal again.

That’s fine.

December Madness

Begins.

I’m still working on the Thanksgiving update so stay tuned for that dear audience.

So. Yesterday was December 1st. Therefore Advent Calendars are back in this household.

However this year no edible ones.

Mainly because we think TT is still a bit young for daily chocolate, and she’s old enough to be totally annoyed if her big brother has one when she doesn’t. So we went with fancy toy ones.

But, there are very few options for two year olds.

#1 Son has a Lego one. TT? Well we scoured everywhere and finally found a Paw Patrol one with no tiny pieces. TT still insists on sticking non food items in her mouth!

As for me, normally I have a Hotel Chocolat sharing one, but I didn’t think about it in time and I don’t know if they ship here.

So instead, I treated myself to a Sparkle Yarn advent box from Tinky Dye Yarns. The lovely Maria has been still shipping my clubs to me so this was a lovely addition.

The glorious box:

Dec 01:

It also comes with a bespoke pattern which will soon be on sale on Ravelry from the lovely Julie-Ann Amos and I am happily working my way through it.

I have not yet opened today’s window.

We also went to the Melrose Christmas Lights switch on last night:

There was live music

The children wanted some of the light up plastic tat that they sell. #1 Son got a light sabre, TT a snowflake magic wand.

That wand lasted less than 30 minutes before she whacked it against the stroller hard enough to shatter the snowflake πŸ™„

It’s not like they were $10 apiece or anything….

But the piΓ©ce de resistance of the evening was seeing SANTA.

Yes those are the Melrose High School cheerleaders.

The best bit though?

The kids. Both were so thrilled to see Santa.

I teared up with the happiness. I didn’t expect the sheer delight for both of them.

Mall visits will happen soon.

Today or tomorrow we will buy a tree and new decorations.

Oh, I’m also trying a new nail salon tomorrow as my last set didn’t last two days 😑😑😑

Parent-Teacher Conference

We had our first one for #1 Son last night.

I would be lying if I hadn’t been approaching it with at least a modicum of trepidation.

But honestly? It was amazing.

They have kept such good notes on his progress, both educationally and behaviourally.

He is improving. Slowly, gradually, but it’s visible and it’s there.

Perhaps the most important takeaway?

HE CAN READ!!!!

 

Honestly? I didn’t think he could. I knew he knew his letters, but stringing them into words (at least at home) is something he apparently couldn’t do. I now know it’s wouldn’t.

Busted kiddo πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

He is getting a lot of 1:1 support with the paras during centres, and when that happens he does well. But at the moment he doesn’t have one of his own and he’s one in a class of twenty. So they are trying, gradually, to scale back and seeing what he can cope with.

Basically it’s data gathering to bolster their bid for extra support for him. That will either start or happen next Tuesday at the Special Education meeting.

I am behind them 100% and fully intend to say so. Apparently having parental agreement and support really helps.

I would walk through fire to get him the help he needs, so let’s hope that the relevant professionals are on the sensible side and that I don’t have to go full on mama bear rage mode on them.

Or worse. Be British at them πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

His teacher also said that cognitively he is exactly where he needs to be. That he’s smart and funny. That he’s kind hearted. He’s also a perfectionist and sensitive.

She’s a true angel she really is.

So proud

So, the book fair has been and gone.

#1 Son came home with an impressive haul:

And pleasingly, he did not forget Happy. Happy is even still (mostly) white.

Tuesday is Art day and so he has returned from school today a fetching shade of blue. Maybe he was channeling his inner Smurf?

But more importantly for me, is the other thing he came home sporting:

Super Star

That’s right, TWO REACH STARS!!!!

In one day!!!!!

Honestly I could just burst with pride.

Unfortunately I don’t know exactly what he earned them for, as there was no journal sheet in his bag, and he is not the best at remembering anything but that doesn’t matter.

And not to be outdone, TT insisted on photobombing:

Another great day

For #1 Son.

I was more than a little surprised when I read his daily report sheet* yesterday and it was glowing, yet he did not have a REACH star sticker, but I shrugged it off.

But our lovely J handed me one this morning that he must have peeled off of his t-shirt.

So I have recorded it in our β€œFolder of Awesome”

He has six now, which is one per month, with two scored in October and two already for this month – IN ONE WEEK!!!!

I could just burst with pride and happy. I know we are nowhere near the end of the war, but for now at least, it feels like we are winning.

*His teacher created a daily checklist of his academic centres and puts stickers on the ones he completes. She also writes me a daily report of good and bad – did I mention the woman is a saint?

A day unlucky for some

But not for us.

For today Friday the 13th October 2017 we have sold our house.

Yes that bloody Millstone that was hung around our neck’s since April yes, April finally belongs to someone else!!!!

I mean okay we have not yet actually received the funds from the sale yet. No more dealing with shitty conveyancers!!!

Please excuse me while I do a little dance in celebration. It might even be the squirmy happy puppy dance. (Which I’ve not done since I left the office).

We can buy a car!!!!!

#1 Son also had an excellent day.

He received today’s REACH Star For doing his writing work without complaint and generally being awesome.

Yes I know the shirt is too small he insisted on wearing it and quite frankly I’m not sure I’m going to bother washing it before getting rid of it.

(Ok that’s a lie, but it was fun to consider however briefly πŸ˜‚πŸ€£)

Got to speak to his teacher today because our lovely J was unable to pick him up from school due to a previous appointment. And the lovely teacher confirmed that he has improved greatly, and she is very very pleased with him.

Yes we got our normal ice cream. Yes both children were a giant mess at the end of it. They had fun. I’ve even bought some very expensive oatmeal pouches to try and tempt TT into actually eating breakfast. Standby for the results on that one dear audience.

Oh and before I forget my wonderful boy and I had a conversation about Christmas. He was explaining to me how it was very important that J, her partner, and her two children, (and especially the baby) should have Christmas presents from us this year.

(It was hilarious that he referred to J’s partner as her dad because he knew him to be the baby’s dad. I did explain)

πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I forgot how literal a child’s view of the world can be.

But the best part of this conversation was the discussion about him giving the baby his toys and perhaps most importantly a previous favourite toy. He explained to me how he felt it was important that toys that were less favourite should go to other children.

No I’m not crying you’re crying. Or maybe someone is cutting onions in here. Just proves what a wonderful sweet boy he really is. And finally on the way home he asked to go to the park unfortunately his sister had other ideas (in the nappy area) so we played outside once we got home. Our lovely downstairs neighbour H said that we were able to use her grandson’s outside toys as and when.

So I managed to capture this:

See Saw

They can be so gosh darned cute when they want.

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School Update

Well since I’ve ranted here, I feel I should also twirl with excitement.

We are seeing improvements!!!!!!

He’s had over a week of decent days, and at least one excellent one. Two that his teacher has termed awesome.

  • He has done work.
  • He has used words when upset.
  • He has told a teacher before leaving the classroom

And

  • He is leaving the classroom less

 

I could just burst with pride I really could.

He’s also undertaking homework with me with minimal fuss and getting it done.

I am so proud of my boy.

Here is his school picture, which is, quite frankly, his best ever:

Oh, and he wrote a book today at school (Well he illustrated it and dictated the words to his teacher, who was his willing transcriber) and wanted us to read it to him at bedtime.

We of course obliged.

πŸ’•πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’—