Playing Catch Up

It’s been a while since I posted anything of significance with regards to my six year old son and his difficulties and progress. Today I’m going to play catch up as I’m sure some of my readers would like some new information.

My son is on his second week of two days at mainstream school. He is struggling a bit. He has definitely regressed somewhat in his ability to control his frustration. His oppositional behaviour is on the increase and we are pretty sure it’s all anxiety related.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up all the patience and follow through and consistency, when we are tired and stressed ourselves. The problem is that if we let it slip for even a moment, we immediately see the results in our son. I know that he doesn’t have any friends at school at the moment and spends his lunch and recess time completely alone wandering around the playground. Although I know that a lot of that is due to how he interacts with other kids if they do let him play with them, it doesn’t make it any easier on my heart to think about it!

We are really hoping that as his time increases at the mainstream school, he will gain more experience and will start making friends. It will probably never be something easy or natural for him, but he will at least find some kids he can hang around with! Well, that’s not entirely true, it is easy and natural for him to make friends. He’s extremely sociable. The difficulty is in keeping them when he flies off the handle or starts being too bossy with them.

In more detailed catch up information, he is still about 6 months behind his peers academically and not really catching up as he refuses to do the work quite often. We aren’t overly concerned about that at the moment as we just need him to be able to stay at school for a whole day without being sent to the principal or excluded from class for some other reason. On the positive side, he doesn’t run away from school any more. He comes back after recess and lunch and gets into line and goes back to class, something which I didn’t think he would ever be able to do.

He goes to the school nurse at the start of lunch time to get his Ritalin tablet without being escorted which is also quite an improvement. It’s just such a shame that all the Ritalin does is allow him to concentrate more easily and keep his body still. It doesn’t nothing to help his anxieties or his impulse control. Those are things which at the moment, he still needs a lot of adult support to control. He will eventually learn to control them better himself of course, but it’s still difficult in the mean time. He has been caught a few times now, getting other kids naked, and although the school is not too concerned that there is anything but natural curiosity going on, it is of course something which needs to stop. It’s not going to win him any friends if that continues far past when all the the other little boys stop doing it. Fortunately, at the moment, it’s a ‘thing’ in his class group. They are all getting up to similar stuff, so he’s not being singled out on that score at the moment.

As for me, well I am finding it all a bit overwhelming just at the moment. I am at a point where I feel as if I need to do something other than concentrate on the treatment of my son, but doing anything outside of that is so difficult when the attention and self control required from me takes up so much of my mental and physical energy. Naturally I will get over this low point and rally my spirits to continue on, but right now, I think this whole family needs a holiday on a tropical island. Except of course, we have no money, so that’s not really going to happen any time soon! Sigh….

On Saturday, my husband and I discussed the possibility of me starting up some parenting workshops aimed at people having similar difficulties with their children. I would teach them many of the methods we have learnt from my son’s special needs school. I really think that is something I could do well and enjoy. There are so many families who don’t get a chance to learn what we have learnt at the special school, because in order to get in there, you need to have a child who is really failing the mainstream system, and externalising their behaviour in a detrimental way. Even then, the waiting list is so long that it’s really hard to get in. Our thoughts would be to offer the basic pieces of information we have learnt and tested and had success with. Hopefully, parents who are in a position like we were a year ago, would benefit from my knowledge gained over the time, and would be able to start helping their own kids before they get to the really desperate stage of needing a special needs school and a psychiatrist!

Well, that’s it for my catch up. Still a work in progress, but we must just keep moving forward and trying to be positive and I am sure we will get there, and get him there too!

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