Voyage into the everyday unknown

Well it’s Friday. Yesterday was my little boys last day at his special school. Next term will see him a full time member of his mainstream school. How do I feel about that? Terrified. Is he ready yet? Not completely…am I ready? Not remotely.

He is still struggling to socialise appropriately but is desperate to make friends and play with other kids. He still struggles in the classroom and hides under tables or behind bookshelves when asked to do work that he feels he can’t do. Yet he is still incredibly clever and really wants to learn.

For me as a mum it’s really hard to take him each day to a place where I am not sure he will have a good day, or even just not have an awful day. If you’ve never had a child with behavioural difficulties then you will only understand a fraction of the worry I feel each time he goes to school. If you have children at all you’ll understand those feelings on an everyday level as all parents worry even when their children are capable of sitting in a classroom without needing an aide.

Sadly, although everyone agrees that he really needs a full time aide, there is no funding for one and so he is left to fend for himself for almost all of the time that he is at school. Something that really annoys me about the schools in this country is that there is no real help to be found. I am a very determined parent. I knew my child would need help early on in his life, and my initial plan was that he would go to a private school as I figured if I was paying almost $18,000 a year for preschool then they would surely be able to get him the help he needed and spend extra time on him! Sadly I learned that was not the case. Not only did I have to pay for an aide on top of the school fees, I was told they wouldn’t be able to take him into the junior school because of his behaviour and that other parents were complaining! So they don’t actually only want your money, they also only want perfectly placid children who don’t ruffle any feathers.

Ok I’ve had my rant. Moving on.

He did very well despite the excitement around the leaving party yesterday. We were very proud of him and told him so repeatedly. What the next term holds after the holidays, only time will tell. I just hope he isn’t half as anxious about it as I am!

I will be starting my new parenting groups soon, and to be honest, although I know I have a lot of knowledge and experience to share with parents of tricky kids, I still find myself second guessing how much faith these parents can really put in me when I still haven’t completely sorted everything out for my own child yet!

I also find that I’m so jealous at the moment of people who have “normal” kids. When I read or am told a story about little Johnny who started school this year and they are doing soccer and this and that, I’m happy for them but at the same time I feel really sad that we’ve missed out on all that stuff. We can’t take him to soccer. I’ve been trying to even find a Scouts group who will let me take him to their meetings. It would be nice to just be able to take him places to make nice friends. Or be able to praise him for doing something extra special at school rather than for getting through the day without taking off his clothes or stealing stuff from his classroom. Ok I’m getting self sorry again and on that note I must quit and get back my ‘butterflies and sunshine’ frame of mind!

Happy school holidays if you are in Sydney. We will be going camping so I’ll try to take some pics and do a post.

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2 Responses to Voyage into the everyday unknown

  1. a name says:

    Is there a possibility of you attending school with your son as his aide? Could you get qualifications that would allow you to do this? Or swap kids with another mother also willing to do this?

    • KL says:

      Hi. I have thought about that quite a bit. Getting the qualification to be an aide is pretty easy. I’ve gone backwards and forwards with the difficulty of not wanting to be an overshadowing influence for him at school. There is also the issue of me wanting to be his protector and comforter. While he is more settled and capable when I’m around, I don’t want him to feel that he doesn’t have his mum to go to as a safe place, which could happen if I am there trying to get him to participate in the classroom.

      It’s a hard one. I am also scared that if I am struggling with him all day at school I’ll be too tired and frustrated to offer him the patience and time I currently do after school.

      The mum swapping idea bears some consideration though. Thanks!

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