As small boy goes upstairs to get ready for school I can’t help but start to feel a little anxious about what his day will hold.
The past two weeks have been full of positives and it can’t last for too long
First we had a meeting at the school to discuss having a CAF ( child assessment frame work) the only person available from the school to get us to fill out the form was the head of SEN at the school. We sat down and as she started to talk I had already prepared for what I was going to say … ” I don’t think a CAF is needed” I bravely and calmly replied “I know it’s voluntary and I really do not wish to have one” the teacher looked quite taken back, I’m not sure there are many parents who know their rights and rules about such things. I then went on to tell her my reasons
1. I have already got outside agencies involved.
2. They may sound good in practice but the chances of getting all of the outside agencies in one place at any one time is one of the hardest thing to be able to do
3. I felt as though all of the emphasis has been put on my lack of being able to cope with his behaviour, which isn’t actually the case.
4. All these things are being out into place yet I’m still waiting for the support from school for him recommended in the assessment he had in February.
It was my last point that got the best response, which to no surprise was “what assessment” yes that’s right the head of SEN at my sons school had no idea that he’d had an assessment last academic year, so I showed her my copy. She found it very interesting and when double checked her filing cabinet found a shiny print out if it that hasn’t been there before half term. Looks like the meeting at target setting day reminded them that perhaps the SEN department should know about this.
My other half and I then filled her in with everything we have been going through, including how horrid small boys experience of year seven was, being called stupid, not having support, and that we had no positive meetings at all with the school. She couldn’t apologise enough and explain in detail ( which I can not put in public view) that essentially this isn’t the first conversation she’s had like this with regards a few things including the teachers we are having trouble with, and have us the forms to make a formal complaint.
Then out came my whole folder and diary with who I spoke to, when, what’s been said etc and she agreed that a CAF wasn’t needed, that she was going to reassess small boy to see if there have been any changes and we are more than willing to give her a chance to do her job, I personally am going to give her until the end of term to get everything done and for full support to be put in place.
She then assured me that while he was in the Learning support unit they would give him all of the support he needed, which sounded great and about bloody time.
As we came out of the meeting we actually high fives each other and I did of course hug the lovely lady. One meeting down two to go, one with my so called case worker from the parent partnership support service and then social services duty social worker.
The following week passed without incident, small boy really working well with support producing beautiful hand writing, thought out work to a very good standard. To help at home I sat down with him and we wrote down his daily routines and chore list again (after he ripped the last ones up) and understood why it was important for him to have it written down as it gives him some responsibility and independence. It also means that it’s one less thing running around in my head, letting my other half know the plan and should mean less nagging mum mode too. Small boy’s attitude at home going by the rules needing little or no chill out time and really making an effort, lots of hugs and lots of talking about feelings and how to cope with some of the not so nice ones. We’ve also been talking about how it’s not a weakness if you ask for help, it’s how we learn things we don’t know yet, like with his free running some things take longer to learn than others and some things may come more naturally than other things. All in all good, positive energies for all which is a good feeling.
Last Tuesday was the home visit from my case worker from the PPSS (parent partnership service) much to my surprise the EDSW (education social worker) came round too,she was the lady who came into my house with the pcso while I was shopping. I had a few Stern words with her which she didn’t like.
I pointed out that its all well and good entering my home using her safe guarding children reason but that also according to that same training if you enter the home you’re supposed to stay until the care giver returns or if you do have to leave for another ’emergency’ are supposed to leave contact details and a note. Apparently she didn’t have any cards so she got my ‘don’t give me that excuse’ mum voice as I’m sure she could of found a piece of paper and called me. She then explained that the number she got off the school wasn’t in use, funny seems as though I get texts and calls off them on both of my phones. Honestly it was like talking to a grumpy teenager. I filled both the EDSW and my case worker on my chat with head of SEN at the school, explained my annoyance with the school not contacting the gp resulting in his absence from school not being authorised. The EDSW was also a bit miffed that I wasn’t going to fill out the CAF forms but my case worker appeared to be a little more on my side as she agreed with a lot of what I was saying. She was also the only one taking notes, the EDSW told me she never wrote notes as she remembers it all and writes it down later on!! There was a funny moment when “make love in the forest” by omnia came on, that took a lot of lip biting on my part. The EDSW really rubbed me up the wrong way especially when she mentioned that she knew about my subculture as she went to Glastonbury for the first time over half term. They stopped for quite a while, I spent most of that time defending myself and my lifestyle. I mentioned that the duty social worker was also due round which they had no idea why.
Not knowing why is horrible especially with social services so I didn’t really know how to prepare for it. As a parent you’re always worried that you may be missing something or are doing something wrong, heck I’m always questioning my parenting even more so with small boy being how he is. If it wasn’t for this questioning though and asking for outside advice I wouldn’t be as sure as I am that right now I’m doing the best i can, all the right things at the right times.
After a few sleepless nights the day had come for the visit. Turns out that I had been reported to social services by a few people. First was via “an anonymous person” saying that my house and garden were a danger to small boys health and that I grew weed in the shed. The second was by the school, it had been reported to them that smal boy had irrational behaviour and that I was self diagnosing him with mental health illnesses because of my own mental state! I’m glad my other half was with me because this accusation was more than upsetting. Once everything was explained such as saying “I’m sorry but when my son says he wishes he was dead and try’s to hang himself it doesn’t take the highest amount of intelligence to say that he’s not just feeling a little sad but is depressed” she had no idea that I had been taking him to the gp, or that CAMHS are involved, my other half also told her everything I go through with the neighbours and out and about in public every day and that any complaints from them are just bullying tactics. She was a lovely open minded social worker too and I didn’t have to go into much detail about my spiritual beliefs and practices. While filling out the forms she automatically went to put that I was unemployed and appologised when I corrected her. I did have to go into a few details about my up bringing and several mental health quirks which I manage quite well without medication. while filling out my employment details I told her that I was an emotional well being therapist and because of my circus skills I work with voulnarable adults and children. I have an enchanted CRB and undergone safe guarding and child protection training. I tried to get my point across too that because if the amounts I’ve studied etc it is more of a case where I know the early warning signs with mental health, I’m also aware of the triggers, and the fact that it can also be biological which is why I took him to the gp and she referred him to CAMHS. This is in fact still playing on my mind too.
Just before she went she had to check the shed, nothing but bikes, hula hoops garden tools and a couple of fox pelts. She still has small boy to talk to buy said that she sees no reason why any further action would be taken and that the people who reported me will get a letter to say this. She saw no reason why anyone would think that my son was in danger, that she thought I should report everything that happens when we are out, such as being spat at and the times neighbours come round and threaten me. I can but hope that she didn’t think I was pushing health issues onto my son.
We have to wait for the report back and out come.
Last Friday small boy started back in normal lessons and is supposed to be having support in them, he wasn’t like he had been for the past couple of weeks but that could just be that he was tired. I can but hope the school start supporting him. We did manage to get one piece of homework done over the weekend, he had four pieces set that have to be in tomorrow. The one piece he did very well, it just took a little under six hours to do because of the amount of outbursts and destractions. But at least he gave it ago and hope the day has gone well so he will be ready to do some more this evening.