We’ve Kind of Been Here Before

3 Jun

Since I last updated here, it’s all gone a bit wrong (again).

Small Boy has been out of school since two days after the start of the summer term. It was almost impossible to get him back to school after Easter, but the crunch came when I had Small Girl at a Camhs appointment and I spent 3/4 of it talking about SB. I had the light-bulb moment where I thought we’re damaging him, leaving him every day somewhere we have to drag him to screaming. The screaming is communication; all he can say is help me, and we’re not listening. We need to change this.

I drove SG back to school for the afternoon session and he appeared at the staff room door while I was letting SG’s PSA know she was back on the premises. He had seen my car, and that I hadn’t driven straight off. He didn’t speak, just looked straight at me with tears shining in his eyes and wrapped his arms around my waist. I told him to collect all his belongings and to wait for me by his coat peg. Then I told the staff that the only sensible and kind thing I could do was to remove him until further notice. I assured them it was nothing they had done wrong (it really wasn’t) but it was hurting him, and my job was to protect him.

The relief on his wee face was a wake up call if ever I needed one. I sent a text to Hubby to inform him of what I’d done, and not to be surprised if he called and heard SB in the background. And then we waited.

The first two weeks were the worst. Somehow I’d got it into my head that away from the hyper-stimulating environment (or whatever) of school that he would quickly bounce back and “be himself.” That didn’t happen. He was rude, angry, aggressive, even violent, and my heart sank as I wondered if I had somehow made a bad situation worse.

But I hadn’t, and my instincts were right. One day I got a smile, a genuine one. Then he asked a question – about the platypus as it happens – and we spent half an hour on Google, learning everything we could about the strange and frankly terrifying critters, and now, several weeks on, I can almost say I have my boy back.

He’s still angry, and frustrated, and horribly panicked about any kind of change to his routine, but the absolute terror has mostly gone from his eyes. School are continuing to be wonderful in their support, and there is a team dedicated to trying to “fix” what went wrong. The only problem is that without the input of specialist services that deal with mental health issues, specifically those of young autistic people, we might not get much further. And guess which service we are still waiting on? Yes, you know it.

Without knowing just what he can’t cope with, there is no way we are prepared to attempt to put him back into full time schooling, just to see the very same thing happen all over again. The stumbling block is that being only just 11, he has no idea what his triggers are. Having Teen Boy around is helpful, as we can take a stab at the worst of the probables, but they are not definite. TB has told us it was several years later that he finally managed to start filtering out the worst of his sensory issues, so it might be that part of what we have to do is wait until SB can do the same. Which doesn’t help much with school, but I refuse to rush him. He is autistic, and I will not shove him into a mainstream neurotypical pond and demand he swims like the NT fish because he can’t. And why should he? If he were blind, or in a wheelchair, the system would know it had to adapt for him. But because you can’t look at an autistic person and see the autism, for some reason it’s acceptable (well it’s really not but other people think it is) to squash and squeeze and push them until they are stuffed into the same round holes as everyone else, no matter that they are perfectly content to be square pegs.

Well, this mumma says no! My square pegs require square holes, and if it takes yet another fight, bring it!

In the mean time, SB is coping with one hour of practical science once a week, one to one with a PSA, and for some reason, 90 mins of PE too. Rather him than me *shudders*.

For another time, I’ll write about our tentative journey into home education.


8 Responses to “We’ve Kind of Been Here Before”

  1. aviets June 3, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    Good for you for taking such a bold step. Even when you’re certain in your own heart what the right course is, it’s not always easy to follow it. I’m curious what the attitude of the school personnel is. In my experience they tend to be experts in blaming the parents.

    • ouremuk66 June 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

      School have been awesome. It helps that the head teacher was my older boy’s class teacher, and saw first-hand his descent into misery. She also knows how badly it went wrong before it got sorted, so she has a personal interest in seeing it go right this time, and she 100% understands that mental health is the most important factor in his life.

      Keeping the rest of the professionals in line may prove to be more of a challenge but I’m up to it *dons boxing gloves*

      • aviets June 3, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

        Awesome! 🙂

  2. claireyr123 June 3, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    You know this already, but you’ve certainly done the right thing. His MH has to come first and if he’s not happy he won’t learn anyway. From one Mumzilla to another, stay strong & enjoy as much of this time together as you can X

    • ouremuk66 June 3, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

      Thanks Claire, It’s always nice to know other parents think you’ve done the right thing. I really don’t want to start fighting people, especially a load of neurotypical professionals who have no idea what it’s like to be autistic, but I will if I have to. I won’t accept what they did to my older boy to happen to another one of my kids while there is breath in my body.

  3. Tracy June 5, 2016 at 9:07 am #

    You are an awesome mumma and you’ve done the right thing for your child. Everything is working for The Boy at the mo at school but I’ve told you that should that ever change, I will take him out. Stay strong my love and keep kicking those arses!! Lufs X

    • ouremuk66 June 5, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Thank you Tracy. There are times when staying strong seems to be so hard, but then I get a breakthrough or Small Boy smiles and hugs me, and it’s all OK again as I remember why I’m doing it.

      • Tracy June 6, 2016 at 5:50 am #

        It’s those small things that keep me going too. X

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