Today I received a link to a Daily Mail article detailing Autism from a sibling's point of view. I makes for very interesting reading.
The paragraphs that I can relate to most are;
A high-functioning autistic like Rupert is, in some ways, harder to accept than someone more severely disabled, as at times they seem so tantalisingly close to normal. My mother says she always felt that if she tried hard enough, she'd find the key to 'unlock' my brother and everything would be fine.
Unlike Down's syndrome, which is easily recognisable in sufferers, autism has few physical signs.
There have been many times in the past that I have wished that Ana had some outward sign of a disability. After all no one questions why a Down's Syndrome person is not 'normal.'
I fear that throughout her life too much may be expected of Ana simply because she doesn't look any different from anyone else.
Yes I am very upset she was bitten, after all we hope our children are happy and safe in school.
What I am annoyed about was that first of all both children were allowed to get into a situation where another one was bitten. Ana's class has 9 students, 1 class teacher a 3 special needs trained teaching assistants. So it's not like a class of 30 and one teacher having to have eyes in the back of her head.
No one contacted me at the point Ana was bitten, it was simply written in her home school diary. Something Ana doesn't always remember to bring home.
I have contacted the school both through her home diary and via phone. No one has called me personally to even tell me how the biting happened. I did however receive a few lines in the home school diary that stated.
'Sorry you weren't informed earlier about Ana's bite. I am afraid I was off sick yesterday + we were a little short staffed. We have filled in an incident form and will keep a very close eye on Ana and the other child. The bite was through 2 layers of clothing so no bodily fluids were involved.'
Fair enough, but I have requested three times now that Ana's teacher contacts me. It's only common courtesy to do so.
I have since written a letter of complaint detailing the lack of communication and requesting again that some one contact me or an appointment is made so I can speak to the staff personally. I thought I would be polite and request a meeting before I march down there and set up camp. Only fair to give the school the opportunity to try and resolve this.
I have since found out the the incident report regarding Ana's bite was not filled out until the following day.
This is the same school that tried to 'integrate' Ana into a mainstream school environment. Which consisted of two afternoon sessions before they dumped her at the school and washed their hands of her. The ignored my pleads to take her back when the systematic bullying started and then only took her back when the other school couldn't cope.
Would you be?
Today Ana came home from school to tell me that during drink and biscuit time (morning break) she was bitten on the shoulder and the teacher had written in her book.
Sure enough there was a statement in her home - school diary that simply stated
'Unfortunately Ana was bitten today on the right hand shoulder. We applied and ice pack for 10 mintues which took away some of the swelling, Ana was very brave.'
So there's me thinking a simply case of she'd been nipped by another child and had a red mark or even at the worst some teeth marks.
'Show us your bite then.' I said to Ana only to be confronted by the picture above.
I had no idea the bite was that bad and according to Ana at the time she was bitten she was wearing her shirt and sweatshirt. I know Ana attends special needs school and there are children there will problems, but I would have expected a phone call from the school.
Anyway, on to the real reason I am writing this post.................
Shoes, yes shoes.
Yesterday Ana came home from school in another (yes I did say another) pair of ruined shoes. The soles had been ripped from the shoes and now slapped about as she walked around in the hallway of our home. This wasn't a simple case of the soles becoming unglued or a case of shoddy workmanship. No they have been torn away with such force that the mind only boggles at the activity she could have been doing at school to cause such wanton destruction.
The mind also boggles how Ana managed to get through a day at school and then come home on her transport and no one noticed the state of her shoes. Or perhaps they did, but didn't think it warranted my attention.
When I pressed Ana as to what she was actually doing at the precise moment her soles became detached from the rest of her shoe, the answer put forth was. 'I don't know, I can't remember.'
I know there are some mysteries of the autistic mind that I will never understand, but I would have thought the soles being ripped from your shoes wouldn't have gone unnoticed during your day.
Anyway, I have since purchased the third pair of shoes for this term alone and they will be given, along with the warning. 'Ruin these and you shall go to school with black bin liners on your feet!'
I don't hold out much hope, that way I am rarely disappointed.
Today Ana went back to school. *listens* *Sound of crickets chirping* It's it wonderful? Anyway I took some pictures of her today all smart in her uniform waiting to go. She won't look like that when she gets home though.
To say that these past summer holidays have been difficult has been an understatement. The combinations of poor weather, little to do and raging hormones (Ana's not mine) have left me wanting to tear my hair out. I can only hope that next year will be better or that soundproof children's cages become available on the NHS.
Of course not to be out done Amy had to get in on the act too.
I am sick and tired of all the tantrums, of being terrified of saying something that will set of the next big melt down. Innocent sentences such as , 'Could you please put some knickers on?' and, 'Can you tidy your bedroom?' I spend and ex ordinate amount of time walking around on eggshells
I get fed up of of being stuck in the middle of people on opposing sides. I really don't care how you would manage that particular scenario better or that a damn good smack will sort her out, because it won't. I know, I've tried!
I am forever doomed to spend my life washing pooped in clothes, or wiping bottom of a 10 year old. Will I still be doing this when she is 20?
Everything has to be arranged round Ana and her condition always having to make extra concessions and arrangements for her. I am unable to say 'sod it all, why don't we just go out somewhere nice today,' without planning of military precision
I am loath of all the stares and questions. This is not what I had in mind when I decided to have a baby!
Why is it the summer holidays seem to last forever?
After the ensuing rage from Ana we decided to let her go as long as she promised to behave herself in future and keep her bedroom tidy (two things of which she has failed miserably to do today)!
The lesson didn't go as badly as I was expecting. Ana was over excited and her tendency to babble inanely got the better of her, but towards the middle of the lesson she had actually managed to stop talking long enough to listen and in fact learn a few things. We shall have to see how things go.
Although it must be said that Ana has made some fabulous progress ever since she started in 2A there have been some very low times. Still she has generally managed to pick herself up again and end this term on a high note.
Today was the first day of 'transition' where the children that will be starting in a new class at the beginning of the next term spend time in their new class. This is to help them get used to the change gradually so there should as little disturbance as possible once the summer holidays are over. Also it allows the children to get used to their new form room, their new teachers, assistants and class mates.
I am cautiously optimistic for next term as Ana is no longer in the same form class as L. Both just seem to rub the other up the wrong way. Also there was a very detailed write up in Ana's home school diary today about what class she is now in and the names of her teacher and assistants. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
There is one down side to all of this. Ana's best friend G will be moving up to the Secondary school side of things next term. I just hope the change doesn't upset things too much.