Pushed to the Limit

For those of you who live in a cave in the moutains without WiFi, Facebook this week has been FLOODED with pictures of children in their lovely uniforms, looking smart and cute AF, ready for another year of learning.

Shout out to Rachel van der Wel, whose son always has the most relatable expression in his photographs.

My boy actually looks happy in his picture. Like a cherub, but with no front teeth.

I want so badly to say that this week was amazing, and that he has had the best time, and that all the negativity he has been oozing since February has resolved over the summer. I want to tell you that he is back to being his confident, smiley, enthusiastic self.

But I just can’t.

Throughout the summer holidays, we avoided all talk of school, unless he addressed it. If he did, we discussed how many days, and referred to his transition book. For those who haven’t seen one, a transition book is a bit like a social story, with pictures of the stuff that is new for the next year (teachers, classroom, seat etc) and the things that will stay the same (uniform, assembly, staff involved if they haven’t changed). Because he has been pretty chill over the holidays, I didn’t anticipate what was to come.

Wednesday was a bit tough – he didn’t want to wear uniform but he wore it. He didn’t want to go, but he did. When I collected him, his teacher gave me a thumbs up and said he had a brilliant day.

He told another story entirely. He told me maths is too hard, that he hates it, that he is a failure at maths, learning maths won’t make him smart, and he wishes he could stay at home and learn maths from Mammy instead of going to school. This isn’t the first time he has mentioned home education, but I don’t really want to go down that route if I can avoid it.

This was just the start of things to come, unfortunately. All the bad stuff has come flooding back. The obsessive thoughts are the worst because he says them out loud. Everything he says links back to not wanting to go to school. The worst by far though, was that he said school makes him want to hurt himself “and people”, but if I ring the police he would kill me. I know he’s not dangerous and doesn’t mean it, and he’s 7, what’s he gonna do?! But it hurts to hear your child is feeling that low.

Thursday was no better, and getting him there today was just hard.

Today (Friday) I have resumed my role as Personal Administrative Assistant to the Office of Jack Christopher Ward. I have written a letter to request a holiday, completed an ADHD questionnaire, reviewed and amended his “Proposed Amended Educational Healthcare Plan”, reviewed and photocopied his OT report to send to the council WITH the revised Proposed Amended EHCP. I’ve also sat and clipped all the paperwork together to ensure it’s all where it needs to be. Hopefully that’ll be all the fighting finished for a while because I don’t have much fight left in me at the moment.

I know the majority of the problems are Jack’s and are centric to him, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t have further reaching effects in the family. I am exhausted and back on my happy pills. Bryan seems to be doing alright, but he masks everything except the worst feelings so I’m just hopeful everything is as it seems.

It really hasn’t been the best week back, but I remain hopeful that it will improve and that this is just the “settling in period”. If it’s not, I need to start gathering my strength for what needs to be done next. Because right now, I’ve none.

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