Jack has now been out of school for about 13 weeks. A quarter of a calendar year. A lot can change in 13 weeks. It’s a trimester of pregnancy. It’s the difference between a good relationship and a divorce. It’s three paychecks. It’s enough time for a redundant worker to potentially lose their home.
There have been shorter wars.
But our war is ongoing.
I am actually finally starting to see some progress. For example, did you know children who are unable to attend school due to health reasons are entitled to be educated by tutors from the council? Education Other Than At School (EOTAS for short) is the provision we get to cover the basic subjects. At primary level, it’s just maths and English, and usually for four hours per week. At secondary level it can be longer (depending on the child and their circumstances), it may be in group sessions, and may cover science too.
Due to Jack’s low concentration span, we are beginning with one hour twice per week, which we hope to increase to two hours twice per week once he is used to his tutors.
On top of this, we also access Autism Northumberland’s stay and play room for one hour a week, we go to Airbox Bounce for their Autism friendly session once per week, we have a private tutor come for one hour per week, and we also have one hour per week of intervention from the Children and Young People’s Service each week. With the EOTAS, we have six hours of education and intervention per week.
To clarify, that is the equivalent of one full day at school.
But it’s a start and it’s spread over four days which is helpful.
What is not helpful is the county council. We rewrote Jack’s EHCP when the school and I reviewed it – and it was determined that Jack’s needs cannot be met in a mainstream school. The council disagrees. I genuinely don’t see the logic in their decision and I will be launching an appeal and consulting a solicitor as I think you can get legal aid to represent a person under 16, which Jack obviously is.
In spite of this setback however, I do feel like we are finally going to get some normality back in our home.
And so today I will spend my day blitzing the house, chucking the rubbish, cleaning every tiny little corner…ready for our “back to normal” tomorrow.
I’ve forgotten what normal is, but, even though Jack has been off school for ages now, we have kept his morning and evening routines the same. This means it’ll be easy to slip into our new regular day to day stuff.
I’ve gone a step further and even designed a weekly timetable as well as a sheet to fill in with what he has done every day so we can track is as evidence for the council.
Finally. Some hope.