The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

So we all agree...

We've just got back from Mstr A's parents evening. I haven't decided if I'm pleased or depressed by his progress.

I again reiterated that we are happy with his academic progress. I know his teacher gets frustrated because he won't complete any tests for her to mark him by, but she is aware that his literacy & numeracy skills are way above average. He has two hours one-one each week, so she can usually get some evidence then, which keeps her paperwork up to date. We do very little academic stuff at home, so as I said to her, he's obviously learning it at school, even if he's not showing it.

So we moved onto his social skills. I asked if there had been any improvement, and she basically said, no, he's still getting worse. That's despite all the extra effort we've been putting in at home, school & other activities. Unless someone is there constantly reminding him to do things, he just fidgets/stares into space/starts shouting or throwing things. Unfortunately, it is not possible for someone to be there constantly on top of him at school.

On the plus side, she'd taken my last discussion to heart and had bought some books about special needs & agreed that he was showing many of the signs of autism, so she is going to try to incorporate specialist activities into the class. The Educational Psychologist has been to see him, although no report has arrived yet. Teacher said that in her opinion nothing is likely to be sorted out till next school year (Sept), but I reckon we might be able to push things forward quicker than that.

So now we're kind of in limbo. We're all agreed he needs specialist help, but until he's diagnosed we can't get it, or even really work out what would be best for him, as there are so many varieties of autism and treatment/management techniques. We've been having a ot of tantrums at home recently too. It's hard to remain patient all the time, even though I know shouting at him just sets off a screaming fit. It seems that no matter how many times I say something (like don't push the baby over) it just doesn't sink in. Then every now & then he'll be a gorgeous 5 year old & I think maybe I just expect too much from him.

Not today though. I took him to school screaming, I picked him up screaming, He was screaming again when Mr A came home, and again by the time we left to go to the parents evening. We narrowly avoided more screaming when we left the school, and put up with shouting while sorting out supper. Another screaming fit before going to bed, finished the day off nicely.

8 Comments:

  • At Wednesday, November 16, 2005 9:14:00 pm, Blogger mommyguilt said…

    Oh could I tell you! I know how hard it is not to scream back and to try to keep a level head. Sometimes I feel like we, the parents, are not allowed to express OUR feelings.

    Definitely go for the formal diagnosis, though. It seems crazy to do it when you're pretty certain of the dx, but at least then you've got something to go on for therapies and interventions.

    He'll be fine...as will you. Take a peek into RDI (Relationship Development Intervention). I'm reading up on it now and it seems to be exactly what we're looking for. Of course, not everything is for everyone, but do your research...over a glass of wine, of course.

     
  • At Thursday, November 17, 2005 11:49:00 am, Anonymous smiffykins said…

    have u tried the national autistic website. there are also support groups in somerset for parents with kids on the autistic spectrum which may be able to help u find out about getting a diagnosis quicker. if u want any more info please let me know. i work with challenging autistics in a school in somerset so i ahve some idea of the hell u r going thro.

     
  • At Thursday, November 17, 2005 1:35:00 pm, Blogger Mary P. said…

    I worked as a volunteer some years ago in a class of autistic children. I don't think the term "spectrum" was in wide use back then: our children were either "true autistic" or "autistic symptoms".

    Yes, get the diagnosis, because, as I'm sure you're well aware, any help he might be elegible for will hinge on the Official Piece of Paper.

    Good luck to you!

     
  • At Thursday, November 17, 2005 3:50:00 pm, Blogger craziequeen said…

    This is not all bad news, Mrs A - as your friends above show.

    Each small step forward is an improvement, and even the steps backwards give you clues.

    The sooner you get the diagnosis the better :-)

     
  • At Thursday, November 17, 2005 5:18:00 pm, Anonymous mar said…

    I do not know about this topic but common sense tells me a diagnosis is always the key to further steps. You will all do fine. Don't loose confidence. Dave sent me this time after I mentioned Turkey!

     
  • At Thursday, November 17, 2005 5:36:00 pm, Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said…

    I have a friend who provides psychological support in the school system here in Canada.

    She does assessments on children who warrant a closer look. Each such child receives an individual report. Then there's a kind of triage process, where resources are committed to the children with the most urgent needs. But the children don't actually receive the support until the following September.

    The biggest problem is that there aren't enough resources available to help everyone who needs intervention. The triage process eliminates a lot of children who have real needs, but whose needs are not profound enough to put them at the very top of the list.

    I don't know how applicable this information is to your situation, since the system may be very different in the UK. But that's the process in our neck of the woods.
    Q

     
  • At Thursday, November 17, 2005 7:11:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    Thanks for the support everyone.

    MG - I researched RDI when it first gained some publicity over here a year or so ago. It's sounds fantastic, but I'm not sure it's applicable to Mstr A. He seems able to read emotions, he just doesn't understand them.

    Smiffy - i've been to the NAS website a few times & it has got some useful stuff, but while we are going through one process I can't really complain that nothings being done. I just want it to be done quicker:-)

    Mary - I too worked for a short while with autistic children. I found it very very difficult, but it's slightly better when it's my own child.

    CQ - Thanks & I know. He's been much better today, and most days we manage. Sometimes it just seems a slog, but I know we will get there.

    Mar - Thanks for the support.

    Q - The process is similar here. I just want it progress quicker! The Ed Psych will write up a report which will basicall decide if he should have further investigation or not. If it's not, I can start looking at other avenues. If it a yes, we start moving towards a diagnosis, but it will still be a while.

    My sister is just trainihg to be n Ed Psych, so once the report is in, I'm hoping I can call on her knowledge to push things forwards, but it's the first step that takes the time.

     
  • At Friday, November 18, 2005 1:06:00 am, Blogger SullenBunny said…

    I hear you on the screaming thing, I cannot stand it. As I write this mine is going crazy with this awful growl howl shriek that is just nerve grating. He saves it all up for one good long loud time and times it for when I am the most exhausted both physically and mentally and it really wears me into the ground. Med shorten it but since we are only doing them as-needed when a tantrum starts it still takes a good hour before they kick in so we get an hour of the worst part of the tantrum before it subsides, which is way better than the long drawn out ones of before but still aggravating.

    Hugs to you and best of luck with the job situation.

     

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