Thursday, 20 August 2015

He should be but isn't ...

At the beginning of this year during a big meeting it was mentioned by several people that it would be beneficial for Roo to be deferred for a year so instead of starting school this month he would remain in the nursery redoing his preschool year. I understood their reasons and actually agreed that it would probably be better for him as despite all the progress he has made there was no way he was ready for school so we were handed paperwork and filled it all in and the professionals involved wrote their reasons for supporting this decision and sent it off to wait to hear if the LA agreed to the decision. We didn't have to wait long as we soon got a letter saying that the LA agreed and things were set in motion ready for Roo to return to nursery with full time support. When the letter arrived I actually felt relieved as it was one less battle for us but then I could feel tiny niggles of doubt trying to creep into my mind but I pushed it to the back and concentrated on the summer holidays. 

All was fine until I read on Facebook how some parents were getting emotional at the thought of their child starting school and it sort of hit me that I was going to miss out on all this. I remember all the emotions and excitement when my older two started school and had fully expected to do the same with my youngest but it wasn't to be, instead to be a year later than normal.

I told myself I was being silly and quietly told myself to stop thinking "he should be.." and focus on the now & that the decision had been made and all professionals supported it so it can't be a mistake. I continued to keep pushing the doubts to the edge of my mind. It would be so much easier if I had a crystal ball that would tell me that I had made the right decision but alas nothing like that exists. Only time will tell.

The day came when the schools/nurseries started back for the new term. I got Roo all dressed wearing his nursery tshirt and jumper, put him in his chair and walked to school..after dropping off my other two children I continued walking towards Roo school and on the way I saw some of the children that were in Roo nursery class before the summer hols wearing their school uniform with big smiles on their faces and I felt the pangs of sadness rising in me. 

Waiting outside the nursery entrance for the doors to open I saw a big crowd of parents, carers, grandparents with excited little children, taking their photos and I watched it all, thinking how smart the children looked, thinking that they were starting a new journey and hoped that they had a good time. Then the parents turned and started walking towards the nursery to go pass to go out the gate and I saw a few wiping away tears and suddenly time seemed to slow down, everything faded out and as I watched one parent wipe away the tears from her face and turn to speak to a group of parents I suddenly felt overwhelmed with sadness and could no longer watch, instead focusing on my boy sat in his chair oblivious to it all, I bent down and kissed his head and whispered "I love you" and he turned and stared at me and grabbed my hand. At that moment everything  returned to normal and soon it was time to take him into his new room, with a new bunch of kids. 

As I walked out of the school grounds I wondered to myself " why was I feeling like this" ... Then I realised it was simple - I'm only human and that while I knew the right decision was made, that Roo was oblivious to it all, not aware that his old class had moved onto new pastures, nor aware that he had a new class as to him it's just children whether new or old, and most importantly that Roo was happy, healthy and making progress all the time, that it was ok to have moments of sadness at "he should be" moments, sadness that our path is different from majority of parents. 

BUT next year I will be that emotional , excited, anxious mummy at the school gates seeing my child go to school. Meanwhile even though I am happy I'm only human and I will just take a couple of weeks  to get over the feeling of sadness I feel right now.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Goodbye Green Room..

Shortly after Roo's 1st birthday his Paediatrician referred him to join Kidzone which is a playgroup for children with additional needs. Must admit I was really apprehensive about it all, not sure what to expect as it was a completely different environment to what I was used to with my older boys. It wasn't just a new experience for Roo but for me as well but I needn't have worried as all the mums were lovely as were the was through this group that we were told about the Green Room that provides nursery provision to special needs children from the age of 2-5yrs & it was recommended that we apply for a place. Shortly after Roo's 2nd birthday he started going to the Green Room for two afternoons a wk which then built up to 2 full days a week.

The Green Room is a great place, as they have various different areas all accessible for the children regardless of their disability. They also have access to soft play ( a big favourite of Roo's!) and sensory room as well as a play area outside. The staff were the most caring, welcoming, friendly people you could come across and they soon put you to ease in trusting them to care for your child while you had some time to yourself which is important for us mums as its so hard to trust someone to be capable to understand and meet their needs. The staff often would tell me what Roo really liked doing, if there was a particular object that he liked playing with. Like for example they told me that Roo loved playing with a small hand held back massager that vibrated so we got him it for his Christmas and it was well worth it as often we ended up wasting money on toys that he never took interest in, or understood, and they often were left to gather dust. But when we started getting him stuff that gave him a sensory input it was great to see him sit happily holding the massager on his head as he loves the vibrating sensation! 

In the two yrs Roo attended the Green Room he came on so much, much more than I was told by doctors and he proved them all wrong. Watching him grow in confidence, seeing his happy face in photos & when dropping/picking him up told me that he was loving every minute he spent in there.He was thriving in their environment. He gained independence & skills that will hopefully help him in the next stage of his journey.

In January this year it was decided to let Roo attend the mainstream nursery in mornings only with one of the staff from the Green Room as his 1:1 instead of attending the Green Room itself. Amazingly Roo coped quite well and enjoyed being in the nursery, doing activities etc with the help of his 1:1 . Because he attended mornings only he was now entitled to holiday provision and at Easter he attended the Green Room for several days and it was so good as it enabled me to spend some quality time with my older two children without worrying about Roo. He had a fantastic time as usual and wore the staff out! We will get the holiday provision again this summer holidays but after summer is over he will no longer get it. A bit gutted as his other respite is stopping too (that's another story for another post!) but we will make the most of it this summer and I will get some valuable time to take boys to cinema or whatever they want to do.

Also after the holiday provision finishes Roo will no longer attend the Green Room as he will be in mainstream nursery with 1:1 full time ( he is being deferred for a year so will not be starting school till 2016 ) . Yesterday the postman brought a surprise bit of mail which had this inside - 

I just love the picture of him holding the graduate frame... feeling a bit sad as they have done so much for him but while his journey has ended with them he starts a new journey and I'm keen to see how it goes... This means he also leaves Kidzone which has been amazing for me as it was the one place where we belonged. We haven't been since December last year due to personal reasons but I also want to thank them and will miss them.... As long as he is happy and progressing that's all that matters. But I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to all the staff & volunteers from the last 2/3 yrs who have been a part of Roo's life and helped him to be the boy he is today, so from the bottom of my heart -