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Yesterday was my daughter's 12th birthday, today she starts secondary school, and indeed any school for nearly a year, as anyone who has read any of my entries would realise. I was forced to home school her after two separate primary schools failed to deal with her dyslexia and autism and caused her untold, horrendous anxiety and fear and the resulting challenging behaviour, particulary from the age of 7 and particularly in the younger years as all unhappy children are difficult.

The first school refused to believe she was dyselexic, that she had any problems despite year after year her grades fell, and she refused to go more and more and her behaviour in the home - banging head, wrecking furniture, attacking me, and finally trying to hang herself aged 9! My brother paid for dyselexia testing and the school sat on the results for 5 months. No , they liked to look at my walking frame and then my wheelchair and decided she was a 'young carer' and I was unable to parent, hence the behaviour at home. Why was she unable to even tidy her bedroom or brush her teeth or put her socks on without help at 8 if she was 'caring' for me? How come all challenging behaviour ceased every weekend and school holiday? But it the was the bullyng. For two years they denied it happened until she tried to kill herself. So, she was sat in a room with her bullies and made to tell them how they made her feel and then, the teacher, the deluded cow, leant forward, hand on her heart and said 'I don't ask children to say sorry so I know now if you say it you really mean it'. so 'sorry' said the bullies and the 'incident' was dealt with.

I began home schooling part one. The bullies still bully so we never go to the local park! In 14 weeks she was writing with more confidence, her maths risen from a receptions level to a happy good Year5/6 level. she began counselling to help with all the anxiety and fear and difficulty in controlling ehr temper, as harming herself, me and furniture scared her.
School 2 picked up on the dyslexia straight away and she was diagnosed after two months and given support one to one. The EP wanted furtehr assessemetns for ADHD, but nothing happened for two terms, not until the school refusal started again. Two months later the high functioning autism was diagnosed. Brilliant I thought.

No. No autism support for her for months. I asked for written instructions, a safe space to change in and for break times, and to sit at the end for assembley. All impossible. I constantly reported the anxiety and self harming and school refusla re what was happenig in the classroom only to be told I had a 'aprneting problem' as well as being told they 'understood autism'. Bullshit!

A boy diagnosed months later got the support straight away. He kicked off in the clasroom. My daughter 'wasn't very austistic', didn't present as autistic'...

Sexism. Plain ans simple. Actually, girls imitate social skills without understanding them. Girls chatter and seem confident and bright. girls mask their anxiety and kick off at home (so do lots of boys, that one). Actually she was a typical girl with Asperger Syndrome, High functioning autism.

So, after two months of up to 6 hours every night of highly anxious self harming behaviour, a sleepless night and a daily suicide threat while I forced her to school (with ME, in a wheelchair). Twice I collpsed and ended up in hospital trying to get her to school and coping with her typicallly autistic respose to not understadning what was going on at school. So hey, what ammuunition - she's a 'young carer'. No. she's making me sick because you are making her sick because you are not meeting her needs when autism is a recognised disibility and by the way, try reading up on ME and you'll find I need bed rest and to pace myself, not a sleepless, hyperactive child who needs constant supervision to keep her safe at home you morons!!!

So home schooling began. it's bee hard work and fun and I've relied heavily on her wanting to do thngs and her fantastic dyslexia tutor and my backdated benefit form two appeals yonks ago that I had invested for her university. And the church has been a fantastic support.

So the above experience is all she has to compare with and despite Team Around the Child meetings and visits over June and July and the promise of one to one TA support, a safe space to go break and lunch and a host of other tailored provision including taxi to and from school, one to one social and communication skills and dylsexia support, my daughter can't absorb this. so, hopefully, today will go well and she will see it was okay.

And I have 7 hours to myself. Weird.

But the birthday. Most of the extended family forgot. The crap dishonourable Klingon who fathered her forgot/didn't bother with even an e-mail, of course. I have had no respite from her so of course couldn't do my usual shopping - all the bears, rag dolls, barbies, etc all amazingly go shopping for presents and cards so in the morning there are tens of little presents and cards to open. And then there is the ever present looming fear of school the next day. Not the happiest of birthdays.

Until my wonderful mum came after work with a gluten free dairy free cake around a Barbie, like a cake dress and made her roast lamb with all the trimmings.
A sleepless night. A morning like a condemned prisoner. The taxi came and a seemingly frozen, emotionless little girl got in the taxi, no hugs, no waves, no nothing. a little autistic auton terrified. the last I saw her.

I know she'll come back fine. with all that support how can she not, but, I'm a mum, and we worry...


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 7th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)

I have an 11 year old neice with typical Aspergers Syndrom, diagnosed when she was 4, when the nursery school teachers called her parents in and were shaking in their shoes to tell my sister and brother-in-law that'there was something wrong with their daughter' (paraphrasing).

My sister and brother-in-law looked back calmly, and more or less said - 'tell us something we didn't know!'

She wasn't out of nappies till she was 6, was quite capable of holding herself all day until she was crying at night if they didn't put one on her.

She has 'her food' and will only eat about a dozen items total. She has her obsessions, mostly with different computer games. She is very literal, and terrified of being wrong in anything.

However, she is a 'good' girl, and apart from stubbornness and the odd tantrum, is fine to be with.

She started her new secondary school yesterday, and it went very well, they have been very good with her.

I feel for you. Hope everything has gone well today, with your daughter.

Just think, more time for Lewis/Hathaway!
Sep. 8th, 2011 10:14 am (UTC)
*hugs* back. Thank you.

At least with your niece you all knew relatively early on. I alwasy knew there was something different but alwasy assumed it was ADHD.

My daughter went back into nappies at night when we moved house and only got out of pajama pants a few months ago. It was a security thing not a need thing, making her feel safe. She has to sleep in a sleeping bag rather than under a duvet, same reason. The literal thing, oh yes, the same, and the fear of being wrong, especially over writing and spelling (she's dyslexic too)

BK is getting more picky with food as she gets older!

BK' obssessions include Lewis (natch, she dragged me along with her), Morse, Monk, Poirot, Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes and then she is very girly but interested in a clincal, obsessive autistic way - barbies, make-up, shoes, fashion design and ELC Happy Land, for which she collects and has enough birthday money to buy the new fairy tree house and the windmill (we need new shelves!). People lways ecpect the interests to be computer orientated or SF with ASD, but girls are girls :)

Does your niece have a good, if weird, observational sense of humour? BK does. Another thing is people expect no imagination or humour.

It went well, better than expected, see my new post. I hope it continues well for your niece. As the person on the NAS helpline said to me when I was considering home schooling 'As a rule, primary schools are crap, secondary schools fantastic'.

Yes! More time to write my prompts, finish Oxford Ripper and write the backlog of BK's bedtime stories, and even, maybe, her Quantum Leap crossover prompt. But will my brain melt?
Sep. 7th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
*snuggles* Oh sweetie, I so hope that it did go well, pray tell as soon as you have some time to yourself.
I'm so glad that your mom made a lovely birthday cake and I do hope she had a nice birthday given the circumstances.
I'll still cross my fingers that things go well for BK!
Sep. 8th, 2011 10:16 am (UTC)
It went better than well - see my new post!

The cake was yummy, so light and fluffy and moist for a gluten free cake.

BK has enough birthday money to buy the fairy tree house she's been desperate for so she is happy.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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