Excuse me while I take a break

Its been a difficult day.  Someone from the education department rang me to ask to arrange to see my daughter at home.  Apparently the home tutoring service asked the inclusion team to contact us because our daughter refuses to go to the pupil referral unit.  (Though she did start attending it hasn’t worked out and she is now back at home.)  Anyway I took offence and said in quite an angry tone that did she really think she could do better than me in getting my daughter back?  I said the real problem was not me or my daughter but the education service.  I said, we are trapped between a unit that only provides FT provision and a home tutoring service staffed by semi retired teachers who come and go as they please.  Her response “I know”.  What do you say when you have a response like that.  Am I supposed to feel reassured that she understands the situation. I’m sorry but it’s not what I wanted to hear.  For a family who has another autistic child whom I’m busy integrating into school I need a flexible service that can work around us.  Alas there is no such flexibility and we are expected to conform to them.  This is creating huge logistical problems for us and huge stress too.

In a huff, I said I would speak to my husband and put the phone down.  I then rang my husband and burst into tears.  I said I could no longer deal with these people and that he would have to take over for a bit.  I explained to him that I felt betrayed by this service this woman represents.  You see last year my daughter started a transition programme that would enable her to meet other ASD kids moving onto secondary school.  I was hopeful that this would provide a therapeutic environment in which to build up her confidence before moving on.  It started off OK but then the meetings stopped and we heard nothing.  On further investigation we discovered that the service had contacted my daughter’s old primary school and that was that.  We heard nothing from anyone so I can only imagine that they had decided between themselves that my daughter was no longer suitable.  I was furious because the decision about my daughter’s schooling rests with me and her father not them.  As a result my daughter missed out on this and of course the rest is history.  The local  secondary didn’t want her and  she ended up being bunged in a PRU which she detests.

So you can imagine how let down I feel.  However what today has really shown me is how stressed I am.  My irritability (probably obvious through my recent posts), my tearfulness, my inability to concentrate and to remember things are symptoms I need to address.  So with that I think it’s a good idea if my husband takes over for a bit whilst I try and relax over half term.  I am also going to try and take a break from blogging and switch off from anything to do with education and enjoy some time with my children.

But before I go, I hope you all have a good half term.

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2 Responses to Excuse me while I take a break

  1. JuliesMum says:

    You so need a break! I always feel you have an incredibly hard hand to play. If there’s one thing worse than weak local services for someone in our situation, it’s inflexible ones that take up time and sap energy, and you have both. You describe so well that feeling of frustration when you go round and round in the dark.

    Can only repeat what Amanda has said before me – you must look after yourself. Hope you can find a way of destressing. Have you tried mindfulness and other meditation techniques? They’re worth a try. I found the online mindfulness course at http://www.bemindfulonline.com/ good, though it is a bit pricey. There are also books. I find the techniques good ways of keeping on top of the stress.

  2. Amanda says:

    Its so stressful, this whole education system, both for our children and ourselves. The move from primary to secondary school is big enough without the added complications of autism.
    My daughter was lucky in that she was part of a fantastic transition group, that’s not to say we haven’t had difficulties and they haven’t got it right for her at the moment, but there is good communication between us, with the shared aim to help and support her. It’s just a pity resources are so stretched.
    You will feel exhausted, you are putting so much into your children. Trying to support them, and get the correct help for them.
    Try and rest as much as you can, look after yourself. Maybe, dare I say it, put yourself before your children, just in the short term, where will they be if you collapse? (been there so do know!)
    You have a fantastic blog here! I love your honesty and sensitivity.
    Take care :) x

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