Awaiting EHCP decision

I’m waiting for the Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) decision to enter my inbox – it’s due on Monday but the local authority have warned me that there may be a delay of a few days.

It’s really putting me on edge…we’ve been told that Bam’s application is borderline so I’m aware we might not be successful. If we’re not successful, what does that mean?

Yes, we can appeal but then that takes another 2 months to do and we still may not be any further forward at the end of it! To be honest, I’m exhausted from the whole process too, will have to dig deep to find the energy to fight again if we have to go to appeal.

While this is all going on we have to make the decision about his secondary school place. We have been offered a place at the school where he would receive specialist support should we be successful with the EHCP but none of his friends will be going to this school.

So if we don’t get the EHCP, should we consider the school where his friends will be? Are his friendships more important for his wellbeing than the hope of some additional support.

Big decisions ahead…please can somebody pass the parenting manual?!

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Bam on tour…school trip excitement

Last week Bam went on a school trip. The school asked him to write a summary of his day for the school newsletter – his account of his day is below. This piece really made me smile, his excitement and love of the outdoors really shines through. So here it is….handing over to Bam…

Thank you to Bam for writing the following review of this recent school trip:

The bus was humming as I sat on the top deck, it had a superb view – we were almost there. I was so excited, I practically jumped out my seat when we arrived. Straight away, we got out and put our boots on, ready for anything.

Vigorously, we went on marching through the lane and into the valleys. The birds were singing, I felt my worries fade away in the soft and sweet melody of the birds. We finally got to the pond – it was amazing! There were Canadian geese and three proud standing British Oak trees.

Soon we headed back. When we were back at the coach parking we went straight up the zig-zag path it was breath taking, literally! I was at the top, I felt so accomplished, but also tired.

After that, I marched my way up to the common, it was lovely I felt I was at home, really close to nature. Then we went back down, which was sad, but I was excited for what might happen next. Quickly, I devoured my lunch and proceeded on to the next thing.

The lady started telling us about Scott and his men. Apparently, they walked from the end of the South Pole. I know it sounds amazing, but actually really depressing, because they all died in the end. Then she told us about a much nicer story about another man who lived while trying to get to the South Pole. Subsequently, she started talking to us about penguins and their lifestyle, which was interesting, and that they have specially designed body parts to help them live.

Unfortunately, then it was all over, I had an amazing time and I absolutely loved it. I really hope I can go again in the holidays. On the coach I felt extremely tired, I almost fell asleep on my friend. I am very fortunate to be this lucky to go on this terrific trip with all of the lovely adults who came. Over all it was a wonderful place to visit, but I was also glad to get home! We need to say a massive thank you to all of our amazing parent helpers that gave up their time to come and join us.

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), the first hurdle!

I’ve been patiently waiting but it’s always in the back of my mind. Will the local authority grant my request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for my son?

Many people told me it would be a waste of time applying for an EHCP because he’s bright and meeting all age-related expectations academically. This is very true but he struggles every day to access the curriculum. He struggles to access the curriculum because it’s difficult for him to manage his emotions, he struggles to organise himself and his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can hinder his ability to focus.

He manages at primary school, but I worry how he would find the transition would into a secondary school provision. Secondary school is a whole new ball game – several teachers per day, moving to a different classroom every hour and attending a much bigger school.  

We’re extremely lucky that one of our local schools does have a high functioning autism provision. The child attends mainstream school but gets the specialist support they need from the specialist function.  I met with the head teacher of the specialist provision. As she explained how it worked, I realised how perfect it would be for him.

So, I felt I had to try and get him the support…if I tried and didn’t get it then I have done all I possibly could! If I didn’t try I would never know…and if things didn’t work out for him in secondary school, I would wonder if I had let him down because I hadn’t applied!

So, I applied…6 long weeks ago. People have told me to put it to the back of my mind, try not to think about it but it’s always there.

The whole process takes 20 weeks. After 6 weeks you are informed if the local authority is going to assess the child further. If they decide to progress they then carry out a more detailed assessment on your child and will let you know if they are going to grant the EHCP after a total of 20 weeks.

So the 6 week mark is here – the first hurdle. I called the local authority last week to see how his application was progressing. The lady went to check on the application and when she came back to the phone and said ‘I’m pleased to tell you, we are going to be taking the application further…..’ I instantly felt a huge amount of relief, they wanted to assess him further, I am one step closer to getting the help that he needs.

I know the journey is far from over…it’s long, it’s stressful and it’s a lot of work. Please send your positive thoughts for stage 2….I’ll keep you posted!

You didn’t glance back?

Dearest Bam,

I know you didn’t glance back today after I kissed you goodbye. Why would you? You were full to the brim with excitement for your residential trip with the school. Chatting to your mates about Pokémon cards and which activities you were going to do. I heard you say ‘I’m going to do everything!’

I also heard you tell everybody that you had only had an hour’s sleep last night. Yes, that’s true, every hour waking me up to tell me the time and how many hours there were left until you head off on your adventure. I tried to calm you down but nothing worked. By 4.30am, I gave up and suggested you watched TV. Self preservation for sleep was beginning to kick in!

This morning you literally bounced around the house, causing great excitement in your brother too. I was silently wishing the time away, I was tired and a little sad that you were heading off on your own.

However, your enthusiasm for life makes me smile. I know you will put everything you have into enjoying your time outside climbing, swimming etc and return home absolutely exhausted at the end of the week.

I’m pleased that you go without a care in the world. I’m pleased I have done all the worrying for you. I’ve met with the teacher about your special needs – we discussed your medication and your specific requirements. I’ve googled how far away the hospital is just in case you have a seizure. I’ve worried about the fact you’ll be kayaking in the sea and I’ve worried that you won’t eat at lunchtime because of your ADHD medication. (The lovely teacher is taking some breakfast biscuits for you to munch on should you get peckish)

Off you go precious boy, have a blast! I’ll never stop worrying about you although I am looking forward to some sleep tonight. Oh and thanks for the letting me give you a kiss goodbye, even though ‘that’s embarrassing!’

I’ll miss you…

Love Mum xxxx

 

 

Bam’s got talent!

Bam bounces out of school full of enthusiasm and excitement (yes, even more than usual!). The reason for his enthusiasm? He’s going to enter the school talent contest.

‘I need you to print off some jokes from the internet, I’m going to perform a comedy act’

Eek, it’s really hard to make people laugh, a little knot appears in my stomach but I muster up lots of encouragement and put my own fears to one side.

Hubby prints off some truly corny jokes – you know the ones that make you groan ‘What did the duvet say to the bed? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Did that make you groan?

Bam sets to work planning his script for the auditions. He works really, really hard. Night after night he sits in his bed planning and writing.

The day of the auditions arrives. I’m in awe of his confidence, there is no doubt in his mind that he has this nailed.

I’m working all day on the day of the auditions, so I ask him to text me from Mum’s phone as she is collecting him from school. School kicking out time arrives and I eagerly await the text. My phone rings…..he’s done it!!! He’s got through. 12 people out of 200 were chosen….he’s as high as a kite. So he should be, what an amazing achievement.

More nights of writing and rehearsing ahead to prepare himself  for the finals. I’m oozing with pride, having the confidence to get up and perform in front of his peers is amazing.

He didn’t win in the finals but that didn’t matter. People voted for him – my confident, bubbly and funny Bam. You always make me smile young man, seems that you have the talent to make other people smile too. Next stop Britain’s Got Talent!

Mind ‘crammed’ fulness

I’m dragging myself and my boys through the last few days of term. I think dragging is a good term because that’s what it feels like. I don’t want to get up to do another school run, they don’t want to get up either, everyone’s tired and everyone’s fed up!

Nobody prepares parents for the end of school mayhem, the pure exhaustion and the daily occurrence of tantrums and tears (mine and theirs) that can push even the most calm parent to their limits!

My mind is so crammed full I’ve found myself in some amusing situations this week. Yesterday I diligently made packed lunches for my children the night before they required them, only to find the next morning the lovingly made sandwiches were not in the fridge. No, they were in the pan drawer, all sweaty and horrible! Why on earth I put them in there I do not know! I have no recollection of doing it!

And then there was misplacing my car. So I drove to school, got side tracked and walked home. Only to arrive home to an empty driveway – ooops, I left the car at school! At least I didn’t leave the child at home!

It’s very clear that my mind is full of who needs to be where when, who has an end of year party, who is in a school play as well as making sure every teacher that has supported my boys over the past year is presented with a gorgeous thoughtful gift!

While my mind is full, Mops is an emotional wreck! His first year of school is over, he’s exhausted. In fact every time I speak to him he cries. At night he cries because he loves his teacher so much he doesn’t want to be taught by somebody else next year.

Bam on the other hand is bursting, literally bursting with energy. ADHD and end of the school year are not the best combination! He’s bouncing around thrilled that the school holidays will soon be here and he wants to share with the world how happy he is!!

So to all the other parents out there that are experiencing end of term ‘mind crammed fullness’, we’re nearly there! Just a couple more days to drag the family through then no more school runs, school uniform, homework and after school clubs for a whole 6 weeks! That’s got to be something to look forward to!

 

 

 

 

 

Back 2 School!

Fun days out (even time at the beach) are now very much behind us and back to school preparation has descended upon our household! School shoes that have seen better days and PE kit t-shirts that were once white now a mud-stained mess will be replaced. School uniform that has been sitting waiting to be labelled since the start of the last term might finally get a label on it! Oh and not forgetting the end of the holidays hunt for the school reading and library books!

I know I have had two weeks to complete all of these tasks but somehow the time has just slipped away, leaving me rushing around at the last minute worrying about getting it all done! I’m sure I’m in good company though, right?!

As I’m running around getting the last minute tasks done I’m reminded of a conversation I had with Mops in the first couple of days of the holidays. We were in the car and he said ‘Mum, I’m not sure holidays from school is a good idea?!’ Hmmm, where is this going?! All children love school holidays, don’t they? So I replied ‘Why’s that then?! ‘ ‘Well I’m going to forget how to do my ‘j’s’ At the time I thought how cute is that!

Now, as I’m rushing around worrying about the return to school, work etc I’m wondering what the boys worries are?! Will Mops have remembered how to do his ‘j’s’? Is that going to bother him tomorrow or will he just stroll in to school not even giving it a second thought?

Who knows, we’ll see what tomorrow brings! Meanwhile, good luck to all those parents out there that are going to be battling the shops today for those last minute school necessities!  Have a good first day back! Oh and Mops I can’t wait to see all your ‘j’s’ xxx