M is doing really well at the moment.
He is settled at school. He now has more time with additional support that he has had at any previous point in his school life, and I think it is paying off for him.
At the start of the week it was report time. When I was at school, I always dreaded this. I was never a bad student, and in certain subjects, such as maths, I was above average, but I wasn’t as clever as my brilliant brother, and many of the teachers used his high standards as something to judge me by – we are only a year apart academically, and therefore I never could reach this pole, which is why I believe I switched off at school. Luckily I am blessed with common sense and a lot of bloody mindedness, which has seen me into having had quite a good professional life.
As usual, I digress, and move away from what I was talking about.
M’s report, if read as a stand alone item, may not sound the best, but put into context, it was glowing. It talked about how he had started to engage with the new reading books he was being given, and about how he was learning to work better in the class. It was things he was struggling with not a few months ago, and here his teacher was saying he was now putting in the work and seeing results – it just show when you get a teacher who cares enough to go above and beyond things can improve. There is still a long way to go with getting him back on the academic track but the fact they have now found a way to engage him means he is heading in the right direction for now. We are very proud of him, and have told him so, but he doesn’t like talking about himself and while both Hubby and I tried to tell him he just shunned us away. I hope he heard what we were saying, even if he was unable to react positively to the information.
At the weekend, I will sit down with him to fill in the feedback sheet to be returned to school. There are sections for both parents and pupils to comment on what has been said, and I think it is important that anything the children have to say is put on record – this has had disastrous results before when I wrote on D’s nursery report that he said that he was bored and I ended up with a very agitated teacher explaining the child/adult ration and what it meant in regards to children not getting any extra attention!
I did have to go and see M’s teacher on Monday. The class were given homework to write a 2 minute talk on any subject, that they then had to present to the class. They had 2 weeks to do the work, and M was deferring it more and more. I finally got him to agree a subject and we went online to print off some information to use. It was at the point we had total meltdown. He became a wild child. Nothing calmed him for hours. The bad mood that came from it lasted for days, and it was like treading on egg shells around him. I then put things together and asked him if he was worried about doing the talk, and he just went into floods of tears – M showing emotion like this is just not heard of. The thought of standing up in front of his class had worried him so much that he was making himself beyond upset by it. I said to him that he should say if something worries him that much, but his answer was his teacher had said everyone in the class was doing it. For M, rules are rules, and there is no swaying from that, and he respects authority – he might not have always liked his teachers, but they are in charge and you do what they tell you. I said I would talk to his teacher and see if there was anything we could do so he didn’t have to be in front of his peers. Instantly he was the happy-go-lucky child he is most of the time. This had obviously been weighing him down. When I went into class with him, his teacher said she had actually just been discussing the very thing with the SEN teacher, and M did not have to do it with everyone else. He was elated. I think it is incidents like this that make you realise how differently his brain is wired and that just a little thought of how you word something or to explain to him independently can make such a difference – that isn’t a dig at his teacher, because the number of times I say things that get taken literally, and afterwards I think if I had said or done something slightly differently, it would have been a totally different outcome.
Today M’s class are going on a trip to the Maritime museum in the city centre. They have been doing a project about the Titanic, and so are going to look at things about rescue boats. I know when I was at school, I used to love a day out of class on a trip. We would often go up to London to the big museums, and I still love the Natural History Museum. However, for M it is different. He wants to go, but the thought of going is scary to him. It doesn’t help, that he doesn’t have someone to share it with when he is there. The people he relates to in his class and the other one that are going are a couple of girls, and they have their own special friends that they will buddy up with. This morning he was quite subdued, as he got ready. He is excited, but just know how to communicate this, and that must be so frustrating for him, that he can’t verbalise how he is feeling but instead locks it inside to worry about and eat away at his confidence. I am sure that he will have a good time, as will they all, but I am also confident I will not hear much about it for a while, until he has processed everything he encounters today – depending how much he relates to his surrounding will determine how long it takes him to regurgitate information.
There is only another week until the end of term, and to be honest, despite both boys having had time off sick this term, I think they are ready for a break – as I’m sure the teachers are too! From Christmas until Easter seems to be the longest three months of the year, but we have almost made it!