Last Friday saw the end of term for the boys. It has been a challenging year fro them both. M’s problems I have talked a lot about recently, but for D it has also been tough.
The year started with the class being rejigged shortly after the announcement of teacher and kids. D was heart-broken when one of his closest friends was moved to another class, convinced they would never see each other ever again. Needless to say, the other boy is still one of his nest friends and spends many play hours at our house, and D at his. However, this start D on the wrong foot when he was already convinced school wasn’t worth it without the teacher he had loved for the previous two years – he still sees her as the ultimate teacher! His new teacher has been brilliant with him though, bringing him on leaps and bounds. I think it has done him no end of good, having been in a composite class with children the next age up. D is a clever boy, but finds it hard to apply himself if he doesn’t see instant success – he is a perfectionist through and through. Then the class grew further, and being a composite there is a limit on the total number of pupils to teacher ratio, so a second teacher was assigned to the class. Again a change like this seems simple, but to D it changed his relationship with his main teacher, and he found that difficult to deal with. There have been a few incidents of bullying towards him, and it is sad to say, he is getting used to it. He has to be really badly effected to say anything about it, so I do wonder how many occasions he has tolerated it. As a child who was bullied relentlessly for my size, I put on a tough outer skin so the bullies couldn’t see how much they were hurting me, but inside I was a mess as a result. I therefore totally get where D is coming from with his behaviour towards the people who think it is acceptable to hate someone because they look and behave differently. I was just the fat kid, but D is that, plus aspergers, plus being clever, so probably suffers three times as much as I did. D’s biggest concern all year, has been that his best friend since nursery has been very poorly, and therefore missed a lot of school. D is a sensitive boy, and worries about those he does allow close enough for him to care for. He has therefore been really worried about not just the health of his friend, but also how his education was suffering. D didn’t really understand how to handle the situation and went for self preservation. It is sad to see their friendship not as strong as it was on the whole, but when the 2 of them are together, it is just like old times. I am sure they will get through this, and their bond will continue to be solid, but this wont be helped by them being in different classes after the holidays. With M missing so much school in the last few weeks of term, D has found it difficult to come to terms with. He has thought it unfair that he hasn’t also been allowed time off, but having said that, he has been supportive towards his brother.
So the holidays are now upon us. It is a difficult time for my both boys. The lack of routine can be rather disturbing for them. I therefore do a fair bit of planning to find things happening in the local area for us to do. There are always a lot of activities organised for additional needs kids at the sports village, although D isn’t too keen to attend anything year after breaking his arm during a trampoline session with them last summer! We are also lucky enough to have several National Trust property within easy reach of us. These often have interesting events which are ranger led – we have booked up for walks, and a bat hunt so far. Many things have to of course be weather permitting, and being in the north-east of Scotland, that means we can have all seasons in one day. We therefore have to have contingency plans, and some times a second contingency plan, just in case! Now, having said all that, the last thing I want the boys to feel is that their holidays are a regiment affair. It is after all their down time when they should be recharging their batteries. They will get their time on their games machines, and computers, as well as ad hoc trips to the park at the bottom of our road. With the Olympics happening this summer, we have decided to hold our own. Ours isn’t half as energetic as what will be happening in Rio, but instead we will be having a competition on the Wii-U on Mario and Sonic at the Rio Olympics – The Mario and Sonic Olympic games are really funny, as they are a strange take on the regular events. After three events, D is in the lead, with me in second, and M in third, but there is plenty of time for all that to change!
So far this year, D has found the transition into down time harder than ever. He has been extremely volatile with plenty of blow ups when he has become confused by the changes in daily life. I am sure in a few more days he will have settled.
I love having both my boys about, and to be honest, I wouldn’t change them for the world. Sometimes though when D is going mad at M it is challenging to give them both the support they need. I try really hard not to blow up at them, and openly admit, I don’t always succeed.
Roll on the 17th August!!!