Steps for me and Special needs swimming for Dinky

I will get round to explaining April, at some point… But I need to arrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhh and I can’t do it on Facebook as only one of my Facebook friends knows that dinky is being assessed.
It’s not like it is a trade secret, it is just, I’m not a sociable person, most of my friends on Facebook are old friends and people I occasionally have small contact with once in a blue moon.
So why do I need to arrrrrrrggggghhhh…
Well, yesterday I had another steps meeting. L is lovely and honestly she seems to be one of the most down to earth and friendly of the people I end up being sent to. Although it really was not an easy 40 minutes. I have had a call and I have an appointment with another MHN on Friday. So L was trying to get me to see that I don’t help myself because I don’t let people see the vulnerable. Yeah I’ve heard it before. What I don’t get is how others don’t see that then. How come M from the counselling service and L from steps see the vulnerable? She got me to try and talk to her first. Not easy…
Today…
Well I had this awesome idea that now Dinky gets DLA I should get her into some special needs classes that she couldn’t do otherwise… Like…. Swimming… Hey, what could go wrong? First of all I must point out the reasons swimming in an ordinary swimming lesson wouldn’t work.
1) numbers- I watched the end of a swim lesson and there was one instructor and 12 kids. Dinky could not be one of those 12 kids as none of those 12 kids would get the support from the instructor as swimming pools are dangerous places (and proven today) dinky just doesn’t understand the term dangerous. She sees what she wants to do and does it.
2) other children- forget numbers other children would be a distraction and she would do stupid (and dangerous) things in order to be liked
3) her demand avoidance- imagine a child who actively avoids demands, put that child who has autistic traits in a new environment and add excitement. Not good. How would an instructor of a class teach her?

So I got her into the special needs swim group.
Dangerous, demand avoidance, controlling and meltdown…. That was her swim lesson.

How, or why they are willing to have her back I don’t know. I think I will be a nervous wreck although I have ideas as to how to improve it for next time.

The worst part, was seeing her in a special needs group, not doing well, and not being the most high functioning child there. Which surprised me. A lot. And now I don’t know how to feel. I feel… Sad almost.

Oh and to top it off her teacher is a bloody idiot and put a stage 1+ book in her book bag… She read a level 5 over the weekend and read it almost perfectly! It’s writing and numbers she can’t do!

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Dinky awarded DLA

It is a happy and a sad thing… Let me explain…

Happy-

Well, it is extra money for things she needs or that would help her that other children wouldn’t need and opens the door to activities that she can access that she couldn’t before. It makes my life easier as I was dreading having to tell the job centre I couldn’t attend a sign on because my daughter was going to be assessed for autism spectrum disorder. Or finally get into work and have to go to meeting after meeting for dinky. Now I can be her carer while she gets assessed and then I can find a job in my own time.

Sad-

How can it not be. My baby, my little miracle, my dinky is classed as having a disability. Even typing that is hard. No parent wants others to label their child as special needs, Special educational needs, disabled, or have a disability.

That is what this award says… Your child is disabled. You child has special needs. Your child will never be like other children.

Is this a big shock. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. I can’t tell. No, not really. From January I have come to accept in time that yes dinky is not like other kids her age. No it is not housing related. No it won’t go away and no it doesn’t change who she is but it does crush the hope that she will grow out of her extreme behaviour. It sucks all the hope out of me that one days she will not be so anxious when it comes to a demand filled environment. She won’t stop spinning after school, she won’t stop chewing EVERYTHING, she will never act her age and although she is bright she will always fall behind because she can’t handle the classroom environment.

Do I home school? No. I am the worst possible person to teach her. I taught her a lot but I get very frustrated and I’m only reinforcing what she learns now.

What is the answer? I don’t know. My head is a bit of a mess… I will think, I will write again

It has been a long time

He’s it has been a while.
A lot has happened and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to sort everything out as there have been some major developments….

**26th February 2013

*Morning-
I went to the doctors for dinky like I said I was going to and went through a long list of her issues that cause concern and took the deputies referral which had 75% of the criteria of PDA on.
He mentioned PDA but being a GP registrar had to ask his superior where he should refer to. The superior happened to be the doctor who did an extensive appointment in which she referred dinky to CAMHS after the shambles we had previously and that stupid doc who didn’t listen to a word I said.
So he referred to the child development centre to the autism spectrum disorder clinic for assessment.

*Afternoon

The school went from being ok to being useless and the head teacher was quite offensive!
I was pretty much cornered by the head and Dinky’s play therapist. They were saying that staying in the hostel holding out for a place nearer the school was not in Dinky’s best interests and that she was unsettled. That she would be fine moving to a new school and it was me who didn’t like change.
They said that two other schools (the only ones with spaces and in areas with awful reputations), would be “used to dealing with families like yours.” I’m still in the dark as to what the head teacher meant by this statement. She also said that once dinky feels settled she will be fine and in the next breath said that both schools have dedicated sencos and nurture groups which would be better for dinky.
Anyway, a lot was said I left feeling like they didn’t want her there and were using my willingness to do anything for dinky no matter what the cost to myself to get her out. So I had pretty much decided to move her out on this convo as I had seen a lovely place on the day before in a better part of the undesirable area.
To be fair on reflection I can sort of understand it. Dinky is not the easiest of children and if she does have PDA then it isn’t going to get any easier!
But everytime the class teacher had the slightest inkling of a problem she ran to deputy. Deputy had to come sort dinky out so was pulled away from deputy/senco duty. Head teacher wanted her deputy back and play therapist well, I don’t know. She asked to keep in contact with me regarding dinky. I said yes purely because I wanted to be childish and prove my point when dinky doesn’t actually improve.

So when I got home I bid for it

**1st March 2013

WE GET THE HOUSE!!!

Well, I got a phone call to say we were going to be offered it.

**4th March 2013

Went to look at school down the road from possible new place. It seemed like it would suit dinky. It had a big open room with separate areas as classrooms, most of it was play based learning and therefore not too demanding, and seemed nice enough.

**5th March

I went to look at the house, it was massive! Both bedrooms double rooms, lovely big storage cupboard/play place off the living room. It was perfect. 10 mins walk from the school I looked at the day before. So I took it.

** 8th march 2013

WE MOVED IN!!!

Honestly it was the best feeling. Despite having to throw a couple of boxes of my stuff away due to mice in the garage where most of my personal possessions were, I got some things squared away pretty quickly.

The end of march

Dinky finished at her school. It was a shabby farewell and to be honest I am pretty disappointed. The class teacher promised dinky a special book, it was basically thrown together last minute and was shit. The senco came out to say goodbye and all three TAs came to say goodbye. The head teacher went into Dinky’s class but I would have bitten her head off had she come out so I have her a warning glance and she walked back out.

ALSO

Dinky was accepted for a special needs group and went in two trips during the Easter holidays and I am waiting to hear about the Saturday group activities!

I will write more from April tomorrow!