Today was the visit from social services.
Having Dinky at home for the 3.5 days and then the weekend, meant my house needed a proper tidy! That mound of laundry needed to go away, the tons of toys in the living room and Dinky’s bedroom needed to be tidied, and the bathroom and kitchen were dire as they had only been wiped over with antibacterial wipes over the last week.
Got back from taking Dinky to school, put my music on loud and away I went. 3 hours later nice clean and tidy house, the door goes. It is the SN group leader. After about 15 minutes the social worker arrives.
She seemed nice enough. I just have an experienced based distrust for social services.
She started off by asking me to explain what Dinky is like.
I hate this question. What are they waiting for? Parents to say “complete pain in the ass!”
I told her Dinky is awesome, she is funny, smart, unique, but yes, there is no point denying it, she is challenging, but I wouldn’t change her for the WORLD!
She asked about when I first knew something was going on with Dinky, so I explained about the speech and language mess, and knowing something was different, but not knowing exactly what, right up until November/December 2012. That was when people told me about Dinky’s autistic traits. Then end of February, beginning of march I found out about PDA.
She said it was good that I found it, I said yes, except I was the only one, everyone then was saying it might not be and didn’t want to commit. There was a base “yes we think she is on the spectrum” in the September TAC, again no-one wanted to commit to agreeing that Dinky met the criteria.
I gave her my folder (a 40 page presentation folder- which is 80 sides and I only have 2 sleeves left!), frint page is the provisional diagnosis.
She asked if she could talk to the doctor. I said that is fine, go for it!
She asked who else was involved medically.
I told her Dinky has an initial appointment with OT on Friday.
She asked why, so I went through Dinky’s sensory issues, the SN group leader added a few, and explained a few situations Dinky found hard when out with the group.
She asked who else was involved. Then she asked about families. I told her about her paternal side, her father who has never seen her, and the ones that are only interested when they want to be interested. I am happy for them to see Dinky, but they have to be in OR out, they cant be in AND out. It isn’t fair on her and I wont have her messed about!
My family. Well, my family in London that don’t care at all and we are much better off without, Then my dad. Who can be great! However, he can equally be rubbish.
She asked what other support we have. I told her that apart from the 2.5 hours per month through the SN group, and me going to monthly coffee mornings when Dinky isn’t excluded, and a couple of meetings in the evenings when my dad has time or IF he doesn’t have anything else he would rather be doing.
She said that was rubbish! Considering what I told her 2.5 hours and my dad being inconsistent is no-where near enough. She tried asking the SN group leader if she could do more than 2.5 hours a month. SN group leader said there is no way, she has 63 children on her books and 17 on the waiting list.
I said, I know it is rubbish, we are on waiting lists for everything, everyone keeps pointing me to social services, and considering you have willingly walked into my house… is there anything you can suggest? She asked about the child disability team, I said that the social worker who took the initial concern said that because she can walk talk and feed herself she doesn’t qualify. I said, she can walk, on wrist reins at nearly 6 years of age as she runs off. She has run out of school and onto the road, and has run off at chessington from the SN group leader. I said she can talk, constantly. She can eat with a spoon, still cant cut her food up, and only uses a spoon or her hands at nearly 6 years of age despite numerous attempts at trying to teach her.
The SN group leader talked about how dinky is ‘full-on’ and constant. She talked about sleep, as I explained to the SN group leader that Dinky doesn’t sleep well, especially during the school terms.
Then the ‘oversexualised behaviour’ thing came up. She asked if Dinky had seen anything, No. Had I had a partner, No. I said the only male involved in her life is my dad and I trust him implicitly. Other than that she isn’t out of my care until she is at school or with the SN group. So there is, at the most, an extremely slim chance that it could be linked to abuse. My opinion is that it is just a 5 year old exploring themselves in an empty room, the only reason the teacher knew she had done it was because she was watching through the window. The SN group leader agreed, and said they had absolutely no safeguarding concerns. It didn’t come up again at all.
Then came the discussion about school.
She asked what the relationship was like with school. I said that it has always been strained as the school did not want to know about PDA, they thought it was attachment, so treated it like attachment, EVEN though the Boxall profile showed no raised Attachment strands. All I asked was for them to talk to her differently. Which is not difficult, yet you would not believe the resistance the school put up! The SN group leader said you have to give the school small snippets of information and drip feed them. The Social worker said, like having to teach them. I said yes but they don’t like to be taught.
I told her I wasn’t happy with the head teacher. She lied in one TAC, has made stuff up as she has gone along, has agreed to do things but then not carried it out, has tried to act like a medical professional and not taken the medical professionals opinion on board, even when we got the provisional diagnosis she said ” Are you sure it isn’t going to change to something else”, last straw- not telling the social worker about the provisional PDA diagnosis.
The SN group leader said I was very good and said in the last TAC that I would let everything that has gone, go. I said Yes, I have, and now I am furious. The SN group leader said, if she felt like giving the behaviour she had to give the current belief behind that behaviour!
My jaw almost hit the floor when the social worker said that I should talk to the head teacher and sort it out! I said she has 3 deputies (I SOOOO wanted to say “because she is obviously incapable and needs 3 deputies in order to do her job in a school with only 520 kids- my secondary school in London only had 2 deputies and there were 1500 kids- and mostly teenagers at that!). She still said that I probably should sort it with her.
The SN group leader added that The Muppet (head teacher) had thought that Nurture would solve everything, but Dinky has had more exclusions in nurture than in the classroom.
I offered to copy any document in my folder for her to take with her.
I said that Dinky is going through the statutory assessment phase. We discussed special school, when I said Dinky wasn’t coping in the nurture group 4:4 that it is unlikely she will cope in a class of 30 with only 1 teacher and 1 TA. She said, No, definitely not.
She said she was going to look into direct payments or independent living payments, in order to give me a break. Then she left.
I went to go to get Dinky.
I always get a little worried when I turn up and I am asked to come in.
Dinky was in the library with 2 teachers. There was one guarding the door and the other talking to dinky, who was looking shifty holding onto the back of a chair. when she let go of the back it fell off! I looked round there were books on the floor and chairs looked liked they had tipped or thrown. Dinky had no shoes or socks on. Although she was quite good at getting ready to leave, especially when she got her lego movie character for staying in school all day.
When we got home, we went to her room to play. She was actually crying because I cleaned her room without her being there. She was shouting about putting things where SHE could find them. I have cleaned her room before without her, but not when she has just gone back to school after having almost a week off. She then melted down. Crying and hitting and just not happy at all.
we then played lego, went downstairs, and while I was cooking dinner she got her marvel hero top trumps and separated them into rubbish cards and good cards, guess which one I got! 😉 She got the royal hump when I won a few cards!
She went to bed ok… no doubt she will be up in the night again.