Telling Dinky, PDA training and Amazing Annual review!

In my last post I wrote about my own ASD diagnosis. I did feel it was really important to tell Dinky that we both have autism in common. However, I did expect to tell her in a controlled and thought out way.

Nope, my dad accidentally spoke about it in front of her. I suppose it didn’t really matter. Dinky thinks it is awesome that we are both autistic. Which is cool.

This meant that way before I was ready, I had to put a note in Dinky’s link file explaining that if Dinky was to mention it, that it is true, I have recently been diagnosed with ASD. It isn’t that I didn’t want to tell the school, it is more that I wanted to get the report through first and then do it when I had got my head round it. It isn’t great doing it via a note in the contact book last minute- possibly at a meeting would have been better.

I never get bored of saying this- Dinky’s specialist ASD/SLCN school are bloody amazing!

Dinky’s teacher came to the PDA conference in November and is now going to be the one to deliver training to the whole school staff in April. Which in itself is pretty awesome- what is even more awesome? The fact that myself and another parent of a child with PDA have been asked for our opinions and input! It is brilliant! Ok, perhaps not the idea of my ugly mug on camera, but the general idea of us being asked questions about PDA and what it is like at home.

I think it just goes to show that a school that cares will make the effort to learn. Dinky’s teacher and her class team (because ‘TA’ doesn’t seem to cover the things these wonderful people do for the kids), are absolutely brilliant with the whole class that are all very demand avoidant even if they don’t have the PDA diagnosis.

The teacher always seems shocked when I say I am just so happy with everything. She is always asking if I am sure and apologising for Dinky coming back messy. I have to remind her that Dinky is happy to go to school and her being messy is proof that she is happy and joining in messy activities. Dinky is growing in so many different ways since starting at the school Dinky could come home in shorts and her coat after her uniform has been ripped to shreds by some activity and I would still smile and just buy another uniform. As long as Dinky is happy that is all that matters. That is all I have ever wanted. I don’t care if the school has lovely grounds, or filed all their paperwork or teachers are covered in flour (because lets face it- it is normally Dinky that has covered them in it!), if my child is happy, wants to be in school and is learning at what ever pace (progress is progress)- then I will be happy, majorly happy!

Contrary to the LEA and both mainstreams opinions, I am actually quite easy to please (well, according to Dinky’s teacher).

It was so nice before the review to be able to do my contribution and for it to be full of praise-not a single negative thing. It was nice to be able to use the review paperwork to once again say thank you to the staff for being amazing at what they do!

So on Annual review day I went in early to discuss the parent part of the training. I got there a little early and Dinky’s teacher came to get me (every few metres they have doors which can only be accessed with a keyfob). We waited for the other parent. The teacher had mentioned reading my note in the contact file. At first I had no idea what she was talking about. I didn’t realise until the other parent came that she was talking about reading about my news. She offered me an agenda for the Annual review, but by that time there wasn’t much point, but the thought was there which was nice.

We sat in a little room and went through some of our opinions and now the teacher is going to draw them up for the ‘interviews’… I’m still not sure about being filmed for it.

Then it was time for Dinky’s review. I received her review paperwork in the post a couple of weeks ago, we have recently had a LIAM (Learner Inclusion & Attainment Meeting), and I had also recently met with the Drama therapist… so there wasn’t going to be much discussed that I wasn’t aware of.

Dinky was supposed to join us but she wasn’t having any of it, although I was laughing a lot because I could hear her outside the room and she let off an enormous burp… to which I told the professionals there- she gets it from her granddad who loves nothing more than do gross stuff like have fart wars ect. Yeah, my dad hasn’t ever grown up!

She did eventually come into the room to hear just how far she has come. I absolutely loved it! Dinky has learnt more in her time there than she ever did at either mainstream, which is saying something given the slow pace and refusal of the staff to push her unnecessarily. I couldn’t be happier!

The staff liked that I was very happy.

After the Annual Review I got to take Dinky home in the car and spoil her with a take away and a new toy for her awesomeness.

I think Dinky is very proud of herself (as she should be, as I am and as the school is) and she is so much happier.

Yeah… its all good (just don’t mention camhs who we have an appointment with later this month- but at the school.)





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