Integrated services home visit

Yesterday was the visit from integrated services.
I spent most of the morning getting ready….You know, putting the books back on the bookcase in some sort of order, moving the boxes out of the dining area, taking the piles of washing to the relevant rooms, then tackling that pile of letters on the table and trying to think of a place to put them.

(Is it just me or does facebook make every job take twice as long? ‘oh I’ll take a break and look on the ipad for just a second’, an hour later and still only half done the jobs…)

In typical professional style, she was late.

1.15pm I got a knock at my door.

We sat down and she said she had looked over the CAF paperwork from the old school, and because we are now housed and Dinky has changed school that she thinks the best thing to do would be to start a new CAF.

I asked her who our lead professional would be, as I don’t want the senco from new school. She said that it was fine and as she is the one starting the CAF she would be the lead! I can not tell you just how pleased I am, it means I can battle the senco and not have to worry about it affecting the TAC meetings.

She did it differently to the old school. The old school just asked me the questions on the boxes. Whereas, we had a conversation about Dinky and she put the information in all the different boxes. It was much nicer as the questions were not all “what are her strengths/weaknesses” for each box. The questions were “So, how do you see dinky?”, “how do you think dinky comes across to others?”

I will admit it, at one point I cried because she said that it seemed I was doing everything I could possibly do, with and for, Dinky. She said as soon as she walked in she could see how much she means to me. (There are 6 pictures in the living/dining area, Dinky’s drawings have pride of place, both doors are dedicated to dinky’s visual timetables- they area way of making indirect demands-, and her school achievement certificates for reading are in the dining area).

I will also admit I didn’t bring up PDA. The last thing I wanted was for her to think I am one of ‘those’ mums who consult Dr. Google for everything, also it is hard enough trying to get the professionals to take me seriously with my mental health issues, I didn’t want being one of ‘those’ mums to be added to the things I have to fight against. Once she has met Dinky, and spent some time with her (which she is going to do during half term), then I will point out PDA and how dinky fits the criteria. Hopefully she will take that on board and help me to get others to agree, or at the very least agree to use strategies that work for dinky.

When I told her about the referral to the paediatrician she asked if they had sent out the conners questionnaire, which I have heard is for ADHD. I told her they sent out the autism spectrum questionnaire. She seemed to accept that too.

I think most people, when I first describe dinky, tend to think ADHD. It is true she can come across as hyperactive, but that hyperness stems from, being 5 mostly, and some from anxiety. Maybe I need to slightly edit my description? The mental health nurse mentioned ADHD once, although the old mental health nurse also said I was slightly hyper. I almost fell off the chair! I love sleep, I just don’t get enough due to being stressed and Dinky getting up at between 5 and 6am every morning. I fiddled with my headphones because I found it difficult being there and explaining why I was, and what my life is like. Me, hyper… ok then!

Anyway, the integrated services lady said Dinky sounds like a character and cant wait to meet her.

We discussed my background and mental health. Always a pleasure… not!

As she was leaving, she very kindly offered for me to phone her if I ever needed to, even if it is just to let off some steam, and reassured me that she would do what she could to get us both the support we need.

All in all it was a very nice surprise. I was fully expecting for her to blame me, want to send me on some parenting courses, have the same leaflets that the health visitors brought out last year about listening to your child.

Instead I go the opposite…. “You are doing really well, keep it up, and I will find you and the little one some support”.

She left at 2.30pm. I went to get dinky at 3pm.

When we got home my head started to pound. I ended up in bed just after dinky and got up with dinky at 5.15 this morning.

Dinky is on the SEN register for behavioural difficulties…

If thursday last week was a nightmare, today was hell!
Dinky got dressed ok, had breakfast ok, brushed her teeth ok.
She refused to listen to me when I asked her to hold my hand to cross the road. She was a little boisterous on the bus when a kid in the year above got on in town, and fell over on the way into school. So as soon as we got in we had to get her cleaned up and change her trousers. We waited for Mrs. B to hand over the antibiotics. Mrs. W the deputy head asked if she could have a quick word after I left dinky in the classroom. We handed over the medicine, and went round to the class. As soon as she had her coat and bag off she began to kick off.
“I can’t do my letters, I don’t know how!” She shouted, and ran out of the classroom. I had to chase her and stop her leaving the early years part of the building. She refused to go back into the classroom. Miss C came out and dinky did not want to listen so she went to get Mrs. N the class teacher. By the time Mrs. N came out dinky had run into the toilets. I coaxed her out and managed to get her into the classroom. We got her phonics book out and she found a seat. She refused to do the letters (which were ng) she did the n ok, but messed about doing the g. Then when mrs. N came over dinky decided to just do m’s all over the page. Then she went under the table.
Mrs. N: dinky, why are you under the table?
Dinky: I don’t want my my mummy to go home.
Mrs. N: but dinky, all the mummies and daddies have to go home.
Dinky: fine, I want to go home with Mummy then!
Mrs N: no, you can’t go home, you have to be in school.

And off she went. I went after her and found her hiding in the library. Mrs B the school nurse came out, she managed to get dinky to come with me to the deputy head’s office because she likes the deputy head’s bracelets. The deputy head tried to get dinky into her classroom but she held onto my leg and wouldn’t let go. Another 5 minutes went by with both mrs B and the deputy head trying to prise dinky off me. A brainwave got dinky off me, she was allowed to pick a teddy from the library area to take into class.

So at 9.15 dinky was in class. Finally.

I sat down in the deputy head’s office and we both breathed a sigh of relief.
Dinky has now been put on the SEN register for behavioural problems. So she is now classed as a special needs child. She said she wanted to talk to me because they think dinky needs to have a risk assessment done so that all the teachers are aware of what to do if dinky runs off, but also to make them aware of the fact that they could end up being hurt if dinky becomes aggressive and violent. The plan is especially important for 8.30-9am and 2.30-2.50pm when the gates are open.
I asked if we could put something into place when for when I leave after phonics, as it is very difficult for me to leave without someone to hand her off to so I know she is safe, especially after Monday when she ran after me after the doors were closed. I had to take her back and none of the teachers knew she had gone. So dinky’s favourite TA is going to be asked to meet me at 8.40am after we’ve finished the phonics to take dinky to do a special job (probably to go and get the milk cartons or to go get her sticker for going into school wearing her school shoes).
We discussed the CAF. It will be just the three of them and me. Which is fine. The outcome should be a CAF meeting with CAMHS, and other services. There will be the possibility of a TAC (team around the child) forming.
Also because of dinky’s new status as ‘special needs’ there are a few places I might be able to take dinky. She might not be eligible for it because all she has noted (at the moment) are behavioural issues.
I will have to go back in and sign the risk assessment at some point this week. Hopefully the TA will be there tomorrow to take dinky so she is safe. Although there shouldn’t be too much of an issue as she has play therapy tomorrow so will be much happier to go in.