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A little boys giggle ripples through the house and I smile.
At one time my son never laughed and rarely smiled.
My sons confidence has come back in abundance over the past two years since I withdrew him from school and began to home educate him, he was a stammering nervous little boy then. Now he has a glint in his eye and his hobbies now include photography and collecting little Soccer Starz football players. He has an amazing knowledge of football scores and players and he enjoys playing himself every Wednesday with a special needs team.
He attends play therapy, music therapy, speech therapy and animal therapy. We read together, he does online tutorials and lots of sensory play to calm and regulate him.
Once a fortnight he goes to a National Autistic Society Saturday club and enjoys socialising and playing with the other children. Damien also attends a private tutor once a week which he adores.
We go to museums, the woods, the library and the park. He adores his little sister and older brothers who are also on the spectrum.
My little boy has come a long way from the melting down, upset and angry child he once was.
As I hear him laugh heartily again from the front room I suddenly think would I change anything for my son?
Would he be happier if there was anything else I could do? Does he do enough? Does he do to much?!
I think of the people who on hearing he is home educated and his little sister will be too ask,
“But what will they do all day? What do you do with them? Do the authorities check on you? Is it legal? How do you know what they are meant to be learning? Are you a teacher?
I wouldn't change a thing. Some children fit into school well and some find it overwhelming, to bright and loud coming home overloaded and melting down in a desperate attempt to communicate.
“I am not happy!” They screech.
“It's to much for me!” They kick.
These things may not be verbally said by the child but it's a fair indication that if your child is melting down, is upset and angry but unable to communicate what's wrong that they are blaming you for not knowing. They know, so why don't you? It's up to us to see if we can help our children in. ECHPs and IEPs are like gold dust and a good 1.1 can make the world of
difference. Sensory breaks are essential and visual timetables with sand timers to ease transitions are great to ease anxiety.
But if your child is unhappy you are not failing them by withdrawing them from school. It's simply a different way of educating and not every peg will fit a round hole.
Pound a peg hard enough and you will chip the paint eventually and splinter the wood.
My peg is a bouncy cheeky one and his paint is now shiny and vibrant.
That's all you can ever want for your peg.