School’s back – woohoo!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids to bits but the summer school holidays are just so bloody long! I’ve quite enjoyed these ones, we’ve had lots to do and I knew that at the end of them I’d have all 3 of my kids at school. I’ve been a bit worried about Bridie as she doesn’t talk with others but we’ve worded the school up and the school psychologist. I think they are going to try a social skills group to help her along. She came home last night beaming, she’d had a wonderful day so what more could I hope for. Bill had a great day too. He has a male teacher who he thought was fantastic so I was very pleased with his positive attitude.

I wasn’t sure how Beth would go. She likes the social aspect of school but does enjoy being at home too. She had a lot of issues last year and the beginning and end of the days. In the morning she would anticipate the bell ringing and as soon as it did she would run off to the toilet. If somebody didn’t come and get her she’d come back in a few minutes as if nothing had happened. I’m not sure what started this behaviour but they kindly indulge her as it is obviously her coping mechanism and once she’s done it it’s over. Similarly at the end of the day, Beth would start to get all funny about 3.15pm, for about 10 – 15 minutes before the bell went. Over the year she got a bit better with this thanks to Helma (her teacher last year) coming up with some fabulous strategies, always involving the other kids in the class. They would distract Beth by playing cards or singing songs. I’ll be interested to see if these behaviours roll over into the new year with a new classroom and teacher.

I met Beth’s teacher yesterday. I’ve seen her over the years as she’s been the grade 5 teacher since we’ve been at the school. It’s the first time that I’d spoken to her though. She seemed lovely and very open to my input into what strategies we should employ as far as Beth is concerned. I told her about the How does your Engine Run program. Rod had suggested that once we start teaching Beth how to manage her own energy levels then we could implement a system in the classroom. Meredith (the teacher) could for example have pictures with different activities on them. If Beth seems sluggish Meredith could say “Beth, your engine is running slowly today, what do you think you could choose to rev yourself up?” Beth could then pick something from the cards to do, thus boosting her energy levels. This could also be done to calm her down. I think it sounds like a great program if Beth can grasp the concept.

I picked Beth up early yesterday as we had swimming. Meredith said she had a good day though of course being the first day back nobody got much work done. Beth was doing PE and seemed to be enjoying herself. She has a new teacher at swimming – Caprice- who she seems to listen to and get along with pretty well. Debbie has stopped teaching on Mondays so she had Caprice in the last few weeks of last year too. She seemed happy enough to get back in the pool although she was a bit spaced out, laughing at things in her own head and jumping up and down in excitement. I’d love to get in there and try to figure out what’s going on in there. Is she really as excited and happy as she seems or is it another way of coping with something? I’d like to believe the former. Maybe one day she can tell me herself.

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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2 Responses to School’s back – woohoo!

  1. Bronwyn G says:

    Beth’s teacher at school seems quite nice, and Caprice is very cool!

    Going to the toilet can be a bit like a confession box, with the quiet.

  2. Sarah says:

    Yes, both teachers are lovely. It is very nice going to the toilet without one of the kids bargeing in asking “What’s that?” and pointing!

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