Got a sick girl at home

Poor old Bethie has been throwing up. Or should I say poor old mummy had to change my plans for today. Beth hasn’t been sick for ages. We had swimming last night and she did really well, lots of good strokes and her teacher Caprice said she was very pleased. When we got home though Beth vomited and then went and climbed into my bed. She slept all night so I thought she’d be ok, but then got up this morning and vomited again. Much as I desperately wanted her to go to school I knew she couldn’t. Never mind, I’ve got lots of days to myself now so can’t complain.

Whenever Beth used to vomit it was horrible because she’d just be sick wherever she happened to be. As mum’s do I have the kids in bed with me when they’re sick, especially vomiting. I used to have to put towels, doona covers and bed wee protectors all around her as Beth’d just vomit while she was lying down. I realised she was sick last night because she ran into the toilet and while sitting on the loo was being sick into a boat that the kids play with in the bath. She now looks for the bucket so it makes my life so much easier. Mind you, I remember frustrating the hell out of my mum by doing the same thing that Beth used to do.

Beth’s been a bit up in the air lately. The whole puberty thing is shaking her up a bit. I’ve been trying to talk with her about getting her period and her stock standard response is that she wants to be a Powerpuff Girl. I’m not sure if they just don’t grow up but each time we talk about her having grown up hair or periods she wails “but I want to be a powerpuff girl.”

We had a HAGS meeting yesterday. One of the mums, Gwenny, has started her son part time at Wantirna Heights Special School. This is the school that I was talking about that is going to expand to include a senior school at the old Ferntree Gully College site. Last year we had a member for parliament come out to one of our meetings to discuss several things about this venture. One was if it would include higher functioning autistic children as currently the primary school caters only for children under the score of 70. I’m not fully understanding of what the score is compiled of but I do know that Beth’s was over 70, therefore cutting her out. Bec’s son Will is in a similar situation. The test has various things that it measures so if a child such as Will is particularly gifted in one area it can bring the score up, therefore not showing a true reading. I know children that are much higher functioning socially than Beth is but have lower scores, therefore giving them an intellectual disability and the ability to go to this school. It’s ridiculous that somebody like Beth who is incredibly naive and like a child much younger in so many ways cannot access these schools. Secondly I wanted to know a date so that I would know if Beth would qualify.

I called Wantirna Heights yesterday to see if they would be ready in 2012 which is the year that Beth would be starting high school. They are relocating to the Ferntree Gully site and are hoping that it will be ready by then. The problem is that they are only taking high school children from year 7.  My thoughts were that if I knew that it would be ready by 2012 and we qualified then Beth would do grade 5 and 6 as planned. If it wasn’t to be ready by 2012 then I would repeat Beth in grade 5. If she doesn’t qualify then I would still repeat her in grade 5 as I would home school her, therefore giving me an extra year of sanity. I don’t really want to repeat her if I don’t have to as I see how different she is from the others and the older she gets the more difficult it becomes socially. I’d love for her to be in a school with others like her so that she could have friends on a par with her. Don’t get me wrong, she has some lovely friends at school but she never gets invited for plays or parties, at least with kids like her they’d be in the same boat so would hopefully form friendships.

We can’t find out until year 6 if Beth qualifies. I called Tanya at Menzies Creek to talk with her about this. When special needs kids go to high school they have an assessment done for their aide eligibility which is also the assessment done for the special school qualifications. This can’t be done until grade 6 so I don’t really see that I have any choice but to repeat Beth in grade 5 as we don’t know which way it goes. It sucks big time. There needs to be schools that cater for the middle of the road kids. Kids like Beth and Will can manage fairly well in mainstream primary schools if they are aided but the differences become glaringly obvious the older that they get. High school is vile for any kid, let alone one with a disability. And if you did choose to go the high school option the highest funding is 12 hours a week. It’s just not an option for me. Unfortunately most people don’t have any other choice with both parents working.

I tried to explain to Beth that she was so lucky to be able to be with her younger friends next year when she repeats grade 5. I’m not sure how she feels because all she could say was “but I just want to be a Powerpuff girl.” I hope that isn’t the answer for her when she is stressed about something, often it’s hard to tell. She’s pretty cruisy and takes most things in her stride but this is a biggie. That’s why I wanted to give her plenty of notice.

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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2 Responses to Got a sick girl at home

  1. Clare Rakkhit says:

    I know they have to draw the line somewhere, but ideally wouldn’t it be nice if kids could just be looked at on an individual basis? I was talking to a mum a while ago, her son, got well over 80 in his tests, but HAD to do them in the nude! Is mainstream school really the best for someone with such anxiety? but can special school provide an appropriate learning environment? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but share your fears and frustrations.

  2. Sarah says:

    I agree with you Clare, special school isn’t necessarily the answer and yes, we do need to look at these children individually. Has this boy since gone on to mainsteam High School? How awful for his mother. After all our treatments and therapies I hate to think that I’ve done myself the disservice of helping Beth too much to get the schooling that she really needs

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