Tag Archive | sense of relief

Return to Paper Mountain

“Transferring Buzz’s statement of education to an EHCP, shouldn’t take much! It should be really straight forward”

“The paperwork work we will need to do, won’t be any more than has been needed for his reviews in the past!”

“Taking over Buzz’s personal SEN budget will give you the flexibility and freedom you need to fund and timetable a weekly plan for him that suits his needs, without having to bankroll it yourself, and all you need to do is keep a record of all spending, mileage, DBS checks and employer insurance details. It will be easy for you!”

I have a feeling the professionals are living on a different planet to myself because: –

Straight forward, they said! – Let me think……… Um. No wait this is an easy one to answer. NO IT IS NOT! 99% of Buzz’s statement is now not relevant and this, along with results of his recent assessments, means that the whole document practically needs rewriting, instead of minor editing.

No extra paperwork, they said! – please see previous comment, and then add an entire week of mind-melting, soul-sapping, time-eating, sleep-depriving hurricane of box files, invoice/receipts, reports, emails, phonecalls, budgets and timetables, squeezed into every spare second of an already full and busy week of Home Education, housework, food shopping, school runs, meetings, letterbox contact letter writing, dog walking – actually Beedog has been a good excuse to take regular breaks………. Oh and of course, not forgetting writing this weeks’ #WASO post.

More flexibility and freedom, they said! – Okay I will give them this…………Hahaha! Who are they kidding? Freedom and flexibility, well yes it will give me the ‘freedom and flexibility to tailor Buzz’s weekly timetable to his needs without financially crippling Bumble and I, but what is it they say? “Be careful what you ask for”, “There is no such thing as a free lunch”.

Some of you will know that we felt forced to deregister Buzz from his primary school, because neither he nor they were coping. We fought to get him an SEN Statement that specifies that he should be placed in a Specialist School. Trouble was – there wasn’t one suitable, and he wasn’t ready in any case. So for the last two years, I have been home educating him.

Now, please don’t think I am being ungrateful for the opportunity to have direct access to funding that can be used to enhance and open doors to future learning opportunities for Buzzbee, with the sensitive support he may need. From the moment the lead SEN worker assigned to Buzz’s case suggested that it may be an option that the SEN panel would consider a viable option for him, as they are currently not in a position to provide him with suitable specialist educational provision, I could see the positives to taking full responsibility for providing him with what he needs to progress not only academically but socially and emotionally.

workinghardHowever, it has come as somewhat a shock, the depth and volume of research and planning that I am currently having to put into creating an acceptable Direct payment budget proposal to present to panel.

  • Complete costing breakdown and proof of payment for any current activity or home ed based learning tools and equipment that we are using to support Buzz with his timetable.
  • Complete financial breakdown of proposals of current and future activities/timetabling and the expenditures that will occur as a result.
  • A breakdown of timescales and frequency for each activity.
  • A detailed description of the activity/subject and how this fits into Buzz’s home ed timetable and how it ties in with his SEN needs – and when I say detailed, I mean detailed!

And, I haven’t even mentioned the long list of amendments/rewrites that are needed in order for Buzz’s statement to transition with moderate ease (fingers, toes and eyes tightly crossed).

While the reality of taking on this challenge is most certainly not straight forward and my mind keeps drifting off into space and questioning what I am doing and whether I am in fact up to the mammoth responsibility this entails, the long and PAINFUL process of dissecting Buzz’s home education experience has also, in a very strange way, been a positive experience and has quelled extended bouts of self-doubt and criticism of myself when it comes to the quality and extent of Buzzbee’s learning experience.

Buzz may still find physically reading and writing stressful, and fight me on a daily basis when presented with activities or exercises that he needs to complete. Yet he is now rarely asking for someone to read dialogues or game instructions when playing on the computer or tablet, and he will often find himself a note book and jot down random words he has seen around or practise spelling words he is familiar with.

I have worried that there is a limited volume of work physically produced to prove his is learning and not sat all day playing games and watching TV (he wishes), but in truth he has been exposed to so much more than I could have possibly expected, both through direct and indirect exposure to educational opportunities.

What Buzzbee lacks in core literacy and numeracy skills, he more than makes up for in physical and verbal demonstrations of the wealth of information and knowledge his has absorbed, and my little caterpillar is slowly breaking out of his chrysalis and morphing into a bright and articulate butterfly before our eyes.

hungrycat

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

Triumphs and Relief

The adoption social’s #WASO theme this week is “A Sense Of Relief”.

When I began to put this post together earlier in the week, my opening line was “What does it feel like to experience a sense of relief nowadays”?

I was feeling pretty jaded after yet another difficult weekend and I was definitely in a ‘Negative Nelly’ headspace and feeling pretty hopeless that things were ever going to change.

Cue: stepping away from writing anymore to said post before I could write something that wasn’t going to send my reading heading for the nearest cliffs like the Lemmings in a computer game I used to play, a long, LONG time ago – and no I am not going to say exactly how long. That would give up my age and as they say ‘you are as young as the husband you feel’. Oh wait that doesn’t work Bumble is 9 years older than me and I don’t want to add extra years on myself. Do I?

lemmings

As the week has drawn out, I am pleased to say that ‘sense of relief’ has washed over the household several times this week, and the majority are Buzzbee related. Although the positive feedback from this has already begun to send ripples of hopeful and positive energy through the household and which I hope will manage to hang around for at least a tiny bit of time once Waxy gets home from school and both boys are home together for the weekend – we can live in hope.

So, what are these fleeting moments of ‘a sense of relief’? What has had me doing a little dance around the lounge this week?

First of all, and really this is a bittersweet side to our first ‘sense of relief’ this week because while finally PAS have got back to us about our request for assessment of our ASF needs and responding to my cries of despair over Waxy’s latest antic, there is a big change that has been slapped onto it.  The time has come for Shamrock (our long term PASW) to hand our file onto a stranger (Ok I should say a new PASW who will take us through our assessment without the shadows of the past always getting in the way). Trusting a new professional will be difficult (especially for me) but knowing that rather than having to constantly be chasing Shamrock because her workload had become so big that our ‘issues’ were small fry compared to others and we were no longer feeling supported by her, we now have a Sydney and so far she seems lovely and is keen to help put things back on track – *deep sigh of relief*

Secondly during the Easter holidays, I visited our GP and spoke to her about our concerns about Buzzbee. I barely begun trying to explain some of the “quirks and anxieties” we are witnessing, before she had heard enough and recommended referring him back to the community paediatrician as these were difficulties that had been flagged up to her before while he was still at school and from her records she could see that CAMHS had in fact not followed the recommendations by the CP for a detailed assessment to be untaken by them in reference to the complex behaviour that his school were reporting – as some of you will know. He was badly let down by CAMHS and treated appallingly.  So our GP sent off a referral but warned us that the paediatrician was in extremely high demand and the waiting list could be anything from 8 – 12 months before we are seen (not ideal but at least she was taking our concerns seriously).

Well, yesterday our wonderful postman delivered a letter which had me skipping for joy. The letter contained an appointment date for Buzzbee to be seen by the community paediatrician who originally did both his and Waxy’s LAC medical and who also sat on our adoption, fostering and matching panel. And even more exciting is the appointment is for 12 weeks’ time (it will take us that long to fill in the mountain of questionnaires that came in the envelope with the appointment letter) – she says as she exhales deeply.

And that leave me with 2 other reasons to feel relieved this week. One, although I am happy that things are moving on and I know will be a welcome relief for my mum and our family, is also tinged with sadness.  After waiting several months, the estate agent who is handling the sale of my nan and granddad’s home, many just have found a buyer for the house and very soon the home where all the family pets are buried and where all the grandchildren, my mum and her sister grew up will no long be part of our family.  But on the flipside, mum will finally be able sign with relief and finalise the distribution of nan and granddad’s estate.

Ok so I have saved the best for last.  Last night Buzzbee successfully managed to overcome his anxiety and join a new evening club, and what’s more, the mammoth self-esteem boost that he has received doing it is even this afternoon still flooding through the house – OK it took Bumble and I, 2 hours last night to bring him back down off the ‘ceiling of success’ and just listening to the excitement in his voice and watching my supercharged, happy little bee, buzzing brought several soppy tears to my eyes – it would be hard for anyone to understand how HUGE his achievement was last night but just in case you want to get a sense of his giddiness here is the link to his own #WASO blog post about it.

While Bumble may have been at work all day, he couldn’t avoid noticing the fog of anxiety and fear that was drowning the hive when he walked through the door and although neither of us wanted to admit that we could see the possibility of it all going south if Buzzbee gets there and really cannot cope.

So on returning from the club after sitting in a room, watching our nervous snapping turtle morphing into energetic songbird, strutting his stuff carefree and nervously trying to interact with the other children and accepting the help of the ladies running the group. Bumble and I had no choice but to let out a huge sigh of relief – Buzzbee had taken a big leap and we were all now basking in his euphoric glow of excitement and sense of achievement.

small triumphs