Sensory Needs are Big Business

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If you have a child with sensory issues you find you need certain items to minimise the impact and improve their life a little. Things which give sensory input or protect from it.

Our child seems to have quite a mixed sensory profile. We'd like a sensory assessment but these are not available through the NHS in our area. School have mentioned it but I doubt they'll fund it so we're saving the DLA for it instead. In the meantime it's trial & error. So far we have weighted blankets, ear defenders and chewy jewellery, altogether somewhere in the region of £80 upwards. We bought well but we saw some weighted blankets similar to ours which were £80 alone.

Getting our child to actually use them is hit and miss. The chewy stuff was easy, nobody wants to be that kid who bites everyone. The ear defenders are steadily getting a look in with encouragement from school, they seem to help with all the classroom noise. The weighted blanketlap pad, the most expensive items, are redundant. School haven't particularly encouraged their use, but even at home there's no interest. We looked at various websites for all of these items. Ear defenders were cheap & cheerful, chewy jewellery is not too costly, weighted blankets cost silly money! We looked at making our own but ended up buying off eBay as the price would have been similar.

Due to the expense I did consider learning to sew & making them to sell at cost price. I understand that it's just business but I can't abide profiteering from disabilities. I'd be a rubbish business owner!


Another Exclusion.

Big Man managed to hurt his TA yesterday. Obviously he hurt a few kids too, he couldn't be calmed & was still being restrained when I arrived. Now we have an exclusion and little else.
He's fine, housework & reading is fine by him. Little Man seems fine although we're having a logistical nightmare as Big Man can't be on school premises. How do those without family manage? No wonder people quit work!
We go back in for reintegration in a couple of days. They'll go over what he's done & if he gets upset & emotional he'll be sent back home. Anxiety is a horrible thing to have and not easy to be rid of. He's steadily becoming more isolated, sometimes due to a serious lack of planning by teacher's, and his anxiety & behaviour are becoming much worse. He's been throwing furniture about, was unable to participate in a school performance & had to stay in school (The only child left at school!!) and is incredibly disruptive. Demand avoidance? Severe anxiety? ASD?
Funny how it's mainly in school....


I Don't Know!!!!!

How difficult is it to understand basic data protection? This week two parents have approached me to say that Big Man is continually hurting their child and that an apology from myself wouldn't go amiss. I find myself having to explain the data protection rules & that my child cannot bring himself to discuss these incidents after the fact. Any discussion needs to be as immediate as it can be.
Obviously their children are much more able to discuss these incidents and mention who is responsible so their parents assume I know. They assume that I'm just a nasty cow who can't be arsed to apologise. They also assume that my child is naughty/bullying/undisciplined and we are awful parents.
No other scenario enters their thoughts. That their child may have done something to trigger the incident doesn't enter their thoughts. That sensory issues were taking over, that teaching staff were not implementing strategies to prevent such incidents....
I'm on the verge of issuing an apology letter to the whole class along with a print out of the school's data protection policy, but then I might be even more unpopular!


Still waiting...

The storm still hasn't started! The most Big Man has done is to briefly hide under a table. Little Man has been a model pupil so far.

I'm pretty sure that Big Man is doing well due to his amazing TA. We've got a good un! She gets it, that's all that's required. Having yet to meet his teacher I'm unable to comment on her much. Homework is optional & she seems a bit too chilled out sometimes.
Little Man has 3 parties to go to this week, I hate the first year where everyone invites the entire class.
Tomorrow is our first TAF meeting since the holidays so I'm making a list. Big Man is off school ill, it'd be nice if he could act ill to be honest. We've started a block of speech therapy & I've still not seen a completed My Support Plan. We need a sensory assessment, ive ordered a weighted blanket & i haven't seen the schools behavioural anaysis. If the PPRS lady annoys me she may regret it.


The Calm Before The Storm

I really hope they're this excited to go back to school EVERY year!!

Big Man's shoes are tight already, 2 weeks since we bought them. Little Man was so hyper he'll probably fall asleep this afternoon. All in all a good morning.

I have an appointment every week until November, a TAF meeting, various professionals popping into school and neighbours who are continuously complaining about everybodys kids.

I needed that good start.


Our Headteacher

Like all Headteachers she has a lot on her plate. She is expected to know everything with minimal training, to mediate between parents, local authorities & the various professionals required whilst rummaging for coins down't sofa to fund it all. She does have my sympathy, it's not a job I'd want.

What concerns me is her apparent lack of understanding of the additional needs her students have. Our school seems to have a high proportion of children with both physical & invisible needs so you'd think they'd be pretty good at this. We've had exclusions, suggestions that our parenting is at fault, that our child is manipulative, that other children are far more important (all children are equally important!) and we aren't alone.

Other parents tell similar tales. Extremely important paperwork vanishing with little concern shown. Accusations of poor parenting when professionals see a very different picture. A general lack of any understanding of invisible disabilities & conditions and in some cases denying any condition exists until there's a diagnosis (which can come up to 10 years later in our area.)

Our child had a reasonable school report, any areas he is lacking ability are related to his additional needs. His teachers comments were quite positive. We are ignoring the Headteachers comments & have found we're not the only ones!