Sometimes your heart breaks when you’re a mum …..

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Artwork by Little Man

This is a different post to my normal entries. Writing has also been a release so today I’m writing how I feel about our amazing little boy. Sadly I had one of my most heart breaking moments with him this morning and I’m still trying to make sense of it.

Our little man has always loved school, learning, playing and just being with his friends. Today, for the first time ever he cried and said he didn’t want to go to school, however not only did he say he didn’t want to go to school he also took his school uniform off. After much comforting and cuddles our little man explained that he didn’t want to go to school because for some of his learning he is separated from his friends and has to do other work. He wants to sit at the big table and not his little table, play on the interactive whiteboard and not his iPad and get to do 3 digit numbers and not 2 digit numbers. In Year 3 we are beginning to see what we have always been worried about the widening academic gap between him and his peers.

From the moment we adopted him, we knew Little Man’s future could be uncertain. He was a one year old but could barely crawl and was developmentally delayed in many areas. However with hard work and perseverance from little Man and lots of professionals he has made amazing progress and physically and socially is on a level with his peers. I think this is the difficulty for him he loves his friends and wants to be able to do his work with them rather than his 1:1 TA. However his learning difficulties mean he needs the extra support and help, particularly in maths and literacy.

I’m being irrational today, so angry with his BM for drinking heavily and how much it affects our little boy, one of his diagnoses is probable FASD. I’m also raging against an education system where academic work is so strong for 7 and 8 year olds, he’s said he’s missing his play this year and he learnt so much through play in KS1, why stop a successful strategy? I’m just so sad too that I can’t protect him from the reality of his world where he will always be judged on the things he can’t do not what he can. I know how brilliant he is at making his Lego models, solving jigsaws, remembering details about his school topics, how well he can kick a ball or hit a ball in cricket, my little boy is amazing but there’s no academic levels for these achievements.

The school is outstanding in its support. Little Man has had 1:1 support from his first day and his TA is superb with him, he has made so much progress with her hard work. We went into school today to hand over our morning and speak to her and I think she was as upset as us that our bright, sociable and fun boy was feeling so sad about going to school. We’ve agreed some quick fixes so he gets to sit on the big table and try some simple 3 digit numbers but I think we all know this is simply the beginning and we need to work together closely to make school an inclusive experience for him. I’m also going back in to see the class teacher today and discuss more strategies with her.

Sometimes it’s heart breaking being a mum and trying to protect your children. Little Man has been in my thoughts all day today and I really need to see him and just hug him. Tomorrow is their ‘fun’ day with their favourite teacher in the morning and then forest school in the afternoon. Fortunately the forest school is somewhere he will thrive and not be the special needs child so that will get me through tomorrow. I think this is going to be a tough year but I just hope Little Man is secure and confident that he has family and a school team all rooting for him.

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