Wednesday 26 October 2011

First huge meltdown at school

You know, I knew I would jinx things by writing about how well they were going... serves me right!

Actually all is not so terrible, but Sasha did have her first huge meltdown at school two days after I last blogged - a big enough meltdown that I had reports back from a few other parents (whose children had told them!) about how upset Sasha had been. The school teacher briefly mentioned there had been an incident and mentioned something about Sasha not saying sorry when I collected her, but I wasn't too concerned at that point as they didn't seem to be themselves. However, when I asked Tamsin if she'd seen Sasha that day, and her response was 'yes, she was doing a mushroom in the dining room and then wouldn't eat her lunch when one of the bossy dinner ladies tried to make her', and I also then heard comments from the other children, I did start to get a bit anxious. Especially seeing as the dining hall, and getting Sasha to eat any hot food, has been one of my biggest concerns since she started.

It's unlike Sasha to lash out at anyone or do anything intentionally naughty to hurt someone, so I did worry about what the 'saying sorry' was for. So I called the teacher the next day to put my mind at rest, which she thankfully did, and I just hope it doesn't get me a black mark in the neurotic parent book.....

It was coincidentally Sasha's first 'full' day at school (i.e. she now stays until 3pm instead of only 130pm). Not that the full day had anything to do with it - the meltdown started in the classroom in the morning. It had been brewing for a few days, ever since they changed her carpet/sitting position in class. She didn't like the change (funny that!) and has been reluctant to sit down and join in ever since. The teacher thought it was because she didn't like the boy she was being asked to sit next to, but surmised it wasn't that, as he wasn't in school the day she finally blew up. However, as her EYAS pointed out, it could also easily have been just because he wasn't there on that day for her to sit next to, that matters came to a head.

Sasha refused to join in at all, and it was the assistant who spent the morning trying to persuade her (with no luck) who the teacher wanted Sasha to apologise to. Sasha was still upset when she went over for lunch and things only got worse - which led to Sasha not eating any lunch at all and being witnessed in full meltdown by all the other children.

They obviously handled it how they thought best in the morning, but I'm not sure it worked..... however in the afternoon they talked it through with Sasha and got her to make a 'sorry' card for the assistant. Now I'm not sure Sasha is really up to the level of understanding what she was doing that for, but certainly by the time I picked her up she seemed fine and not even overly tired with her first full day (although the exhaustion from the meltdown did obviously kick in later!). Most importantly, she seemed happy enough to go back in the next morning. That was the last day before half term though, and an unusual day as the routine was all changed due to an outside teacher being in the classroom, so I'm guessing the carpet issue didn't need to be addressed. So I'm waiting with baited breath to find out how the return to school goes after the holidays... All I know at the moment is that I'm shattered from having two of them at home all day every day to entertain. Even a little supermarket trip can be more than difficult with Sasha.. but more on that another day!


  1. I don't think you're being a neurotic parent at all. Many schools seem to be a bit lax about communicating with parents, which is so important when you have a child with special needs (or additional needs as I believe they are being called now?) Many of my son's problems at school were exacerbated because I did not find out thst there was a problem brewing until he blew up. Even in the asperger outreach unit where he is now, they don't do a home school diary, and I only hear from them when they are concerned :(

  2. You should have heard what they said about Dais at our Parent's Evening! I can't listen to anymore bullshit about sitting on the carpet. I've had to say to her teachers "if she were deaf, you would teach her differently ... She is Daisy - work it out!" L x

  3. I agree with Blue Sky, you are not being neurotic at all. It seems that the school hasn't handled things very well. I mean making a child change where they sit in class can be a big thing for our autistic children. We've had a few difficult times over this sort of thing ourselves. Unfortunately, as blue sky says, many schools are poor at communicating with parents and I think you'll probably find you will have to initiate communication. but at least your EYAS seems to have some awareness. Hope next week goes OK. Deb x

  4. Sorry you've hit a bump in the road at school, but hopefully that is all that it is and things will go smoothly when the next term begins. Sometimes it is hard to tell why things change with our kids, but even a subtle change at school could have an effect.

    I agree that you are not being a neurotic parent... and I think most teachers do not mind inquiries like the one you made.

    Hope things are better!

  5. No, you are not neurotic at all. I find I have to check in on the school so they know I'm keeping an eye out. And it helps them when you can identify her triggers so they aren't finding them by accident and then left wondering how to deal with the meltdown that follows!

    Hang in there. Hang in there!


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