Friday 16 March 2012

Good news, Bad news. Academics vs Social Interaction?

Actually there isn't really any bad news. Yay!

Have had a very busy week and not actually managed to get as much done as I would have hoped (OK so that's a teeny bit bad). The dreaded DLA forms are still hanging over me like a black cloud, waiting for my energy to come.

A governor meeting, nurse visit, parent carer feedback day, parent consultations, Sasha's six month statement review and a touching Mother's Day assembly following on from a weekend of the NCT Nearly New Sale, church and trying to secure One Direction tickets (sssshhh, don't tell Tamsin!) have all contributed to a very large glass of wine (or two) being consumed tonight. So apologies if none of this makes sense

The parent consultations went relatively well. It's a bizarre experience, one that I never dreamed I would have, walking into one knowing that academically there are no issues but that there are social interaction issues..... then going to the other knowing the academic level will never be the same (yep, sad but true) and that the social interaction issues are there but in a very different kind of way. As I sat down to look at Sasha's work, it did bring tears to my eyes to see that in her 'writing' book were just a few pictures - so far away from what Tamsin's was like at this stage. Fortunately I composed myself again fairly quickly this time, although I did almost crumble again as the teacher admitted that Sasha is some way behind her peers despite there being a wide range of abilities in the class. I'm not really sure why this would knock me though, to be sure I know it already begorra (sorry, just my St.Patrick's Day joke in there...!!).

However the overall consultation for Sasha was a lovely one, where her achievements were focused on, big or small. Today we had the statement review where we were able to reflect in a little bit more detail (although really it's a very formal process to complete some official paperwork) on how much she has changed and developed over the past 6 months. She is beginning to form friendships, she is learning her phonics fantastically well, she is becoming more independent, she has learnt to adapt to change (and even requests it sometimes), she will conform and follow instructions (a fair amount of the time!) and she has no problems with going for school dinners (probably one of our greatest concerns before she started school). The school have done fantastically well at understanding her and being flexible so far; long may it continue.

At the moment my greater worry is about Tamsin. She is having difficulty understanding how to interact socially during lunch play times at school. The teacher says she invents games that are too complex for the other children to understand and is therefore left playing alone. Although she is happy to use her imagination, creating her own games with imaginary friends in the playground, this is obviously beginning to prey on her mind. She has told us on more than one occasion that she has no friends, and as a mum that is really tough to hear.

I know of other schools in the area who have put in place a 'friendship bench' type scheme, whereby children at playtime with no-one else to play with can sit and be joined by someone who will actively get them involved. Sounds perfect for Tamsin, so I'm just hoping the school will run with this idea quickly. I can't see any major disadvantages, and at the back of my mind is the knowledge that life will also get tougher for Sasha as far as playtime goes. For now she is self-contained with her peers at play, and they are happy enough to amuse her. As they get older though, there will be more understanding from them that Sasha is 'different', and it will probably fall to just a handful of caring ones (thank goodness some of them are like that!) to keep her involved. Of course we're yet to know as to whether she will be oblivious to this, or whether it will at some point cause her even more emotional anguish than it is Tamsin currently.

Sometimes I just wish someone could wave a magic wand. Then again, these things were sent to try us, and what doesn't break us makes us stronger, is that right??!

On the happy side, I'm really looking forward to Mother's Day weekend (it's OK to extend it, right?!). We're off to see my mum tomorrow, followed by a JLS concert (oh sorry, haven't I mentioned that?!) and then a day 'trip' somewhere on Sunday as Sasha is currently obsessed with that idea. As long as it is a long one, and involves a train, a double decker bus and McDonalds, we should be OK. 


  1. Sounds like the school meeting went pretty well and Happy Mother's Day and St Patrick's Day :)

  2. Glad your school day went well and hope JLS and 'the trip' go well. And yes what doesn't break you does make you stronger.

    1. JLS and the trip were all fab, thanks. Life is good really :)

  3. Sounds like school are doing really well at helping Sasha; hope it continues. Understand that feeling about academic development. I found it hard in the early days when my son's academic difficulties were showing themselves, particularly when other parents were so academically ambitious. I've adjusted now and concentrate on my son's strengths which are more practical. Enjoy your mothers day and JLS, you deserve it. Deb xx

    1. Thanks Deb. Yes we do now focus on Sasha, and are so pleased with how well she is doing - she actually wrote her Mother's Day card envelope for me all by herself!! :)


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