Friday 8 December 2017

Changing School News

Serious blogging has had to be put on hold this week as I've ushered decorators and delivery men in and out of the doors; December is such a busy time of the year for many. It's reached manic status for us in our new house though, for what we hope will be the first of many Christmases - I reckon by Christmas 2018 the house will be at least half finished....

So apologies for taking a while to share our good news on the blog - Facebook readers who were lucky enough to be shown the post (Facebook reach, blogger issue, grumble grumble) will know already that on Tuesday this week we received an email from the Local Authority stating that they believe Sasha's school of choice is the most suitable one for her after all.
Sasha holding Sylveon toy
Sasha with her latest beloved Pokemon, one of her current interests. This is Sylveon I believe!

To recap quickly, Sasha was at a mainstream primary school until June of this year, but at that point she felt strongly that it was no longer suitable for her and she was unable to attend (note: I am not using the words school refusing. There may be a further blog post on this...).

After discussions with Sasha (pretty difficult with a child who communicates in a non-typical fashion) and several meetings with professionals, we came to the conclusion that a different kind of school was where she needed to be. In our county the only option locally is an LD school - LD stands for Learning Disability. When Sasha's case was first taken to panel (an anonymous group of professionals who make decisions on which type of school children should be at), they turned down our request for the LD school because Sasha's academic levels are known to be quite high. I say known, but all anyone can do is estimate, as she is unable to take tests and focus in stressful situations.

However, everybody working with Sasha knew that mainstream was no longer a valid option and so we felt our only course of action was to take her case back to the provision panel. That happened last week and we were delighted to hear that an LD school was finally agreed upon. At that point though, there was more waiting; the next step in the process is to go to a placement panel, where 'they' decide which LD school would be suitable. So we waited nervously to hear the results of that. 

Luckily it was only a matter of days later that we were informed that our chosen school was the one they felt most suitable for Sasha, and when I told Sasha, she was over the moon. This just helped confirm that we had made the right decision for her, and so we began to celebrate.

However, celebrations were possibly a little too 'previous', as there is more to the process that we just hadn't realised at that point. Sasha's paperwork now gets passed to that school, who could apparently say they are unable to meet her needs (funny how I'm not allowed to say that myself). Even if they welcome her with open arms, it could be that all the places for children are full and she will then go on a wait list. So for now, there is no further news. 

It's been what feels like an extremely long road to get to this point, but I know that in comparison to many others we should be feeling extremely lucky right now. So many words and feelings on the whole situation and process, and you know, life in general... but I'll let you all enjoy Christmas in relative peace first before I write some serious blog posts!

Thanks for all the kind and supportive messages we've received during and since; it really does help to know that there are people out there rooting for our girl. Thanks to the PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance), Sasha does need a little more attention and understanding than your 'average' child, and in the new year I'll be redoubling my efforts at explaining that.

For now, we'll keep our fingers crossed that her chance to attend school happens sooner rather than later - still a huge bridge to walk across of course, even when dates are set.
Stephs Two Girls blog image

I'm almost too embarrassed to put this (but I've been told I have to).... I've actually, amazingly, been nominated for a UK Blog Award 2018 (thank you kind person!). To get any further I do need people to vote for me. If you're feeling super generous, it really is a quick and easy click on the link below; you leave your name and email and select from the drop down the category to vote for me in (Health and social care + Parenting would be lovely) and that's it! Thank you so much.

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