Friday 9 March 2018

New school excitement

Right now as I type this, I'm sitting calmly at my computer desk. Internally, I'm running around waving my arms wildly in the air with a huge grin on my face.

It's been a great week. It's not as if an awful lot has been happening... just one big event which has made it special.
Sasha in her school uniform

Sasha finally got to spend some time in her new school. We were supposed to visit last week but snow meant the school closed for two days. Sasha was hugely disappointed to miss out on her chance to go, and the days following were tense as we waited to find out when we could re-arrange the visit for.

Thankfully, the message came through on Monday that Thursday would be the day that Sasha could go in to spend some time with her new teacher and classmates. Wednesday night came, and Sasha was just a 'teensy' bit excited....

On Thursday, a cheery voice boomed 'morning!' from somewhere outside my bedroom door. Dragged into consciousness, my first thought was that I'd overslept and a friend had somehow gained entry to come and wake me up. I rolled over and pressed the button for the clock; 7:00 exactly. Sasha was up and dressed in her new uniform; we were due in school at 10 am and it's a ten minute drive away.... 

Sasha admitted to being slightly nervous but also excited - 'nervous-cited' is a phrase she has invented for this. I took her to school and watched apprehensively as she was collected to be taken to her classroom. The plan was for half an hour in class and then a small experience of playtime if she wanted to. I took the opportunity to go for a little stroll down the surrounding country lanes.

When I returned I was given a thumbs up and told that Sasha wanted to stay for the whole of playtime, which was welcome news (even if it did make me slightly late for my next appointment). Sasha reappeared at 11 am with a huge grin on her face, saying that she loved it all. I was extremely proud of how she coped with the fact that it was a re-arranged world book day and all the other children were in costumes (we weren't told this was happening). She was just so happy to be in her uniform, to feel part of school.

I had to cover up most of the following video in order to hide the school logo badge, but I couldn't resist sharing it as I think it clearly passes on the message about how happy she is...

When we got home, Sasha explained that she had been 'worried about the 'social' but it went much better than I thought. I could relate to them and get on with them pretty well and quickly.' She was very chatty about her experience, explaining that as she arrived, the class were 'just edging into drama, and using their imaginations and costumes from world book day to try and create a story.' This kind of thing is right up Sasha's street luckily and I imagine she didn't hold back with her own ideas!

So it was a very successful trial session, and we've now been given a date of next Wednesday for Sasha to start properly. She'll begin with mornings and lunchtime only for a week and then hopefully get up to full days for the week before Easter.

I will admit that I'd be lying if I said I think it will be plain sailing from here on because it went so well yesterday... there will no doubt be a honeymoon period and there is much to learn on all sides to try and continue with this success. But it's a great start and I'll be staying optimistic for now!

The added bonus this week is the changes which we've seen in Sasha. As I posted on my Facebook page earlier in the week, she ate a whole strawberry. This is big news for us as it's very rare for Sasha to try new foods. Last night she decided to be more 'grown-up', and she took herself off to bed alone (partially because I was out for an evening with friends and Dad was on duty, but still). She also brushed her teeth before bed, which is unheard of! Then this morning she was up early and dressed fully (in her own clothes, not school uniform) and all day I've been hearing little snippets of how she wants things to change around here.

She's decided that we are all going to eat tea at the table together, and that will be our chance to discuss what has gone on during the day in school. She's stated that she is going to do a lot less gaming and watching YouTube; two activities which have meant a lot to her over the past eight months and which I don't suspect will be that easy for her to give up. However I will say that I'm loving the new school Sasha so far. Long may it continue!

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page. If you are looking or more information on Pathological Demand Avoidance, why not try some of these, my most popular posts?

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Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

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