Four years ago at this time we were sat on our settee with my camera on its tripod taking our first photos as a family having picked Sqk up from his foster carer’s house at around 9.30am. Following 12 bizarre days as we went through Introductions we brought home a little boy who was to become our son. Now the little toddler is a happy confident year 2 school boy – although he reverts to baby at times. Particularly as his childminder (of nearly 3 years) in August started looking after two babies. Continue reading “4th Family birthday”
- We had just met you …. now it feels like you have been with us forever
- You made a beeline for Daddy …. now ‘Mamma is best Mamma’
- We were strangers to each other ….. now you are claiming us all the time.
- We knew little about your likes & dislikes …. now we know you love trains and much more.
- You talked lots but mainly were not understandable … now you still talk lots but now are understandable unless you are being a baby.
- You had little imagination in your play …. now you join together stories from everywhere and can make all sorts of things come alive.
- You were an active 2 year old …. now you are an active 6 year old.
- You wouldn’t look much at books …. now you love reading & being read to.
- You had few friends …. now most of your class want to be your playtime buddy.
- You loved looking at photos of you …. this hasn’t changed much at all…
4 years ago today we met Sqk for the first time having read about him, and talked about him with various people. He is very much our son now even with all his issues which are minor in adoption terms. I cannot imagine life without him and he has brought so much joy to our life.
At the end of July we reached the 4 year anniversary of our approval panel – having a fortnight earlier had the third anniversary of the celebration hearing. Appropriately given I am Yorkshire born as well as living in Yorkshire our ADM approval was on Yorkshire Day. So another year of being parents is almost over – this time 4 years ago we were anxiously waiting for our link meeting.
This week has been interesting for many reasons. Second emergency visit to GPs resulting in a drive to the Children’s Assessment & Treatment Unit (CAT) in the main hospital in the next city over. This was at 1840 on Wednesday so managed to catch T who promptly cancelled his hygienist appointment and came home to meet Sqk & I. I had already been on phone to my other Brownie leader apologising as having planned the meeting left her with the Brownies by herself with 20 mins notice – didn’t even have chance to pass material over. Once in hospital waited a while to be seen (busy evening for children’s surgery team) and then there were various other hiccups which resulted in Sqk having bloods taken (& cannula inserted) at nearly 0100 before we finally moved to the ward after 0200. He had managed to fall asleep on me at about 2100 and then moved to bed once T got back with stuff for us both. The blood test was not fun as he was woken up, moved and then sat on Daddy’s knee while a cannula was inserted into his hand. He did scream a bit but then fell back to sleep on CAT bed.
Continue reading “A starting diagnosis”
I wrote on Twitter yesterday about how much both T & I feel we have reconnected with Sqk during this week and a bit away. Sqk and I travelled to train station at Escape in Castleford on Maundy Thursday to meet T after work. Having eaten we then drov north to a caravan site north of Richmond where our caravan is pitched on a seasonal pitch. We stayed here till Easter Monday and then went a bit further north to a site on the cliff to close to St Mary’s Lighthouse in North Tyneside.
We have been lucky in getting a PASW who gets things moving relatively speaking. From first meeting Sqk in January she got us places for sensory assessment and applied to ASF for funding – and this was all within a couple of months or so 🙂 We attended a training with Sarah Lloyd (local specialist occupational therapist & play therapist) a week and a half ago for a full day on Wednesday. Was us, our PASW and Sqk’s afternoon TA – usually it is SENCO from school but she had been to the training in January due to us going to the same person as @TwoBoysandUs has with her Boyo and the boys being in the same school. So we took TA instead who found it really rewarding – her comment was she wishes she had known a lot of this stuff 3 years ago when Boyo started (she has worked with him as well as Sqk).
No post bar weekly Instagram posts.
In fact last time I posted was mid December. Since then both T & I have changed jobs – January was an interesting month and indeed it is only this week just gone that we are fully into the new routine as before half-term my sister was picking Sqk up from school with her two and taking him to Mum’s on a Friday evening. I have had to change my work at home day as all my teaching this semester falls on a Friday. So now I drop Sqk at school and pick him up on a Thursday after discussions with childminder as this is one of her busiest days. Busiest is Wednesday but that is never a good day in university terms as stuff often happens on a Weds afternoon although my new place of work appears to schedule teaching even then. Ok even with this I am still going into work for noon every other Thursday for research group meeting and this next week I am going in to cover a PG session on embedded software for a colleague who is in Germany.
Our PASW is getting stuff done – ASF funding permitting we are starting sensory work later this month and she is talking to school. We had a meeting this Thursday (was a busy day what with osteopaths, research meeting & this) at school with PASW, SENCO, class teacher and I. A pretty fruitful discussion ensued with me discovering that Sqk has had full-time 1to1 support since they came back after Christmas (would have been nice to be told!!!! Although I have wondered). Also our PASW is good friends with Sqk’s original SW who knew the birth family from well before his birth and has basically said she really doesn’t think there is any need to think about FASD. We still wander due to facial features, small head and ADHD like behaviour. His concentration span on anything he is not interested in is horrendous and as for fine motor control…. However his academic ability appears to be good when he can be sat down – they had a comprehension test the other week where his TA acted as a scribe. His teacher said he did very well – better than a lot of his peers and he is one of the youngest in his year 1 class. He loves reading and story time and enjoys maths so we are all determined to try to get the strategies in place to deal with his wonky brain wiring as he has capability to go far if we can get him to engage.
Socially he is liked by all his peers and is always surrounded by children in playground. Even this morning at soft-play he has made a little friend (probably 3/4) and they are happily running around together. Emotionally he is probably 4 on a good day, 2 on a bad one and somewhere in between most of the time. In some ways had we deferred his entry he might be better off but there is a very good reason we did not and school know this and are grateful for it. Academically it was right decision it is just those emotional skills.
We all agreed that the biggest issue we need to deal with is the ‘stealing’ (food mainly from teachers desks when he sneaks back into school) and lying about not doing something when he blatantly has. These are common issues at school and at home along with the disappearing in the blink of an eye. As the SENCO says he is not a runner but is very good at hiding. We are working with him by saying he must respond when someone calls his name unless it is in hide and seek. Getting better at this at home but it is work in progress. Going to try social stories but need to find some non-autistic aimed ones as he needs the colour and shading that autistic children do not need.
On the positive side Sqk is making progress and hopefully with everything we are all doing we will get there. He is on a modified behaviour policy (yeah). Even when he spat at TA last week it was handled by time in at break – sat on a chair in classroom with teacher present and a sand timer counting down the time. I will admit that having another adopter in the school who has already fought many of the battles has made life so much easier and I am so grateful for that. Plus Sqk copes with me working which is beneficial for my own mental health particularly thanks to the loveliness which is my new campus. So looking forward to the better weather and ability to go walking when I need to think. This is the view out my new office window…
Well following parents evening a few weeks back and a meeting with the SENCO & Sqk’s class teacher a couple of Fridays ago, we are coming to the conclusion that we need to chase a diagnosis for Sqk. School once again suggested ADHD but our gut reaction is no .. backed up by his childminder (has been nanny to ADHD children) & my mother. I grew up with ADHD in my life as it is one (among several) conditions my brother has. Reading around and also taking a closer look at recent photos has us suspecting FASD – at least somewhere. So much fits other than his general cognitive ability – he struggles with handwriting but that is a fine motor control issue. His photos show some of the facial characteristics which would fit with what we suspect in that birth mother probably drank before she realised she was pregnant and then stopped.
He has 1:1 support in an afternoon at school and his teacher is doing what she can in a morning but his inability to focus for more than 5 minutes in a classroom is making it hard. He rarely joins in with rest of class – often sits with a Where’s Wally or similar book round corner apparently not engaging. However he is to a degree, given her story of the little voice chiming in from round the corner on several occasions when other children cannot answer question. The school have recognised his need for outdoor time (does help older adopted child in school really needs it), but are saying he is in many ways the hardest of the three adopted children currently in school as he has no learning difficulties as such – just the fine motor issue and inability to focus or sit still.
Between our referral to community paediatrician plus getting PAS involved and school’s approach via school nurse and EDPsych (eventually) hopefully we will get somewhere and find the appropriate therapies and interventions to help Sqk. He has a lot of potential if we can just get him supported and work through these issues. It may of course turn out to be mainly social immaturity but school feel it is more and at the moment we would agree. So on we tread with support of our new PASW who at least is listening and also being new to support team is working with manager in who I have some trust. Just got to hope imminent regionalisation doesn’t effect things.