So we have completed our second week of school and I wanted to share a few things about how we got on.
The first day:
In my dreams hubby would have had the day off and we would have taken photos etc. but we knew that would just make it really hard for Tom to leave us so we made as little fuss as possible and hubby went to work as usual.
On the Sunday we did our last drive past the school and talked through what was going to happen, he was nervous but excited. He went to sleep the same as any other day.
On the Monday we got dressed and went with minimal fuss (except the parking). It was easier than I thought, he just took it in his stride.
When I picked him up at lunch all he talked about was the mash potato, he didn’t seem fazed by this significant change. While I was waiting to pick him up the head teacher popped out to say hello (they all seem to know who we are, maybe they heard about all the prep I tried to do for the teachers and thought it best to play nice). The head teacher was lovely, she asked questions about how we were feeling and gave some good advice- the kids do really well the first week or so and then they start to struggle when they realise school is a long term thing. It was great that she acknowledged this and gave me hope for when we do have our expected wobble.
Now this heading sounds silly but here are some highlights from his first 2 weeks.
1. The teacher said he plays well with other children and likes asking them questions, they were very impressed with this as other children apparently don’t ask many questions of their friends; we did give him a question to help him talk to other children “I’m Tom, what’s your name?”, however this has transpired as “I’m 4, who are you?” but it seems to work for him. Previously the feedback was always that he didn’t know how to interact with other children or play together so this is huge for us! They even said he seems more socially advanced than most of the other children (I’m proud).
2. He has managed to play without adult prompting during play time. Again a massive step, we expected play time to be impossible but he’s just got on with it (I watched through the gate one lunch time).
3. He has shown empathy! Most of you will understand this is amazing. The teacher sent me a text about it saying this “well done to Tom who showed what a kind friend he is today by looking after an injured child. We are very proud of you”. (The school do lots of communication by text). Apparently another boy really hurt his face and Tom was very caring. I was so pleased to see yet another massive area of growth and especially pleased that his teacher (knowing the problems he has) took time out during her day to text me. He has never shown that level of empathy before, again I’m really proud.
So in summary my boy is amazing and school seem to love him and he’s settled amazingly well.
The difficult bits.
So all is great then…… I wish, he has sensory and attachment issues so despite school being great, home is worse.
He isn’t sleeping great, he was up 7 times Thursday night with nightmares and has been clingy on and off.
He’s been aggressive when we try and get him ready for bed and fighting us to stay up saying he wants to be with us (heart-breaking).
He’s been getting home and is clearly hyper stimulated and literally bouncing off the walls and trying to hurt me (sadly I have been on the end of more violence again). I have started doing an hour of sensory regulation as soon as he gets home and this has helped the last few days, but is hard work especially with his brother around.
We are still mixing full days and half days trying to build up to a full week soon and I’m working on my range of sensory regulation tools to help with the come down after school.
I am hopeful for the future, the school are responsive and we are seeing huge improvements in his behaviour generally. I feel if we can get the regulation right at home we might just get through the next 13 years of school.