So far, J remains unlabelled and undiagnosed. We’ve been in discussions with the SENCO at his school now for some time and both she and the school are very supportive of J’s requirements and he was fortunate enough to have an evaluation quite early on from the child development psychologist who agreed that further investigation was required as some of J’s behavioural tendencies are not within the ‘standard’ parameters. For the most part, I couldn’t give a hoot – he’s still J, regardless of what label and diagnosis he may or may not end up with – but I want the support there for him, I want to know that everything was done to support him, and his learning and development.
Following the child development psychologist evaluation, I then took J to visit the GP as the school are unable to refer a child directly – it has to go through the GP. I took with me a letter from the SENCO recommending that further investigation was needed, as well as the report from the psychologist and my own folder which has a diary of sorts, noting down events or days that have been particularly good or particularly bad, for whetever reason, noting down things that have happened etc, just to see if we can find a pattern for the behaviour and also to show that there are times, listed and dated, when his behaviour is off the scale and I don’t know what to do.
The GP briefly read both reports, watched J play for 30 seconds and announced that she didn’t feel there was anything to be concerned with and what made me think there was any issue. I pushed my thick yellow folder of notes across the desk to her. “Do you have time to read it all?” I asked. I showed her a video, perhaps the quickest way of getting someone to stop and pay attention to what you’re saying – actual recording, documented proof of the behaviour described being played out. She watched it. “I’ll refer him,” she said, “But I warn you, it’ll be a long wait for an appointment.”
Within a couple of weeks the thick envelope came through from the unit regarding J’s recommendation and asking me a whole bunch of questions about him, his behaviour, everything. It was massive to fill in and took me ages, but it was worth it to get it all documented and get the wheels in motion so to speak. A second thick envelope was included for me to give to the school, which I addressed to the SENCO, and now we wait.
J’s behaviour, on the whole, has been a lot better in recent weeks. He has still had some moments, but generally speaking he has been really good. We’re doing a sticker diary now, so at bedtime we go through the days events and he gets stickers for things that he did well and we discuss the good and the not so good aspects of each day. Then he adds up how many stickers he got that day – if he gets a set amount of stickers (or more) within a week then he gets a special reward. His rewards so far have been simple, easy to accomplish requests – two weeks ago he wanted McDonalds for dinner, and to eat in rather than get take-away! Last week he asked for a new game – Daddy P got him Minecraft on the PS3 and he’s absolutely crazy about it.
Today he decided to be a pickle and he ran off around the playground at hometime with his best friend instead of walking nicely with me. It took 15 minutes until we left the playground. I made it clear why I wasn’t impressed with that, and he apologised and seemed to understand. I deliberately draw a line under things in a set amount of time so that he understands each ‘section’ of the day, otherwise each day is so long with no end in sight for him, so we break it down as much as possible, which I have found helps with his understanding of time as well as when we do the reward stickers in the diary each evening. So between school pick-up and getting home is one segment of time – once we were home, the next segment began, and since that point he has been really good again. I think sometimes he needs to just run off some steam with K. Maybe one night after school now the weather is getting better we can take both of them to the park or something for a picnic tea and let them run around for a while and wear themselves out. I might suggest it to K’s mum.
It’s been a while since I sent off the form for his assessment, but we’ll see what happens! Hopefully the SENCO has sent back her form, there was a warning on the letter that it had to be returned by a certain date or they’d discharge him with no further action so I might have to double check with her that the form was returned on time, though I’m sure it was. She must be used to this sort of thing in her position!
Time to go and cook my dinner now …
Peace, Love N Pizza,