Initially Peter wanted:
- to be believed by his teachers;
- some minor (mostly free) accommodations at school;
- the school staff to work with the NHS staff who: were appropriately skilled, had thoroughly assessed him and were willing to give their time for free to help them to think about these minor accommodations;
- school staff to learn to understand more about his difficulties and
- to believe his mum when she described how hard he was finding life.
We have come across some great people along the way, and I do think that there will be a pretty good ending to this story, but the last few years of Peter’s life have been extraordinarily tough.
To recap… no child age 9 should need to be admitted to hospital because of a known, preventable, unmet need in modern Britain. No child needing hospital should have to be admitted alone to a hospital 150 miles away from home in modern Britain. No family should have to fight dishonest and corrupt systems full of incompetent people called ‘professionals’, alone, simply to save their child – to safeguard their future and rescue their mental health.
We know from the news, from Channel 4 documentaries and (if you spend a nanosecond looking for it) from the many stories shared daily on social media that situations like ours aren’t uncommon. I had no clue, mind you, until relatively recently that the culture that had led to our difficulties was widespread as I wasn’t on twitter or in a single SEN Facebook Group. Boy did I have a lot to learn!
However, give a child time to heal and hope that they may have a future …. a little bit of therapy and the promise of more… a little time to gently make friends and the promise of more…. a taste of a school where he feels the adults are skilled, trained and will let him take the lead in his progress…
….and slowly but surely healing can start.
Peter’s most recent bout of healing started after months of being at home and on the day he visited his new school for the second time. He met some staff that put no pressure on him. He met the Clinical Psychologist with whom he started to talk about how life was for him having spent just a short time that day with her. He knows she will really help. He has been asking for this sort of help for a very long time.
The day after that visit he had more energy and went out side. Since then he has had more visits and each one has shown him that the staff there will listen to him, work closely with each other, him and me, know how to help, won’t force his progress and will trust that he will move forward and learn as soon as he feels able to.
The presence of skilled staff, the promise of collaboration between therapy, education and care and the absence of pressure has enabled him to move forward at a very fast pace.
Over the last few weeks he has managed to do things, and to enjoy life in ways, that he hasn’t been able to manage to do for nearly three years.
If he can show this much promise on a little bit of hope then I think the future is very bright indeed.
- More about the time needing hospital is here.
- More about the promise that a skilled teacher can bring is here.
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