Last night Lily and I realised that she had been to EVERY LESSON this week! It is the first time she has managed this for 6 months. It was a huge achievement and testament her hard work (also mine) and that of a pretty awesome school team. What happened? Prior to May Lily … Continue reading Anxiety Based School Refusal. Lily’s Story.
Four days ago (27th October) Jeremy, Beth's Dad, reported that she was back in seclusion - not the cell, in a two-room arrangement, but (crucially) with no hatch. So, no way of talking to anyone other than shouting through a door. So no way of hearing phone calls. It seems that passing her food involved … Continue reading Bethany is back in the cell
Last week, I was given the privilege of sharing the turning point in Bethany's story (see here). Following a BBC exposé her dad was 'allowed' into a meeting about her and finally, experts on PDA were listened to. A corner in her care was turned and she could finally see a way out of the … Continue reading Bethany’s Dad Gives the Rest of the Story
... and how does it feel? Well, it feels effortless, though you know that hard work is being relentlessly applied, and it looks easy, though the skills of the staff are clearly evident. It also feels respectful, objective and there seems to be no interest in blame, gossip or drama. The business of the day starts … Continue reading When ‘school’ ‘gets it right’, what does it look like?
A must read for all families that have children who struggle to attend school and all professionals that work to support these families. See also the guide specifically for professionals/schools. Please share this widely so that as many families and professionals as possible can access it: it's an essential resource in my opinion. https://schoolrefuserfamilies.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/new-guides-for-parents-schools-when-a-child-struggles-with-school-attendance/ Above is … Continue reading When your child isn’t ‘fine’ in school. Superb resources for families and for professionals.
What if... Lily receives excellent support from a school that is genuinely inclusive at heart. I can't help but wonder, what if? What if, from an early age, Peter had been offered the type of support, within the same sort of school culture, that Lily receives now. You see, Lily is believed. Everything stems … Continue reading Is the culture fostered by the school leadership team the most important intervention a child can receive?
I’m struggling at the moment at work. Lots of stresses, both physical and mental have been building up over time. I have never been a bounce out of bed person but I’m finding it harder and harder to get up in the morning and leave the house to go to work. I noticed it started … Continue reading Just imagine – if adults were treated like some of our children…
Those wretched, sparkly new uniform, shoes and bag pictures with happy, smiley, children that are widely shared at the beginning of a new school year were enough to finish me off some years. For Peter, it was especially cruel. He often felt that his childhood had been ruined, that he had spent most of it feeling … Continue reading “Why doesn’t my childhood matter?”
It's simple. Look after her child in a way that accurately reflects their needs. To do this right you need to understand her child. You may have to develop some humility, improve your communication skills, learn a few new things, test them out and liaise with 'Mum' and some professionals. Not to hard right? Part … Continue reading You want ‘Mum’ to be less anxious?
I collected Peter from his residential school today and his clothes smelled of the school washing powder. So what? Jo sat an exam last week. Her mum and dad knew nothing about it until the last minute. DJ had his hair cut without his mum or dad knowing. The first they knew was a photo … Continue reading Washing Powder
Each time I hear of a 'ban' on the latest craze of fidget toys my stomach churns. You see, with good reason, I don't trust all school staff to understand that equality causes harm to many with SEND. Equality can prevent Equity as Linda Graham demonstrates.... I do wonder, if we were to ask teaching … Continue reading Equality can cause inequity – blanket school policies should be challenged.
I've been wanting to write about this and still can't really find the words. I want 'people' to stop and think, really think, about what it might be like to see your child in emotional pain, extreme fear, anxiety, confusion and significant distress every day. Literally every day. Many times a day. Often so severe … Continue reading Pain