George attends a special needs school local to us. He started there when he was 3, and will stay there now until he is 19 years old.
Today we received his new class!!!! He is moving out of the nursery and key stage one, to key stage two. He leaves behind everything he knows, and is about to start a whole new chapter.
During 2011 we were once again looking for an educational placement for George. He had been to a preschool in our village, however this hadn’t gone well. He managed a couple of days without me, he had sobbed to the point of exhaustion and would sleep for the rest of the session. The distress he felt started to affect his relationship with everyone around him. With severe separation anxiety he wouldn’t so much as look at anyone other than me. I couldn’t be more than 6 inches away from him. After many strategies, we made the decision to pull him out of the Pre School and look to alternatives.
George had a lady that would home school him once a week from a service called portage. She began working with us when George was 6 months old. She would help him to learn what most babies would do totally independently, things that Peony and Willow have done with out me noticing.
George needed to be taught for example how to get from sitting up to lying down. He would throw himself back and just risk the head injury. It was not straight forward to him where to place his hands how to swivel his legs and make the manoeuvre safe.
We spoke to the home teacher who told me to look at a Memphis nursery 20 miles away (he would arrive there by mini bus alone), he would stay here for a year, from there he would go to our local mainstream school until that broke down, at this point he could go to our local special needs school.
This seemed a crazy plan with a child with serious separation anxiety, who had a mother whose anxiety was just as intense.
Cutting a very long story we fought for George to attend this incredible special needs school from day one. The health and educational workers of George were horrified by our decisions and even told me that I was selling him short.
At 3 George couldn’t talk, was in nappies and not close to being out of them, he couldn’t sit on a carpet and listen to a story, he couldn’t write a single letter, in fact he struggled to make any mark with a pen. He was nowhere near the benchmark of his peers in mainstream. I would have been sending him there behind, forever trying to catch up.
I have always been fiercely over protective of George, I remember so clearly to this day where it all started, George was 10 days old. Friends came over with their partners, and their mum…. The 5 of them passed him between them. I sat thinking I don’t know how to ask for my baby back. 3 hours passed, and I had stopped being able to hear any conversation or concentrate on anything. George couldn’t tell when he was hungry so wouldn’t cry. As soon as his feed time came I took my opportunity to get him back. I never let him go again!! This was to the detriment of the relationship between George and his dad, my mother in law, George and my self. I would only hand George over 5 minutes before his milk time, so I knew I could get him back. He wouldn’t get fussy and want to move from someone. He would sit there, and I wouldn’t know what was going on in his mind.
The day came when he started school, he began doing a couple of hours in the morning. He got himself in to his buggy pulled the hood over him and sobbed.
He did this for days.
He wouldn’t eat or drink. He wouldn’t tolerate being in the class room and the deputy head would take him to the sensory room.
Slowly over time with the most incredible teacher, he came out of his shell. He sat with his friends, he played, and he ate. His journey at school is one I will save for another day.
So today the time has come to accept that George will leave this teacher that he has had for 4 years. The teacher who I trusted with George before I even trusted Mark. The woman that I have cried in front of, bared my soul to, and stood with me guiding George to become this confident albeit a little stroppy boy.
He is moving to a new classroom, with a totally new team around him, with the exception of his favourite teaching assistant moving with him.
I can’t begin to explain the anxiety this is causing me, and how out of control I feel. I know that he needs this new stage in his life, but I am scared. I’m scared that he doesn’t have the understanding for me to reassure him like I would with Peony, I’m scared that he can not articulate what is in his head, this gets manifested in other ways. I’m scared that I have to trust someone else to understand by baby. I have to trust someone to care for his personal needs.
Its time for me to climb in to my big girl pants, time for me to embrace the next stage.