Thursday, 20 October 2011

Parent Teacher Meeting

Another milestone for Sue and I tonight. We had our first parent teacher evening.

You hear about them, you see them in sitcoms, but you never really know what to expect.

We went through the initial feedback regarding Emily and how she's settled in during the first half of the first term as well as the outcomes of initial Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals that have been set. Of the four goals, Em's excelling in 3 and needs help in the fourth.

Sue and I have some strategies we can try at home, including helping Em play more. We need to get more inset puzzles and give Em a more structured "play time", perhaps after dinner.

There was really two ways the meeting could have gone - a) your child is a no-hoper or b) things are looking good.

Thankfully, Emily's showing signs of improvement. There's no magic bullet getting her sorted out overnight, and we realise it'll be a long, hard slog but any encouraging news is ... encouraged.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

First school meeting

Had our first school meeting this morning.

Wasn't really sure what to expect, as I can imagine loads of parents actually work and can't really afford to take off 9.30 - 11.30, even if it to discuss their child's future.

As it was, I was only the second dad there, and there were about 8 mums, including our Susan.

The meeting was quite informative, as we discussed what do with regards to applying for school's next year.

The school impressed upon us that, as parents of Dragonflies, we're in a unique position as we have to apply for a mainstream position, but our child will also be assessed through the year to see if they qualify for an SEN, basically a legally binding document outlining the requirement for special educational needs.

The groundwork for the SEN is going to take place during the second half of the first term during action called the Statutory Assessment Process (SAP), where a number of professionals - doctors, therapists, etc. - assess our children and then write this report which recommends either further special needs education or moving into mainstream school.

We need to do the mainstream app online, and choose the best school closest to us. This application has to be completed by mid January. The SAP will continue well into next year and we might find our child has a mainstream place before the SEN decision. We were told to accept the mainstream place as an SEN may not be forthcoming at all.

A lot to take in, but we eventually moved to the Children's Centre, had tea and biscuits and a more informal get to know you, which was nice.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Don't be (nappy) rash

The last couple of days Emily's been battling the red raw nappy area.

It's been unpleasant for her, as well as Sue and I as we've been woken up through the night with Emily screaming in pain. I guess it doesn't help that she had the runs at some point over the last few days as well. That kind of effluence rubbing against any part of your skin is going to irritate after a while.

This brings us to the topic of nappies. We've almost run out of them today (there's about a day's worth left) and I was THIS close to going to Tesco this morning to restock, until I realised that Costco have their nappy deal on. That plus picking Emily up from Helen's equals after "school" excursion! Sorted.

However, during the day we had our supply of nappies arrive from the NHS. As Emily is now over 3, she qualifies for continence assistance. We have supplies to last until January now.

Quite fortuitous that my trip to Tesco was called off.

Back to the rash issue. Dragonflies have said they'd help with Emily's condition by changing her more often. Now we have our "stash" we can easily supply them a load at once, instead of the single nappy in the book bag which has been my solution to date.

Any type of "down under" rash is unpleasant, but when you can't air your area out, I can only imagine the moist pain farm Emily's been walking around with.

Monday, 3 October 2011

New words

Whether it's new school, or Emily's finally getting around to talking, she's actually coming up with new words. Some are helpful in her day to day and actually enable her to communicate - while others are just baffling.

Her books are on a higher shelf than she can reach and for a while now, she'd grab the hand of any available adult and drag them over to help her select a book. This weekend, however, she looked at me and said "Come. Help." and dragged me off to the shelf. I felt this was a real step forward in her ability to verbally communicate.

She's been saying "help" quite a bit lately, but it's not always in the best context. Out for lunch yesterday, Sue had to take Em to the loo. While in there, Emily started yelling "help. help." obviously to get Sue to help wipe her bum or her nose, or whatever. Thankfully, however, child services weren't alerted.

Emily's also been saying the phrase "A dog. A cat. A MOUSE!" quite a bit lately, and Sue and I are quite baffled as to the origin of this. It's not in a book and its not in a TV show or DVD that she watches. If it's her way of communicating, we're also stumped ... unless she wants some new pets and offering us her wish list.

She's still saying the catch-all "bread" for all manner of food, but she seems to understand in the morning that bread/breakfast/cereal means at least a trip down the stairs is in order.

We're getting there at a glacial pace, but at least the journey continues forward.