Monday, 23 April 2012

School viewings

Even though Emily has a placement at the school round the corner, if she gets her statement of special needs, we'll be able to get her into one of the two schools in the borough that specialise in needs children.

We went to view one today called Forresters. They apparently focus on more integration than the alternative - Green Wrythe.

The tour was quite eye opening, and we saw the various classrooms - mainstream and base (what they call the special needs children) - as well as the gym, the music room, the base sensory room, the computer room. The only room we didn't get a tour of was the library... which is ironic really.

Sue and I are still confused as to the best steps for Emily going forward. Forresters is better for verbal communicative children, while Green Wrythe is better for kids who are still developmentally stuck - like Emily. However, Sue and I want Emily to come out of her shell and does mild integration provide that better than being with other children who don't talk?

We still need to see Green Wrythe before we make up our minds, and if we DO get a statement and accepted to either of the schools, they can decide whether they accept Emily based on the data they receive as well.


Friday, 20 April 2012

School choices

I guess everyone's finding out about their school choices this week and Emily was no different.

We're hoping to get a statement for her, thus getting her into specialist classroom at one of two schools in the borough.

However, as a statement isn't guaranteed, we also had to go through the proper "nothing wrong with your child" channels. We have a good school a stone's throw around the corner from us - Stanley Park Infant - which was not only our first choice, but also the school Em got into.

It made both Sue and I quite sad to have to reflect on her special needs and the fact that she won't get the integration with normal children that a normal child would get.

Being around Emily, we tend to forget how behind she is, and things like this just really ram reality down our throats.

Still, she's getting all the help she can, Sue and I are doing what we can, and if she gets a statement, she'll be all the better off for it.

We've been given lemons, so better made lemonade than complain we don't like citrus fruit. (I may have to work on that one).

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Autism and genetics?

Sue has taken Emily this afternoon to a geneticist appointment that was made ages ago.

Someone who gets paid to know what they're talking about suggested that we might want to clear with this professional to ensure that Holly won't become autistic, or at least review the likelihood.

We have since been told that the correlation between autism and genetics (or hereditary genetics anyway) is about as sound as not being to conceive while breastfeeding - i.e. complete hokum. Although, I'd like to explore further the theory that more scientists and uni profs (the "smart people"), etc. have autistic kids than the general population.

Still, the appointment was made, so it's probably worthwhile to see at least what the geneticist has to say on any matter regarding Emily. I'm just quite sure whatever is discussed it won't be about autism... or at least we'll be told that Emily is autistic because Sue and I are really smart.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Holly is home. For good.

Holly as she is now. At home.
After a whole month in one hospital or another, Sue and Holly finally came home for good tonight.

It's been quite the trying month, starting with Holly's cardiac arrest on the 3rd of March and culminating in her being well enough to be discharged today, albeit with a bevy of drugs and a physio plan.

It's going to take some adjusting to not having the hospital around us. For Sue, Holly and myself it will be that safety net the NHS provides, with doctors and nurses only a raised voice away. For Emily, it will be having her family back in one place - mummy and daddy in the same building, sleeping in the same bed and "the baby" back to disrupt her rule of the roost.

In the last few hours, Emily hasn't been as ambivalent towards Holly as she normally has. We've even got her to give Holly a kiss which she has willingly done. I don't believe this is the start of any great thawing of diplomatic relations yet, but it might at least be a small amount of acceptance on Emily's behalf.

Now with Holly back and the family unit together again, we're about to attempt our next great hurdle - taking Holly on an airplane. We've got a week booked in Northern Ireland. The doctors and nurses see no reason Holly CAN'T go and we have an introductory letter for any hospital or doctor we need to contact outlining the story so far.

Now that Holly has spend 1/3 of her life in a hospital (including her initial birth stint) we're hoping not to have to see the inside of one for a long, long time.