It would be a rather large lie if I said that I was not looking forward to the end of the summer holidays and the start of the new school year. It has been a very long 6 weeks, far too much coffee has been drunk during the day, and almost as much wine drunk in the evening! Don’t get me wrong we have had exciting, funny, mad and wonderful moments, but we have also had some pretty stressful ones.
As much as I can’t wait for tomorrow, I did spent most of last night lying in bed worrying and I guess tonight will be much the same. I have that delightful feeling of anxiety; a rather massive fear of what is around the corner. Nowhere near as bad as how I was feeling this time 12 months ago when C was about to start school for the first time. But still I worry, a lot, about what this school year holds.
It took sometime for C to become settled at school. It took time for the school to begin to understand him and work out that, yes, he did need a little bit more support than most within the classroom, and even more at playtime. It took time for C to get his head round what was expected off him. But we did kind of get there; as much as I could have ever hoped for.
But as the new year looms, I feel we are almost going to have to start this process again. I know after the summer holidays every child is beginning a new school year, with a new teacher and new classroom but for some children this is a massive ask. Some days I am completely torn between whether I actually send C to school because I need a break. Not because school is the right place for him. Plenty of children on the spectrum are home schooled because school is just to much for them. Home schooling is something that I will try and avoid as to be truly honest I am not sure I am cut out for having him at home the whole time. Right now, without question, him being in school is right for us both. As hard as it is, I hope and pray, that with the right support both from home and school we can ensure that for the time being at least we can continue with what we are doing.
This I think is why I am so nervous. If we get school right, we will all be fine. C will survive school and I will manage, although tough at times, to actually enjoy being a mummy, well most of the time at least. But so much of it comes down to the school. So far we have been really lucky. We have had super teachers, the head who is also the SENCO seems very supportive and we have had great TA’s. But who knows what is around the corner. Next year he goes from a small class of 15, to a class of 30. That in itself could cause problems but throw in a new teacher and classroom… My head and heart are pounding just thinking about it. I have not met his new teacher yet so although I have been assured that she has talked at length to C’s teacher from last year, I have not been able to say what I think and feel. I have also never heard anything bad in the playground so maybe I really just need to try and chill out. But I have become a bit of a control freak, I never used to be one, well, never as bad as I am now. This is defiantly happened since being a mother of a child with autism. I have become almost obsessed with knowing what is going to happen so I can help provide as much information to C as possible. This then in turn helps make my life a little easier as he is less anxious. I have no idea what will happen tomorrow so I have no idea what to tell him; this mummy might be going into panic mode…..
However much I would like to think I had some say as to what happens at school, really the truth is that I have no control over what happens. I can say what I think, and hope that they listen and take note. But at the end of the day, along with every other parent, I have to put my trust in the school and the teachers. I have to believe that the teachers will do their best for C and not get fed up and cross with him because he needs more of their time and energy than others in his class. C is never going to be the easiest or simplest child to teach but get it right he might be one of the most rewarding.
I have to keep telling myself that everything will be ok. I don’t believe it will ever be plain sailing, but as long as the school always tries their best, always keeps the doors open for me to come in (not C otherwise they will lose him), and most importantly remember that they are not just there to teach C how to read and write, but also all the social stuff that most of us take for granted we might just all survive; teachers, C and me.
I have to have faith in C that he will be ok and I have to chill out about school. So far they have been really supportive. I have to try and stop predicting what might be around the corner. I have no idea, so why worry about it. If I could just make myself take one day at a time. Deal with one problem at a time and not try and solve problems that haven’t even happened yet, for one I might be a slightly less stressed mummy and secondly I might not need quite so much wine in the evening (haha)!
So here’s to year 1 and hopefully another good year!!