Today my son became an asset. Not a problem to be fixed, overcome or ignored but a positive and beneficial contributor. How good does that feel? Even better to him than it does to me, and that's saying something!
H's new school would so far appear to be one of the very best things to happen to him in his life so far. I only hope this continues! It started with the Holiday Club and Wraparound Care (Breakfast Club) telling me additional support really wasn't required and Harry was welcome to attend as many sessions as we (or he) wanted. Not only were they completely "unfazed" by meltdowns and tantrums, insecurities and possible running away attempts, they actually think Harry is good fun, has a wicked sense of humour and barely noteworthy in the challenge stakes.
Now we *know* this is not always the case, given a different environment, different staff with less experience etc it would likely be a very different scenario. As a family with two adults we struggle on outings at the best of times and until recently rarely attempted them. Snide remarks from ignorant members of the public do eventually grind you down! But how completely liberating to be told your child is "one of many" and "not a problem", I just cannot describe how good that makes me feel.
Today H had the first of four short visits to his new school. They met him at the Office, welcomed him, had a visual welcome book ready and an allocated SEN supporter for him. He clung to Richard, overwhelmed despite a previous visit until he spotted a friend from their Holiday Club we had sent him to in Half Term for this very reason. And the school KNEW this and put him in the SAME CLASS as this friend to help him settle in! After one short hour, Richard collected him, a happy grinning child who LOVES the new school and cannot wait for September. Even better, the school are so impressed with HIM and he's going in with a "gifted" label rather than a "problem" one.
I'm grinning all over my face as I type. His current school have been really supportive, this is not written in condemnation because they have faced a steep learning curve over the past 4 years - and so have we. That mountainous curve has been a hard climb but we must be somewhere near the summit if only in terms of understanding his current needs having picked and fought for his new school.
My son. Wanted, welcomed and viewed for his positive attributes whilst supported in his additional needs. Love it.