Saturday, March 07, 2009

gloom and fear

the bird table/sculpture thingey

dear readers, yet again i must grovel to you and apologise for my lack of contact. i have had the devil's own job persuading herself to get on the keyboard. the reason for this is that herself has been suffering from gloom. it has some fancy medical name like repression or something but the bottom line is just plain gloom.

things were ok, or at least not too disastrous, until the peeps were summoned to a meeting at my boy's school. my boy, as regular readers will recall, has been suffering with fear. this has meant he has not found it all that easy to go out of the house. since going to school involves not just going out of the house but going in a car for 20 minutes, followed by a taxi for an hour, my boy has not been going to school. the peeps have been trying to do educational stuff at home. herself has set up a blog for my boy to write what he has learned. alas, he will not share it with the wider world or i would give you a link. the peeps have borrowed a laptop for him to work on so he is not in his room. this avoids him being tempted to play with his gun collection when he should be writing about how to make bread. herself has spent hours on the internet finding things that might tempt my boy's interest. however, none of this counts as school. not going to school is something of a problem and the school called in a person called an ee-wo. hence the meeting.

the peeps were dreading the meeting. the ee-wo's main function seems to be taking parents to court. if the peeps were taken to court it would be bad for both of them. because of where we live it would be the court where herself appears as a lawyer. himself works in a school and is clerk to the governors, among other things. so neither of them would exactly get a promotion if they were taken to court.

the ee-wo was scary. as soon as the peeps sat down she fixed them with a steely stare. but worse was to come. the assistant head waded in.

"does he know that his parents will be taken to court if he refuses to come to school?"

the peeps assured her that he did. herself tried to explain that they were treading a fine line at home between my boy's fragile nervous state and the need to make the education authority's figures look good. therefore, while they would like to get him to school, they were not willing to do it at the expense of my boy's mental health. further, my boy is now 5 foot 10 inches tall. he soars over both peeps. himself is recovering from abdominal surgery. so the old practice of picking my boy up under one arm no longer works. there is also the question of human rights. my boy seems to have human rights and herself explained that to force him to go out of the house against his will, particularly if this involved what is legally an assault, would almost certainly contravene his human rights. herself is nothing if not the lawyer.

"well, putting it bluntly, he has a choice. he can either come to school here or he will be removed from the roll and he will have to go to a school nearer to where you live." the assistant head is someone who has been very kind to my boy so this approach rather shocked the peeps. but statistics and figures and budgets wait for no man, or indeed boy.

the peeps went on to explain that herself has been trying to get help for my boy from the the clinic for sad, fearful and deranged young people for 2 months. she has been phoning at least once a week, sometimes more. so far no help has materialised. herself explained that the peeps were doing everything they could, and a lot more than most families would, but that they were only human. at this point she started to weep.

the meeting ended with an agreement that my boy could stay on their books for the time being and do work at home. this would allow him to be marked as there in spirit if not in body, some sort of psychic miracle invented by an accountant. if only the accountants could stretch to funding a teleporter we would be home and dry.

yesterday, after endless chasing by herself and a number of other people, the clinic for sad, fearful and deranged young people sent a letter with an appointment. it is at the hospital, which is some 5 miles away by car. this week is the first time my boy has been in a car in a month. by way of increasing in tiny baby steps he has managed to travel by car up the road to where we go for a walk without feeling sick. but suddenly trying to go 5 miles will not work.

herself wrote an e-mail to the clinic for sad, fearful and deranged young people, explaining that the reason for the appointment was my boy's fear. if he had been able to get to the clinic, quite a bit of the problem would already have gone. she said it was surprising that this fact had not found its way onto my boy's medical notes, given she has phoned so often and has explained the problem every single time.

so we are back to square one. until a report has been written by the clinic for sad, fearful and deranged young people, no help is available, and if my boy doesn't do the work set by the school the peeps face being dragged off to court.

as inspector gadget is fond of saying, you couldn't make it up...


Woman in a Window said...

and yet you write it with humour again. you astound me. I wouldn't be capable. I have no practicle wisdom for you at all. I just wish you strength and the possibility of a breakthrough. And if you need to talk with someone I'm here, albeit way far over here. No longer on Facebook but at
Much love. Hang in there.

Penny said...

I am so sorry to hear of your problems. It never rains but it pours, springs to mind. Petty beaurocracy rears it's ugly head once again. I do hope things get better for you soon.

Anonymous me said...

The inadequacy of words of morale support appalls me really. And yet knowing we are thinking of you may just ease your heart a little. xx J

flutter said...

oh, poor Boy! Maybe if the lurcher went with him?

Deirdre said...

Does your local "team" have a Paed. Mental Health Nurse? Ours is based with a group of services headed by the Community Paediatrian and makes home visits, even better you can start off as a 'self referral'. Might be more use than the clinic. Has the Ed Psych been in touch, via the school, only useful if you have a good one, of course!
Just wish your boy could join ours at his truly astounding school - we have difficulty in keeping him at home when we need to - it sounds as if it would be about the same amount of travel time!
I have quite a good US site I get educational ideas from if you would like the link?

crazymumma said...

Oh man. I disappear in my gloom and doom for a month and come back and hear about the boy feeling fear. It sucks the fear, it freezes you. And we live in a very harsh and expectant world.

Oh boy. I wish we could all just find it an easy thing, this thing called life.

Lynanne said...

I wish I had words of wisdom but having been in the gloom many times myself, and know there arent easy answers. I can only empathize greatly.

I'm sure you've looked into it, but how about homeschooling for the rest of the term while you keep taking baby steps to overcome the fears? Here is a link I found through the US-based HSLDA:

We homeschooled for several years because our oldest "beefburger" kid had school-fears after difficulties with a teacher. An educational advisor (certified teacher but supporter of homeschooling) told us that the first weeks away from school are best spent "detoxifying." (not doing things school-related.) There are many ways to learn beyond formal instruction. Kids with ASD are often great homeschoolers becuase of their intense focus on areas of interest. What seems to be an obsession can be expanded into so much more. He's obssesing with GPS and maps? Turn it into lessons on science (what are the physics involved with satelites), math (how does the computer triangulate the coordinates?), social studies (how are GPS unit used beyond play things), history (learn more about an era in history and then tell how things would have been different with GPS), and on and on.

Many people un-school but we followed the cirriculum set by the school. I challenged my son to find out how it could be tied in to his area of interest. Some days he didn't feel like doing much "work" but the beauty of homeschooling is you don't have to follow the calender or clock. In the end, he spent more time on educational activities than he realized.

how's that for a long, rambling comment? blah...

Lynanne said...

oops, i was going to add that my son is back in school now and things are MUCH better.

Auntie Jane said...

I am sorry you have all these problems. It can't be easy.

Nothing much has changed over the years. I had trouble getting to see someone on behalf of one of my sons many years ago. It took me a year to sort out.

Catofstripes said...

I found West Sussex absolutely horrendous when my daughter had troubles at school over 12 years ago. I'm so sorry to hear that things have not improved.

Can your GP help with a referral to the relevant Health service? Or a letter to the school? This is probably egg sucking time as I'm sure you've tried everything.

Hope things improve soon, thinking of you all.

She said...

Sending positive thoughts your way!

I get the gloomy feelings too, and they suck!

I hope this all works itself out soon for the boy's sake and for herself.

BTW, I noticed that herself is one smart cookie. I love how she fights for her boy's human rights. In my book, SHE ROCKS BIG TIME!

Lou said...

damn all the hoops you are having to go through - they just make it all so much worse. Basically my experience is that the mental health specialists just haven't got a clue when it comes to beefburger syndrome. Good to hear they will let him stay at home for now.

I know you know that home ed is not about ticking their boxes but you are in a bind right now.

My only thoughts are to use his clever brain and try to get him to 'play along for now' and see it as part of a moving forward to being freer later. Of course the fear can really get in the way of their clever brains. I know this so well.

hope the gloom clears a bit - I know that very well too.

sending big hugs....

Anonymous said...

Oh so sorry, anxiety is so difficult to fight back isn't it? I saw in the other post that you were able to get some meds- hope they help. I do happen to work in human services but in the states where it all might be very different treatment wise I mean!Education wise probably too. My daughter is not yet adolescent- something to look forward to,lol!