Friday, 26 June 2009

A call from the Occupational Therapist.

Yesterday Barney got his first ever school report and I had a proud Mummy moment reading it. His principal said "this is a super report Barney - you are clearly a clever and kind boy, and I hope in P2 you feel more confident about letting others see that too! Well done Barney." His teacher wrote lots of nice things about him being hard working and generally a good boy. He seems to be doing his work well an excelling in every area except the social side of things. His teacher said "Barney has made steady progress in all areas this year. He can be a very anxious little boy and requires lots of reassurance and praise from adults within the classroom. He is to be commended for his excellent manners and behaviour." Well done Barney on being such a good boy this year and on doing your best and working your hardest.

Today the schools Occupational Therapist phoned me. She had been spending the day with Barney, watching him in the class setting, and talking to him on his own. They sat and played puzzles together in her room whilst he chatted away about his interests. She has been watching him at school for a few weeks, after his teacher requested that he receive some help. I told her about Barneys panic attacks, and told her about the recent discussions I'd had with him about routines and the unexpected. She seemed happy that I was on the same wave length as her, and that I had talked to Barney and read some books about Aspergers. I got the impression that she is often met by resistance from some parents when told that their child may need extra help.

She has made some 'social stories' out for Barney. He brought one home today which she went through with him. It's basically a laminated A4 page about the 'what will happen when I come back to school after the summer?' It has a photo of Barney at the top, and a photo of his new P2 teacher, with her name. It explains what happens over the summer holidays and what will happen in September. They plan to give him these visual social stories regularly to help him get used to routine at school. The OT said that he gets extremely anxious every time there is an assembly or something unexpected. Just today she saw his face when it was time to go to the assembly hall for the sports day prize giving. She said that he started to cry and the boy sitting opposite him said "don't get upset Barney, I will look after you" and took his arm in the queue. How touching. What a lovely little boy!

She said a lot more but it would take me forever to type it all. I have been impressed with how the school are dealing with this. They seem to be so much more aware of these things now than they did back in my day. Barney has been listed on a 'code of practice'. He is on stage 1, which basically means that the OT will take him out of class once a week and spend time with him making special targets for him to achieve. She will help him with social issues and any worries he has. Eventually at stage 3 outside agencies are called in to assess the child. But that is already underway in Barneys case, and she hopes that the psychologist will see and assess him over the summer so that it is all done before school restarts in September.

School has finished for the older two. Barney doesn't finish until Tuesday. Roll on the summer holidays! And Jimmie's fourteenth birthday, which is on Sunday.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

That is great news!!! How wonderful of the school to take those extra steps to make him feel secure in things.

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