So much space…..
So all the schools are back this week. With some changes. A bit more of an encouragement to wear masks. All pupils to get a couple of rapid Covid tests per week. A test which gives inaccurate results in potentially 1 out of every 5 tests. But let’s not mention the giant elephant in the rather cramped classroom.
Most children and staff will be returning to classrooms in a country with rapidly emerging virus mutations without mandatory masks, in rooms likely to have really poor ventilation, with pupils definitely and staff probably without the security of a vaccination. And here’s the elephant entering the already cramped room. The PM has been doing repeated photo opportunities in classrooms. In carefully selected modern classrooms containing only a handful of children. Lots of space. But that’s not the reality for most schools. Too many are squeezed into small spaces. Nothing has been done to reduce the high classroom numbers. Not one thing. If Hawklad was returning then it would be to a class size which is between 30 to 32 pupils and 2 members of staff. In a building which is well over 50 years old.
Please tell me how this is a good idea.
It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual trip to stunning Switzerland. A country which means so much to our little family. A family link which started when Hawklads Grandfather was sent here to recover from a really bad chest condition when he was young. Strengthened when he returned here to work for a charity helping servicemen recover from long term war injuries. Switzerland then became the go to place for a family holiday with his growing family. It became our go to destination.
Times have changed and now the family is much smaller now. Any future family returns are now down to just Hawklad and me. Let’s hope it’s not too long before we return again.
My poor bed duvet. Caught outside TWICE in the pouring rain. But finally after hours propped over a full on radiator, it was dry. With my adopted manly themed duvet cover back on – Hawklads old Peppa Pig one – the bed was made up. All neat and tidy.
A couple of hours later I head for bed to find.
Some hooligan had decided to move my clean duvet onto the floor and create his own perfect bed.
Look at that face. He wins. That’s another night in the sleeping bag for me…
Are there any countries out there who would like a new citizen. I don’t take up much space, I’m happy to learn the language, sing the new national anthem and I’m house trained.
I’m sat here quite prepared to renounce my British citizenship. Clearly I don’t fit anymore. I don’t seem to fit in with the expected thinking.
Approval for the Government is at an all time high. On the back of a vaccination programme which was one of the few things they decided to leave entirely up to the public sector experts to sort out and deliver. Just don’t mention the fiasco of the privatised Track and Trace system which has now custom £37B. A country where many people turn a blind eye to the daily top level corruption which the Government don’t even bother hiding now. Where you are expected to ignore the court rulings that have found the Government is acting illegally. Shrug off the criminal negligence that has been our response to the pandemic costing thousands and thousands their life’s. Smiling at the empty food shelves and rising costs from the Brexit car crash. Preferring to moan about a bit of royal fall out rather than focus on the Government spending over £300k of tax payers money to pay off a bullying allegation against the Home Secretary. Seemingly ok with giving the wonderful NHS staff a miserly 1% pay increase while it hands out billions in dodgy contracts to party backers and personal friends. Believing that we are all in this together while the PM seeks rich charity funds to pay for a £200000 makeover of his flat.
As I’m not OK with this maybe it is time for me to pack my bags. The question is where do I go. Before Brexit I had the option of moving to any country in the EU. But now that right has been removed as clearly a loss of personal freedoms is seen as progress….
So where are the countries that I should move to. The ones that still have a moral compass. The ones you can be proud of. Sadly that is not Britain.
Another morning of home isolation. Another day of home schooling. Another largely sleepless night.
A night spent in a sleeping bag.
Yesterday morning I decided to give my duvet an airing outside as the sun had decided to shine. It wasn’t until 3am when I felt sufficiently tired that I noticed the duvet-less bed. Yes it was still outside. Outside in the pouring rain.
My poor duvet has been on the radiator for 8 hours now. It’s still drenched. So I guess it’s another sleeping bag night facing me. But actually that’s no bad thing. It’s something different. In seemingly ever repeating days of sameness, CHANGE is good.
Bring on the sleeping bag.
Running on empty last couple of days. Even the simple tasks are becoming complex. You know you are in for along day when you nod off during the first school at home lesson. The lights went out midway through a sentence explaining Factor Trees to Hawklad. All before 10am.
Here’s the ultimate irony. A tired muppet Dad who wasn’t even trusted to keep the score in Pub Darts matches now trying to explain maths to a kid who has just got 38 out of 40 in his term mathematics test. Talk about feeling out of my depth.
Which is how I feel when I venture into the world of poetry. Yes I’m sorry it’s that time again. Head to the panic rooms my friends. It’s poetry..
It’s poetry Jim but not as we know it…..
It’s really Terrible Poetry time. Time to have a go at Chelsea Owens Mused Poetry challenge.
Phew! After last month‘s hilarious entries, I had a bit of trouble thinking of what our next venture should be. What to do, what to do…
Let’s try an oldie but a goodie: A Funny Love Poem Inside a Greeting Card.
Most greeting cards can’t hold a ballad, so a few stanzas ought to do us for the Length.
I’d recommend rhyming. I mean, you are serious about this love interest, aren’t you?
Yes, this is love (or something like unto it) but the Rating‘s PG or cleaner. After all, some kid might stumble across your offering while trying out all the musical cards.
Only in stories do lovers say all the right words, remember every birthday and anniversary, and get just the right present. We are not writing a story, here, we’re writing a humorous poem. As such, make us laugh. Laughter’s the best way to a person’s heart; right?
And, as a side note, whoever said this was a card expressing love to a person? What if you’re more fond of a juicy cheeseburger? Just a thought…
You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next MONTH (March 5) to submit a poem.
When you lie in double bed all alone
Experiencing a completely love free zone
Feeling like a discarded out of tune trombone
Your only company is a smelly dog and farting cat
Feeling as popular as flea ridden rabid fat wombat
But maybe today that Hallmark card will land on your mat
Bringing much needed kisses and expressions of affection
Offering a few sweet moments of romantic misdirection
Which is always better than a bad case of fungal infection…..
The National Autistic Society has carried out research on the reality of adults living with autism spectrum disorders. It’s a sobering read.
I just want to highlight some specific lines in the report.
49% of adults with autism or Asperger syndrome are still living at home with their parents. 65% of these adults have had no community care assess- ments and are therefore unlikely to be known to the statutory agencies who should be supporting them.
31% of adults at the lower end of the autism spectrum are still being cared for at home, despite their high level needs. 45% of parents believed their son or daughter required 24-hour care, and only 15% thought they could live in sheltered or shared accommodation.
Only 3% of adults at the higher end of the autism spectrum are living fully independently, and a further 8% are living independently with some regular professional or family support.
As the report points out Families are picking up the care responsibilities in the UK associated with autism. Repeated Government’s have buried their heads in the sand. The current government unbelievably has probably set the bar even lower.
Like many families around the UK (and worldwide) my thoughts are increasingly focusing on the future. What will happen to Hawklad as an adult in our society which is so badly setup for those on the spectrum. Let’s just say that its currently not an entirely reassuring feeling I have. Yes I’m worried.
It was such a grey day today. Couldn’t find anything to photograph so let’s see what happened a year ago. So back 2020 and guess what was back!!!! After a few really bad storms our lake made a brief appearance.
One of the questions I’ve been asked the most by other parents and a few teachers (but interestingly never by family and friends) is
‘Does Aspergers get better with age?’Even occasionally the question becomes ‘will he grow out of it….”
For every polite question I have trotted out the same answer
The condition will not change but the personality traits may well fluctuate over time. Some traits may become less noticeable while others may become more pronounced.
There is research in this area but I will leave others to discuss that. I will stick to my well trodden line of each child and adult is unique. With Hawklad it is very much on par with my standard answer. Some of the traits have become less apparent as he has got older. Some of his old repetitive behaviours like hand flapping are hardly seen these days. Where’s as some traits like fixation on objects and constant motion have stayed largely the same.
But there are also existing traits which are becoming far more pronounced. Verbal stimming (repetition of words and sounds) has dramatically increased with him. Phobias and social anxieties have increased but how I’m just not sure how much of that is down to the pandemic.
Aspergers is very much who Hawklad is. It’s his personality. It is him. Sadly there is still too often a fundamental misunderstanding of what being on the spectrum actually means. Not enough understanding of what it is to be Autistic. We have such a long way to go as a society.
Warning this post contains some disturbing baking images.
This house had an idea. Some next level pancakes….
Not content with messing up normal pancakes let’s go a stage further. Pancake sandwiches. So what filling could we go for?
Chocolate biscuits. Carefully warmed chocolate biscuits. How hard could that be.
Erm…. As Spock would say ‘it’s a chocolate biscuit filling Jim but not as we know it’.
After a number of other shocking tries we finally produced this….
We can officially call this a warmed chocolate biscuit filled pancake sandwich.
The message here. If keep throwing punches, you might be the worst boxer ever, but eventually one will land.
The sun goes down on another school at home day. It was one of those days where it feels like for every step forward we took two giant steps back. Such hard work.the really frustrating thing is that it wasn’t the actual learning which was the issue today. No the frustrations came from repeated system crashes, missing content, confusing instructions, formatting disasters and online tests that will only work with exactly the right spelling and format.
We can make home schooling so much easier for the pupils than this…
So with the frustrations still ringing in my head another school communication arrived. All about the required Covid testing to support the schools reopening next week. Each family will be required to self test families using the rapid result kits TWICE a week. On top of that all pupils will be tested with the same kits once a week in school.
My one question is that if our schools are completely safe and not hubs for virus transfer (according to our PM) – why is this level of testing required…..
The school letter also apologised to parents for the confusing over masks in the classroom. A few days ago the PM told schools that masks had to be worn in the classroom. Our school wrote to parents to inform them of the new rule. Unfortunately the rule has now changed again. The PM has now said they are only recommended and school can’t enforce them.