Somebody has spent the whole day checking the garden out. Must be something interesting to see.

Probably watching me doing yoga. Or as I now call it – controlled falling over. Also probably watched me pacing around the garden thinking and occasionally gardening.

I’ve confirmed to school that our son won’t be starting back next week. Until he returns I informed school that I would do my best to keep him up with his classmates. However without support that will be difficult. Let’s see what school come back with. I’m not holding my breath.

Son has also had another session with his nurse counsellor. We mentioned that son was now convinced that he just can’t restart school at present. But that he had set a rough goal for his return. The start of the next term. That is the end of October. That was his goal. I’m putting no timescales on things. Her honest assessment was that October would be too soon for him. He would have to make spectacular progress for that too happen. Yes it could but realistically it is unlikely. We should definitely prepare ourselves for son not being able to attend school at all during the remainder of 2020. In fact writing off the entire school year is a realistic assessment. He is starting a very long process of trying to reconnect with the wider world.

Hence my pacing round the garden. Trying to think. Start getting my head round things. Could we really be on our own self imposed lockdown to at least July 2021. That’s focused the mind. So many questions to address

  • What to do with homeschooling for a whole year? Do we just pull him from school? Can he realistically go back after missing over a year of classroom teaching?
  • What impact does this have on my job?
  • What is the impact on the finances?
  • That would mean 18 months with no running for me. I am going to have to commit to something like yoga as a long term option.
  • I was hoping to get an old sporting injury fixed next year. That’s unlikely to happen now.
  • That’s 18 months of few social encounters for me. What will I look and sound like when this period is over.

So many questions. This is going to be a challenge. Going to need to think about this. That will keep the curious cow interested for some time to come.

117 thoughts on “Dates

  1. If you are thinking of writing of this whole term I would pull him from school and then try and register him again in the Spring. It will save you from getting the letters about his absence that they have to send even when then know the reason. I have found some good homeschooling blogs, along with facebook.

    It also might mean that you can learn at his pace and you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the school. Also you can meet other kids who are homeschooled for whatever reason and it may open up both of your social circles, but again can do it at his pace. If you are not already register for UC, even if you are not entitled to it yet, it means you are at least on the system. (Unless you are on the old school benefits, in which case run far away from UC) Also if you haven’t already it might be worth looking into DLA for your son and you as his carer (not sure on the carer situation for parents)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The government don’t know what they were doing and at first, despite how much I dislike them, I was willing to cut them some slack, but the fact they have bought in these new rules, which make no sense and allowing the horse racing to go ahead at the weekend is just another complete screw up and obviously has nothing to do with how much money someone makes with the racing

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Something to consider – one thing I like to point out to Declan is that I have needs too. I do my best to accommodate him – he sleeps right next to me every night. Not a moment’s peace. He doesn’t like when I go to my gym class or go for a run, but I allow for him to call me when I am away. I have been on runs and have had him call me to discuss which dinosaur would win in a battle. On one run, he called to read me every single movie that is coming out in 2021 and we debated which one would be the best one to see. It’s not ideal as a runner, but we found a way for me to get a little me time that met his needs too. With school, I get up super early and I can get about a 40 minute run, every other day based on his school schedule, with the least amount of calls. I know it may not work for you and Hawklad, I was just wondering if you talked with him about it. I am sure you hide your needs well from him, but you do have them too, and maybe you could just see what his feelings are on giving you even a mile or two, here and there? The whole year really is a lot to consider – it’s too much. I would do the same – just take things day by day. But if you could just have one of the little things back that you enjoyed before the quarantine. I don’t know. Just something to think about, maybe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess it is important to note that I have never left Declan home alone at 9 years old. Bob is in the basement, working and the big kids are in their rooms if he really needed anything. But at 12 and 14 I do let my big kids stay home for short trips out.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks Robyn. It is a long time. Need to find a way through it. Started speaking with him. Basically he could find a way for me to get a quick run but he is not happy with it happening while I could bring a bug in with me. So it’s an option but after we get him more relaxed about the current world. It’s something to hold onto. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I gotcha. That makes sense. Maybe it could be one of his steps. It does sound like he will need to take many before feeling comfortable in a school or social setting. Maybe that could just be one of his steps along the way. Well, whatever happens, I do wish you the best. You are in a tough predicament and all the choices seem hard!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Good luck. I wish I could offer answers or even suggestions.

    I realize now that my self isolation happened without conscious decision or impact to another human being. Minus the financial situation, it’s been rather enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Completely off topic: given your post title and where I live, I keep think the post is going to be about the cow staring at palm dates, wanting to eat them. There are certain areas where the sidewalks here are coverd with them!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course it must be one day at a time. There are some things that take planning, but other things just want to roll around in your brain and make you stressed. I love Scarlett O’Hara’s mantra “I can’t think about that today, I’ll think about it tomorrow “. Ok, probably not perfectly quoted, but close.
    I have a hard time getting out to jog or workout and I have found a treasure on Instagram and YouTube. I do a switch up of my favorite ones throughout the week and it is my way to get my game face back on. It keeps me grounded. I personally love Tabata and HIIT workouts, but there is something for everyone out there.
    Deep breaths.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One would think that during that years, steps forward would be made. Progress to lessen his anxiety, small trips, then longer trips…
    The big picture is TOO much, Gary. Don’t look at the summit, look at the bit you’re climbing right now.
    Yes, its good to see the possibilities but you don’t have to make a plan for the end… just the bit ahead.

    I don’t know the education system in UK or how it works, so I dont have any idea what would be best for the rest of 2020.

    I DO know that you will get through this. You will support and love your son, you will help him beat this anxiety into a manageable thing. I agree with Robyn in that you might want to open up to him a little and let him know that you need some things too. Work together on something that he can be okay with. Maybe not today, but soon. He’s old enough, he probably sees more than you realize.

    Meanwhile, I and so many others are here to support YOU however we can. We will get through this. We will, together!💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌💌

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Angie xxxxx I’ve had a chat with him. He’s ok for me to go for runs but only when he’s less anxious about the outside world virus and germs. It’s something for the future. Now it’s just seeing if we can find a way that works for both of us until October. Then we can have another look. Yes we will. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry that you are going through all this. It’s so tough that if it doesn’t fall on you it falls on your son. I have been without my two sons who have nonverbal autism for two months now because all the supports we relied on were pulled and no one stepped in. In my mind I refer to my ex husband as Boris J as his last name really is Johnson. If I being human could not be the 24/7 support of two nonverbal children without even shower breaks then he declared me incompetent and not fit to have them. I was not allowed to have needs and went for years without seeing a single friend or even being able to go online. I would give anything for this nightmare to be over and have them back again but it looks like it will be a long drawn out court process with my kids not understanding why they can’t be with mummy. My kids will be in school next week even though they are immune compromised – madness! It sounds like you have your own Boris J there to deal with who is exerting power and hurting children. The positives I can see for you is that your child will feel and be safe and if you have the energy you could be creative and explore learning anything he’s passionate about instead of the crazy factory style thing we call education these days. I will be totally praying that you get support from someone he trusts that allows you to step away and do the stuff you need to do. You have created a really beautiful community on your blog and I’m so impressed with all the autism parent/soldiers in the comments section. Wish I would have come across all you folks earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It must be so tough for you and your kids. Thinking of you. It is a wonderful group of people here, I’m so lucky. Many of the GPS are refusing to issue those in fit for school notes at present. My GP just thought son should go back and ride it out. We were lucky that the service that looks after him have a different view. They have started overruling the GPs and ignoring government instructions. It’s such a mess.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m really curious to know what of rough draft plan, aims and goals he has i.e. What bothers him most and why, what makes him feel it’s not achievable and what his ideal scenario is. If he could crate the perfect school day and environment how does it go?

    I really do think you need to consider accessing support services for your son and for yourself.

    Contact support groups, charities and find out what if any support you can get in the area, help with thing like financial support and benefit entitlement for things like PIP, Disability / Carers Allowance as it was previously.

    I’m certain there are ways, means, services and a whole lot of support you are entitled to receive, can access with relative ease and surer still you need to take some time out for yourself once in a while. Something like short break respite vouchers so someone you know, your son knows and is comfortable with can come into your home and give you a day or a weekend off to just come up for air and take time to blow out the emotional cobwebs and recharge. It’s so important to look after yourself.

    The best and most helpful place you can go to is the local Citizen’s Advice Bureau they’re gold and will set you straight, let you know every last thing you’re entitled to receive, help you with applications and I can’t recommend CAB enough they’re magic. Always the most friendly, easy going and really approachable people too I would urge you to drop them an email at the very least.

    Seriously start with just this one thing right here 🙂 https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The danger is we are falling between school and homeschooling. Support was there but it’s been cut by the government. In my mind it’s getting through to October. Seeing if we can find a halfway house that works. If not then it’s decision time. With the job being mothballed until next year it’s also time to rethink other stuff as well. Wow I’m missing my caffeine….. x

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Also I misread the title Dates as in “Wit Woo” you have dates lined up. Still these girls make better company than most they’re really good fun actually. Just massive and awkward and so poorly designed on their feet it makes me think God had a heavy night on the vodka the night before cows were due to roll off the conveyor belt.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The ones near ours watch the dogs as they walk on this one path down railway line move alongside from the other side of the fence never taking their eye off them it’d be scary in other situations.

        Puddi isn’t sure either and she won’t tolerate a sheep standing and staring her down under any circumstance. I’ve known her stop and turn back to take issue with a sheep that was staring at us the whole way. “Charlotte gimme two ticks while I sort this cocky bastard out” and she’s one of those with the most vicious eye that makes her look terrifying and sheep leg it.

        When the cows are following us by the rails she reckons not to have noticed cos… big bitches those things I’ll pretend not to have seen them we’ll just carry on.

        You should get a RC car and just roll it around slowly it’s amazing how much cows will got nuts for things like that 🙂

        Like

      2. This clip of the farmer bringing in the cows is terrifying to me. Comical when they start appearing over the hill but that last 30 seconds or so when they’re all there – all of them not 10ft in front and starting to pack in tightly and form a semicircle of cows… 😦 “Nope nope nope nope nope”

        Liked by 1 person

  9. It really is a shame that the UK does not have a free state funded distance learning high school similar to Te Kura in NZ. That would have been an ideal short term or long term solution. If Hawklad was residing here, that would be my first port of call.

    If the CAB in the UK is anything like it is here, then I’m with Auntysocial. They are one of the few organisations that are prepared to fully listen and then take the time and effort to provide appropriate advice.

    Oh! And it seems to me the cow is waiting to strike up a conversation. Cows are very good at listening, but seldom offer useful advice. Come to think of it, they don’t offer any advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. He is my daughters age correct? She is 13… turns 14 in December

    Do you ever leave him alone? Is he capable?

    I think he can go back fine once everything good to go and safe to do so. I think he would readjust ok… slowly but he will get there

    You social interaction I don’t know what to tell you? You were supposed to start make phone calls lol – I’m only teasing you 😘✌️

    I think MAYBE you might be little nervous with readjusting back also?

    It’s ok.

    I have to take life as it comes at me. I think ahead with certain things … like for example the power loss or how to get something I want…

    But for life itself… I just take it as it comes. I learned that through cancer when I fought my doctor cause I didn’t know how to give up my life lol … I was dealing with so much… how do you just give up life?! But I had to, I couldn’t handle everything and fight cancer

    So I gave up my life for a minute… I am rebuilding it, but I still take it as it comes at me…

    When all my losses happened … I had to handle things and family stuff… it totally threw me off and I stressed how to keep a grip.

    Even now my oncologist always always always says to me… you need to dump all stress in your life lol… every time he says that I think ok so you are telling me to die then lol … cause hello, I have Satan on my back lol major stressor lol

    But I can breath better and not stress SO much by taking life as it comes – every day is different and every day is new… things haven’t happened yet… time will fix.

    You should write those books… I am a woman- I don’t forget things lol 😘✌️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes he is, few months younger. It’s a shambles out there. It will do him no harm keeping out of that until it starts to sort itself a bit. I’m looking at things in terms as some stuff stop then it creates space for new things. I’ve kind of decided to either write a book or do something else with online stuff. Just trying to work out what, just needs to be different to the waffle I do here. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I can see your mind is full. Trying to figure out which direction. As long as you make effort and shoot for what you want or feel is right – you will get it.

        Ps you could do both – take your time with writing a book, while dabbling and checking out what other options you have. 2 birds 1 stone 😘✌️

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Firstly, at least yours is controlled falling over. Mine is most definitely not controlled!
    Secondly, I think you are right to not put a time frame on it but I commend your son for wanting to work towards it.
    Third, even if he is not in school, he will hopefully make progress. His anxiety and fears could reduce enough for you to go for that short run, for you to have some social contact and hopefully for you to be able to work in some way.
    Finally, don’t forget you need support too and have to take care of you. That’s the only way you can continue to provide your son with all the fabulous support, care and love that you have been and are giving him.
    Reach out for help my friend x

    Liked by 1 person

  12. YOur first commenter up there has given you some very good advice I think. Straight off I will say that schools are back and those who are not sending their children back should then take that responsibility BUT not with children like Hawklad, children with a medical condition, etc. etc. end of. They socially inclusioned every child they could years back, often setting up special units within schools, which kind of says it all re the one size fits. So now, they need to look at these children. The mess up in England seems to get worse by the day, look now it’s changed since yesterday. Now you have titcock whining about Christmas. That is why I would not plan too far ahead, just deal with the few months before you, with a longer goal where the posts might still be, or may need to be moved in mind. Deep breath, go chat with your new friend out there at the fence. We always find a way round everything and look after you too, ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was hearing that many schools are reporting potential cases but can’t get the tests so they are being unreported. For what ever reason I think it does no harm him being off for a few more weeks. Going back to soon into the current shambles could do more harm to his social confidence. The cow is a good listener. xx

      Like

      1. Lol… Sorry that last comment is brill. Prob get more sense out of it too the noo …… moo. Listen, given all his anxieties it is the right thing to do. Provision should have been made to continue offering something to young people and children like your boy because you can’t put kids with these problems back out there right now and expect them just to sit on their anxieties and fears when they can’t. Obvi that would cost but they have been quick enough to chuck billions down rat holes and look set to chuck even more. This would not cost a fraction of that wastage. But it cracks me up when they spout their holier than thou stuff re protecting the vulnerable, creating utter economic and domestic chaos, and here’s people like Hawklad…very vulnerable.. and what are they doing for them? Not a bloody thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s the dictates and the nastiness and the devisiveness that is beyond belief. I sometimes wonder if SM has a ton to answer for. In fact I don’t just think… I see it every day. But more worrying is the fascist trend in thinking and I am just talking the folks who are against everything but their own creed and skin colour, I am talking the kind of , ‘if you express concerns at the way the press is handling this, you are a covid denier,’ about EVERYTHING, not just this virus, that has crept in. And there’s times I think we are getting perilously close to an edge we really don’t want to go over.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You have said it so eloquently One view makes you a threat either way. I was aye brought up to believe, I don;t like or uphold your opinion but I will defend to the death your right to have it. Now I also think looking at some of of the awful di hards that was not a good thing BUT then again, I am bringing me to that. And even bigger then again, we are defending the right to an opinion. The devil is in the word. Right now I believe the term is gas-lighting in the regard to the way we are being told not to have an opinion at all unless it agrees with how other forces want us to think. So? Frankly? Just talk to the cows. The worst they can do is moo. ( Unless you stand in their stampeding way…. Then you could be in bother. )

        Liked by 1 person

  13. One day at a time Gary. At least it appears you have a good social counsellor who is seeing Hawklad as an individual, not a numbered case. Let him set his own goals about returning to school. I hope you can sort out some financial help.
    As for the cow, I think I’d be concerned if it started to pace with you, or worse, attempt some of the yoga positions.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That is so much to deal with. I think the impact on you personally is far greater. As a child my education got royally mucked around and I was months, if not a year out of school then got sent to a French school but could not yet speak the language, so was placed with kids 5 years younger (!) Obviously Hawklad’s situation is totally different, but he is so smart. I can’t see that educationally it will harm him. I imagine it will be very difficult for him re-connecting. Your new counsellor sounds sensible. I hope you will get more support, Garry. Can’t tell you how much I feel for you both. XX

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t really know much about it but I wonder if there are any support for Autism as well as homeschooling type websites or forums that could help? I know, for example, that there’s a homeschooling forum on Mumsnet (dads are welcome too!) but I don’t have any experience of that, I just have heard people refer to it before and in trying to think of everything, but you probably already have done. I just don’t like the idea of you facing this, and hope you find a helpful answer very soon (answer as in: life step-wise, not literally on your comments, as there’s already many helpful ones here!).

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The cow was observing the curious human species and its tendency to worry and pace. The cow says not to try to tackle a whole year’s worth of worry into one day, but to instead take it day by day and see how things unfold. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think the cow really wants you to give her a snack. Maybe the flowers look good to her. Maybe you should Skype/Zoom with some friends/relatives to make sure your voice still works. 🐸 (I just noticed scrolling down that my answers are significantly shorter than many/most. Guess I need to get more chatty. 🔊)

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