Decisions

I’m pacing in the garden. Distracting myself with thoughts of that tree in the distance.

Jobs to be done. But which ones first today.

– do I Hoover

– do I clean the toilet and bath

– do I do the surfaces in the kitchen

– do I finally deep clean the oven

– do I wash the windows

– do I cut the grass before the weather breaks

– do I phone school to sort out Hawklad’s exams

– do I sort out the Home Insurance Renewal

– do I bake that cakes I’ve been promising Hawklad for days now

– do I start putting together the work payroll

– do I chase up those work orders

– do I respond to those work queries

– do I fix the printer.

– do I complete the government form which needs sending in

– do I read the documents Hawklads psychologist has sent to me

– do I pay those bills sat on my desk

– do I clear the mountain of paper which is burying those bills

– do I sew those rips that have appeared on Hawklads trousers or do I just buy new ones

– do I fix the headlight on my car

– do I put those shelves up that are looking at me

OR do I just go round in circles, too tired to make a decision…..

T minus

Hawklad has been looking for a marker in the sand. Something to aim for which is solid. To him all the attempts to build bridges back into the wider world has to lead to something.

Yes school could be that. A return to the classroom. But he’s still not convinced that it’s right for him. Is he better off learning outside the school system. Plus it’s not a definite marker. It can be delayed. If the bridges aren’t ready say at the start of September, then maybe October might work.

Well now we have a solid marker.

A concert.

One of his favourite bands, The Darkness are playing some gigs in December. So we have bought tickets to see them in quite a small standing only venue. A definite date which is far enough away to allow for steady progress. A true test of his progress. We can leave it to the last minute to decide if he’s ready. We can even get to the venue and Hawklad can see what it feels like. If he’s uncomfortable then we can just grab a pizza and come home. He’s seen them twice already so it won’t be a disaster if he doesn’t manage it this time.

T minus 6 months and counting

Broken

A long and winding road if you can find it.

You kind of assume that your country is geared up to support its young people. That they matter. Well they should matter and countries should be geared up. But this is Britain, where support and mental health services have been under funded and in recent times cut back. Britain which has a Government that wants to return to ‘good old Victorian values’. Britain where children are only seen in terms of future economic value. In Britain where support is frowned upon by those in charge. In Britain where children taking time off in the immediate aftermath of a significant bereavement is described by the Government as ‘extended holidays’.

In 2016 Hawklad lost his granny and mum within 6 weeks of each other. A traumatic experience for anyone but for an 8 year old with Aspergers, it’s an emotional maelstrom. But here’s the thing. Sadly he won’t be the only child in this position. But where’s the support. Schools are not set up to cope. In Hawklads case the school cared but where clueless. The specialised education services in the area had been effectively closed down to meet savings targets. I approached his Doctor who just referred to child mental health services. He warned that they had a backlog of cases. That was all the Doctor did. Hawklad was already on the waiting list for Aspergers support.

That was it for over a year. No support. Left up to me, someone who was struggling already. How do you start to help someone when you are broken.

Finally we got to see the Child Mental Health Team. They worked on anxiety issues but no bereavement counselling, no Aspergers support. Luckily his dedicated worker was wonderful and she did try but it was not her area of expertise.

Fast forward to 2021 and Hawklad still has not had any bereavement counselling. Taking a wider view. He had some help with a physiotherapist but that was cut. He started speech therapy but that service was cut. He has had a few months of Aspergers related support but the specialist retired and was not replaced. He has had no dyslexia support. He does get some support for anxiety but that is patchy.

AND he is one of the lucky ones in Britain….

It has to be better than this for all our children. THEY ARE NOT JUST ECONOMIC RESOURCES. It won’t change here under this Government, it will only get worse. BRITAIN is BROKEN when it can’t care for its children.

Challenged

Millions of years of evolution. All that natural selection stuff. Leading to me. This morning it took me 2 hours to work out that I had my top on inside out. It didn’t go on right. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t look right. I was bemused at not being able to find my shirt pockets. I could have sworn this shirt had them……. It still took me two hours.

Here’s the worst thing. It then taken me another two hours to correct the mistake. In fact I’m writing this still sartorially challenged.

It’s either a sign that I’m not likely to see anyone soon or I’m single…..

I will let you make your mind up on that. But with homeschooling there is no uniform requirement. Actually I’ve dressed much worse than this over the last year. Definitely too many fashion crimes. But it really doesn’t matter in the end. Well not until someone sees me.

Missed

Apparently Hawklad missed 6 exams last week. That’s a whole lotta exams missed in just one week. On the bright side, Hawklad did complete 5….. 5 out of 11 is almost a pass.

Hawklad completed those 5 exams because the teacher or teaching assistant emailed him the paper. In the 6 he missed something didn’t happen and I just can’t put my finger on what didn’t happen…. Can you.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. The teachers are now tied up in the year above mock exams. It’s another mess. We bury will be so glad to see the back of this school year.

Cloudy eclipse

Not the best weather for a partial solar eclipse. But there is always hope. Lying on the ground with Hawklad looking up at the clouds when he should have been doing his science class.

Then for a couple of minutes we get the best type of science teaching. Real life science.

I give you the famed cloudy Yorkshire partial eclipse.

Views

Endless views or no view….

A school email exchange with a teacher kinda went this way yesterday.

Have you started the exam.

No I’ve not seen the paper yet.

Do you understand what your doing…..

No I’ve not seen the paper.

The instructions where clearly set out in the previous lessons.

***************************

After an hour of looking we finally found an oblique reference to a question. Well hidden. One of those – it was clearly set out in section 635, clause 9, subsection B.

As clear as mud and so hard to find. Pupils and Parents don’t have hours available in the daily schedule to pour over every single document. Every single page. Every single well hidden file.

Did Hawklad answer the right question. In the right format. In the right way….. still no idea.

Hard work

Apparently I was wrong yesterday. My inner Lefty took hold and clouded my vision. I made an inappropriate attack on politicians who benefit from expensive and exclusive private education while refusing to properly fund pupils in the rest of the education system. I wasn’t the only person to get annoyed at that thought. But we were slapped down by the Eton educated Prime Minister. Children enjoy exclusive education because their parents work hard.

Many do. Can’t argue with that. But then you turn the argument around and what does that mean to a poor child in a poor school. It means that they should blame their parents for not working hard enough……

Clearly I’ve let my son down by not working hard enough…. That explains the gaps in his education.

I should really follow the example of our illustrious leader. Travelling 200 miles in a private jet to attend a summit of world leaders where he says he wants to talk climate change. Clearly getting a readily available and environmentally friendly train is not working hard enough for him. Treating himself to £13000 worth of gourmet food during the lockdown while refusing to give our poorest children free school meals when they need it the most is clearly hard work. Getting a rich friend to pay £200000 for a designer makeover on his flat while cutting 40% of the overseas aid budget is real grafting

Hard work people. That’s all it takes.

Walking

Everyday we go for a walk. Each day a little further. When we get the chance edging a little closer to people. It’s all part of our attempt to build up Hawklad’s confidence in the wider world again. Help overcome his social fears and phobias. Allow him to build bridges into the world again, when he is ready.

We are nowhere near entering crowds and busy public places yet. That will come in time. Next stage will be walking into a shop or supermarket. Then when he’s ready going for an ice cream and cake in a cafe. Then maybe school. I’ve already spoken to school about allowing him to work round the school after the school day has finished. But that’s for another day.

So we did a walk. A local walk. Maybe it’s the impact of over a years worth of lockdown but many local places are looking epic . When everything settles down I’m certainly going to appreciate more what I have on our doorstep.

Take for example yesterday’s walk. A circular 2 mile walk from our house. Tell me why it’s taken all these years to do this……

Together

Another day of school at home. Another day of me demonstrating how little I know about Science and French. Surely answering questions like why would the earths magnetic poles switch?, involves more than incoherent mumbling and awkwardly shuffling of my feet.

Je suis un muppet et plutot stupide…..

Maybe those parents doing homeschooling should have some boaster classes. Bring the likes of me up to speed. Deep sigh. Not much chance of that here in England with our current law breaking charlatans in charge. They can’t even look after the pupils correctly.

Our so called Government has announced an extra £50 per pupil to help them catch up and deal with the impacts of COVID education disruption. That disruption has been massive. Apparently £50 is a world beating some that shows commitment to the next generation. The US is giving its students a top up of £1600 per year, Netherlands the funding is £2500.

Our Government would much rather spend money on important stuff like a new Royal Yacht costing £200M. It also comes from a Prime Minister who enjoyed the privileges of a Private Education at one of the worlds most exclusive and expensive schools. In today’s money that cost somewhere near £50000 per year.

Remember we are all in this together….