This week J has been upset about school - I had a heartbreaking conversation with him on Monday evening (accompanied by lots of tears from him) about school work. It's "too tricky", "they keep making me do tricky work" and even worse "I'm no good". Hearing your child describe themselves so negatively is terribly sad.
The application for a Statement of Special Educational Need goes in very soon and the school's SENCO says that there is more than enough evidence in the application for it to be accepted. Following this (as I understand it) there will be a Statutory Assessment which will include J being seen by an Educational Psychologist etc. I asked Mrs F (the school's SENCO) outright what her opinion of J was. I acknowledged that she has no medical training but said that I would value her opinion as she experienced lots of children with special needs. Mrs F was a bit non-committal at first (understandably) but eventually said that she feels J lies "on the autistic spectrum somewhere". I would not disagree with this as the autistic spectrum is very wide (there is even a female school of thought that ALL of the male species lie "somewhere on the spectrum" - and I wouldn't necessarily disagree with that either). Where J lies within the spectrum though is open to debate. I don't feel he shows typical signs of Aspergers Syndrome as he is actually very sociable (but can find social situations confusing) and obviously he is not severely autistic (verbal diarrhea as opposed to little or no speech).
Mrs N (J's class teacher) has been off for two weeks following a family bereavement, now she is back I am awaiting an appointment to meet with both her and Mrs F to look at the application for the Statement and to discuss how J is doing.
I await their opinion with interest. One thing that IS apparent though is that I need to be around for J much more than I am currently. To do this I will need to reduce my work hours significantly. Reducing slightly would be fine BUT would just make me worse off financially. Amazingly it seems I will be better off financially if I cut my hours in half as this will mean I get rent and council tax paid. Amazing that working such reduced hours will make me financially better off - says a great deal about the level of wages paid in this country.