Thursday, 20 March 2014

Oh! What a Beautiful Morning...

It seems that my blogposts are often linked to a song or piece of music.

Perhaps it because so much tends to happen in the early hours, whilst breakfast is going on and the radio is on in the background. My boys both love routine and the radio gives that. The eldest knows when the 'children' come on the radio (Radio 2) that we have to go and catch the bus for his school and when the 8.30 news comes on, then the youngest knows that's the time we should be leaving for his more local school.

It was a tough decision to separate the boys schooling and to send them to different schools. When I shared that decision on a guest blogpost for BAAF I was called ruthless for trying to break the boys 'sibling bond' and had my first ever real homophobic abuse thrown at me.

But it's hard to write in a guest blog our reasonings behind it.

Once the boys had settled then we soon realised that their 'sbling bond' was a dysfunctional one-  meaning both boys relied on it but neither benefitted. One social worker simply said, "They should never have been placed together."

Of course, by now they had been placed together, they were our boys and we weren't going to give up on them, so, we fought and fought and eventually got both boys the access to therapy that they were promised but never given. That was invaluable - both for the children and for us.

Then once the older boy, KC, was due to be discharged from therapy the subject of his schooling was broached. Had we thought about separating the boys at school? They are only a year apart and at the local primary. KC was falling behind in his work, he is diagnosed dyslexic (not that that means anything in the state system - thank you Mr Gove) and was spending too much time worrying about his younger brother. TJ was, in turn, overly emotional, needing to know where his older brother was at all times and was also unable to function. He was placed on the autistic spectrum, although the therapists believe this is a result of his past trauma. We can only wait and see.

So Papa and I chatted with everyone who would listen, social workers, therapists, teachers and it was felt that KC would benefit from going to another small locally based school that specialises in dyslexic friendly learning. Great - except that it is private and not cheap. But we scrimp and save and got him there. TJ went into meltdown.

This was going to be hard.

TJ's school were incredibly understanding and put in place lots of help for him when he felt 'wobbly'. KC, on the other hand, settled into school quickly. It was as if the 'burden of parenthood' had been lifted from him. He didn't have to worry about his brother and now that we had identified his main learning difficuly he seemed to take it in his stride to try and overcome it. I had the realisation (I maybe wrong) that KC had simply stagnated - by which I mean he stopped his learning development at the point of his going into care. He was still functioning as a 4 year old both academically and emotionally but the new school could help him deal with that and could, as they put it, try to fill in the huge gaps in his learning as well as finding strategies to help him with his other difficulties.

Both boys are so brave.

For TJ he needed to know that I would be there for him, whenever he needed it. I finished working and stayed at home, on call. I started a little blog and began a psychology degree with the OU.

But whenever school called I went. and still do go. TJ had to realsie that when he needed help it would be me that came and not KC - he had to trust an adult. That was something he has never done - I still don't believe he fully trusts me or Papa - hopefully that will come.

Here we are nearly a year on and I suddenly realised how settled everything was - despite TJ's little meltdown last week. KC happily headed off to the school bus, suddenly gaining a new air of confidence and seeming very grown up. His school focusses on routine and KC loves that. Its very old fashioned in its ways but for KC it works. He is almost able to read independently. He is 9 now but a year ago and he wouldn't even have been able to differentiate the letters of the alphabet - so this is a big step. More improtantly when the brothers come home in the evening they share their day together - each telling the other about their new friends or things they have done.

TJ went into school this morning singing. Singing!

Oh What a Beautiful Morning, the Howard Keel classic, had been on the radio and I had sung along (I sing a lot) and on the way to school TJ was singing it too. As we neared the gate he turned to me and said, "Daddy, I can go in by myself." and for the first time ever he ran down the little path to the school gate while I stood back with the dog.

I now know how all those parents feel on the first day of school when children are 4. My youngest may be 8 - but today he took that first positive step to independence. A fellow parent said to me as I turned around, "Is he too embarrased to let you take him to school now?" I didn't want to say this is his first time going into school by himself, so I simply nodded and said, "Yes - don't you hate it when they get to that age."

As I walked home I suddenly felt really emotional. But finally I thought - the struggle of the past couple of years was actually beginning to pay off.

It really was a beautiful morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment