We recently had a Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting regarding J in school. This involves several people involved with J sitting round a table to look at his progress and to discuss what other input might help him with specific issues.
Firstly we had an update from the school, J is making progress and achieving well although his "achieving well" is not that of a standard child but finally after all this time he is moving from "below average" to "average". Certain situations and frustration still have him fleeing the classroom or retreating under a desk with his hands over his ears and hissing at anyone who comes near but on the whole this has all improved. My quirky little boy is growing up and starting cope with some things he could not previously manage. His LSA (Learning Support Assistant), Sally reported that J was making progress in leaps and bounds with reading and that he had finally accepted he would not be playing the lead role in the class play (this acceptance took weeks and weeks of talking and discussion). He is playing the allocated part with gusto and enjoying it.
The local health visitor for children with learning difficulties told me of a local group named SHARE which ran after school activites for children with special needs. I have the number and will give them a ring.
The local CAMHS were conspicuous by their absence and had sent a letter saying J's challenges could all be met within "Tier 2 services" , ie not urgent. I now have a letter and an appointment for an assessment which will see J join yet another very very long waiting list. Similar to the sensory occupational therapy one on which he has now been waiting for two years.
The specialist teacher (Ros) reported good success with a social communication group involving Lego. J has to explain a brick type to one child who has to pass the correct brick to a second child (the buildre) and then explain how to build a Lego design brick by brick. J is not allowed to touch the bricks and has to explain using only verbal communication. The "not touching the bricks" bit took some discussion and acceptance but Ros reported that J did well with guidance and that she was looking forward to working on all this with him again.
And at home, J remains challenging at times and now adding in that he can "look after myself,", this from the child who can still not put on his own socks with ease. This accusation comes from being forbidden to play with certain children outside (we live in a quiet cul de sac) who ask J out to play simply because they can tease him or get him to do things they know are not allowed. J thinks they are his "friends" and it is taking a great deal of discussion to try and get across that friends do not ask you to do unwise things.....like smash a glass bottle they have handed to you. Nor do they say "if you don't do that we won't be your friends..". It's a steep learning curve for J and he remains isolated at times which is hard to see.