back to school blue

21 09 2015

GM is met by LIttle Miss and her TA as always.  She can tell it hasn’t been a good day by the look of defeat and depression on the face of the dedicated and loving TA.

“It hasn’t been a good day” she confirms as they meet.  “Little Miss has hit a number of children today, she has threatened to hit a number of members of staff and has been swearing and aggressive.  I have worked hard with her to calm down but every time she has seemed calm she has immediately started again the moment I have let her move away from me.”

GM listens and nods and has nothing to suggest.  Everyone knows that this is no longer the tight setting for Little Miss.  She is not coping and the school are also struggling to cope. The review meeting to amend her statement had been planned for the end of September months ago.

As GM leaves the school ground another teacher runs up to them, calling. The head teacher would like to have a word.  GM and the girls return to the school and go to see the head in her office.  She repeats the litany of awfulness and says that she is confident that they will be receiving complaints from parents tomorrow.  She tells GM that they will have to undertake a new risk assessment and it is looking like Little Miss is going to have to move to more intensive 121, maybe even solely 121, in order to ensure the safety of other children.

GM is due back in school for a governors meeting the following day and has agreed to meet with the head before the meeting.

GM is not really looking forward to a Happy Birthday.

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Uninvited?

28 08 2015

A niece of GM is having a naming ceremony on Saturday for her baby daughter and the mostly functional family have been invited to the late afternoon party. GM received this message when she was a work, 24 hours before the party.

“Hi GM. How are you? I’ve been meaning to speak to you about tomorrow and Little Miss, it’s been playing on my mind for a few days that it’ll be too much for her. There’s going to be loads of kids and people she doesn’t know and I’m concerned about how she may react. I know that when she’s stressed she lashes out and may become violent towards the other children and I really don’t want that for her, the other kids or you. What are your thoughts on this? Xx”

GM struggles to get beyond the intense feelings of rejection, hurt and quiet despair to formulate actual thoughts.





The Meds

4 10 2012

Day 1
LML ‘lights up’ 45 minutes after taking the medication. She maniacally colours sheet after sheet, after sheet of a colouring book for the next 4 hours. The mostly functional parents look on in astonishment. At various points Lolly tries to distract her, to engage her in the normal chaos. “Doin’  busy work Lolly, leave me alone” she insists.

“I hope it’s not going to be like this all the time” says Grumpy Mum concerned about the disturbing change they are witnessing.

Day 3 (first day at school)
TA to Crap Dad,  “That was an interesting day, she’s certainly been different today. A little quieter and a little more focussed.”

Day 7
Bring-bring, Bring-bring, Bring-bring
“Hello” says Crap Dad hesitantly, not recognising the number.

“Hi Crap Dad, it’s LML’s TA from school. It’s nothing to worry about, its just I’m a bit concerned about LML’s behaviour this morning. We’ve had such a good week but today she has just reverted back to some of her more challenging behaviour. She’s been banging her head against the doors and floors, hitting out, screaming and spitting, burping in peoples faces… Erm… Did she have her medication today?”

“Yes, she had it just before she left for school. You know, the medication doesn’t modify her behaviour, it just helps her to focus on an activity for a little longer. Call me back if things don’t improve.”

“OK” says the TA, “Thank you.”
Brrrrrrrrrrr

Day 11
The TA comes out of school to hand LML over to GM, “She’s had a good day” she says, “We have noticed though that her being more focussed means that she is less spontaneous, more considered with her actions. This has been particularly difficult when she does a runner. She’s really waiting for her moment and when she goes, she really goes, she has thought about her escape route and she’s off. We really are having to watch her really closely.”





ADHD

18 09 2012

GM arrives at the clinic with LML, who clearly remembers the environment from their previous visit. LML immediately heads for the water cooler. The waste tray is overflowing which surprises and fascinates LML. GM manages to distract her from the cooler for 5 minutes, until LML decides she wants to go to the toilet. GM shows LML to the toilet at which point she starts to shout like she is being slaughtered, so they return to the waiting room.

By this point GM has realised that she, indeed needs to pee. LML wants “to go wee” again so GM again takes her to the disabled toilet.  This time, when she opens the door she maneuvers LML into the very spacious room. LML is shouting that she does not need to wee … actually she is shouting “NO! Nononononnooo!” GM explains that LML does not need to do anything, but “mummy needs a wee”. LML continues with her “no’s” and GM has to pee at the same time as preventing her daughter leaving the room while she is “doing the business”.

Soon after, they are called from the waiting room.  They follow the nurse and psychologist to the (toyless) room. The marvelous nurse says “shall we find some toys?” to LML. She spends most of the rest of the session playing, throughout the whole of the CAMHS unit, with LML – whilst also managing to get her height and weight (BIG brownie points to Nurse Sula!).

GM and the psychologist discuss LML’s medical history and the immediate prospect of a prescription for stimulant medication.  When LML pops into the room, the psych attempts a blood pressure reading, which is not successful, even on GM’s knee. On the next passing GM is ready and gathers LML onto her knee, holds her close (gently restraining her), and whispers to her, telling her what is happening, how long it will last, that she is OK and loved and it is OK .. there will be a squeeze, it’s OK, she is safe, its OK .. through this LML is tense but trusting. She is tense but holds her sooo tense body close to GM’s; she plants a hard kiss on GM’s cheek, then again and again. She moves her mothers head so that she can kiss her mouth. She squeezes her mums face and all the time GM reassures LML that “it is OK, I love you, you are safe” .. and then it is over and LML is off again.

The details of the month trial of ADHD medication is agreed, and the psychologist asks GM how she is feeling about it.  GM manages to express some of her reservations and concerns (again), and talk about possible side effects.

LML is reshod and encouraged to tidy some of the toys that she has scattered throughout the room and building. The psychologist leaves to make out the prescription as GM, LML and nurse Sula go back to the waiting room. The psych comes back and hands the prescription to GM. Mother and daughter leave, call into the supermarket on the way home for bread and wine, and go home.

Aunty J has cooked dinner for the girls (she took Lolly to the playground from school, which involves another story).  10 minutes after she arrives home LML is sitting down to eat.  Aunty J goes into the kitchen to get the girls a drink and finds GM sitting on a child’s chair crying into a tea towel.  She strokes and pats her head as she sorts out the drinks and kisses her as she leaves the room.  GM is very grateful.








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