After the detour provided by our last post we are back on track. For how long I can't promise, unpredictability is our speciality! Everyone needs one, and ours has sort of been forced upon us and it's easier to embrace it than fight it!
Anyway, back to Autumn 2011.By now I have been back at work a year Following the death of my Father-in-Law, Grandma has moved to live near us. Without this additional, and very welcome, back up I doubt I would have got back to work. A death in the family, a new job and all those attached life changing emotions have made our lives busier than ever. It's probably around this time that the phrase 'Herding Moggies' enters ours daily vocabulary. It sums up what every day is like.
Moglet #2 is 8 years old and days like those I described in my last post are becoming more frequent. Or maybe they are just becoming less 'age' appropriate. For now I can't explain the sensory seeking behaviours, the urgent and sudden urge to move etc etc away with age or tiredness. I have a nagging feel deep down that we should be moving beyond them but we aren't.
He is in his first term of Year 4 and now I know something isn't right. It's gone beyond the writing thing. The clumsiness isn't getting any better, if anything with his increased size it's getting worse. Or maybe it's just more noticeable. After all in his Reception class he wasn't the only child with "Bump-into-everything-itis". And I could have picked out at least 6 of his 5 year old peers with dodgy spatial awareness. But now the gap is widening. It is more noticeable, at least to me.
And the organisation thing is becoming a real headache. With me working we have thrown After School Club into the mix. Moglet #2 isn't fazed, but it's just another place in the day to loss or leave something.
In general school's OK. But now it's just OK. He is starting to lose the will, the spark and the interest are starting to wane. He is more easily distracted, frequently wandering off track. The year he has spent in Key Stage 2 with its bigger classes has done nothing to convince me he is achieving his potential.
One Sunday he lets slip over lunch that he has been put in the 3rd reading group out of 5. We are, in all honestly horrified. Consistently, through everything, he has been an excellent reader. Whatever else went wonky-donkey, this was constant. Moglet Daddy and I exchange worried looks. We don't make a fuss in front of him. We just make a few more discrete but quite insistent enquires to make sure we have the right end of the stick. That night, between us, we decide that Moglet Daddy will ring school and find out what's what.
The reason for this decision is three fold:
1. I am a governor at the school. I feel, probably feebly, it makes things more awkward.
2. Being a teacher myself I have always struggled to even vaguely be seen to be questioning another teacher's ability or decisions. ( NOTE TO SELF - in the coming months I have to get over this and fast!!)
3. On a more practical, less emotional note, I am on a course the next day and realistically I won't get time to make the call.
So the next day when I head off in the car with my colleague, Moglet #2 is very much on my mind. Knowing that Moglet Daddy will in his gentle but assertive way deal with yesterday's revelation, I attempt to push it from my mind.
The course I am attending is related to teaching children with Profound and Mulitple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). I am lucky to get on it, the providers are well respected and places are sought after. I am only here as another colleague has double booked. It deserves my full attention.
There is the usual coffee and Hobnobs preamble and I succeed in parking Moglet #2 in the corner of my mind.
He doesn't stay there long.
We begin. The projector fires up. A bit of an introduction. We are starting with a clip to remind us about the importance of our Proprioception System.
Many of you reading this will be well aware of this magical thing but for those who aren't I will give you a quick definition. Please note other, and far better, explanations are a Google click away.
Your Proprioception System basically tells you where your body is in relation to the space around you. All over your body you have receptors which act a bit like tiny parking sensors, all beeping away to tell you how near or far you are from objects around you. These receptors let us move our limbs without having to look at them to check they are doing it right.
When we teach pupils about their senses, you know the ones - Taste, Sight, Hearing, Smell, Touch- we rarely go that bit further and have a bash at this one! Maybe we should. It is amazing and important and when it goes wobbly, Boy! Do you know about it! Even if you can't pin point why, even if you are still stumbling in that fog. On that note back to clueless Moglet Mummy!
I know about Proprioception, of course I do, it's bread and butter stuff. But it's something I have always found difficult to explain to parents. The course provider says this clip is a really great intro, so I jot down the link sit back and wait.
It's a You tube clip.
It's only about 4mins and 30 seconds long.
The link is below.
It changes our lives
One minute in,I am rigid in my seat.
Two minutes, in my jaw is slack, my mouth is hanging open.
Three minutes and my brain is screaming and I am trying hard not to.
This short video is describing Moglet #2 to a T.
Everything they are saying, everything, every single syllable rings so true it hurts.
This is it!! This is the problem!
I poke my colleague in the ribs, so hard she jumps 3 feet in the air.
"It's my son!" I hiss.
She looks around, the poor woman seems to think Moglet #2 has walked into the room.
"No!" I hiss impatiently and probably loudly. "There! What they are saying in the video! That's my son!"
She smiles politely, and at the same time moves slightly away. She's probably very concerned about driving home with this crazy woman.
I've done it. I am exhilarated. This is the answer!
At that moment, in that conference room I thought I held the answer in my hand.
Soon I realise this is only the beginning...