How many times have I used the phrase "XXXXXXX just doesn't look at the world the same way as other children." ?
I used it for Sean, Danny, Tracey, Sean (different one!), Jack, Alfie, Andrew, Sean (another different one) Maddy, Laura, Kai, and so many others over the 12 years I've been teaching.
Last night, it was used to J and I, about T-Boy. Last night all kinds of words and phrases were used, that I have used to many times, the same "next steps" were put forward, the same targets and solutions and so on.
We've known that T-boy has been getting worse in school for a while. We've known that emotionally he struggles to cope with life and that he over-reacts to everything. We know that he limits his eating. We know that his behaviour can be challenging to deal with. We have followed everything the school have suggested so far.
Now he has been seen by professionals for his area. CaMHs are going to be involved. Ed. Pysch report in on it's way. Emotional Literacy programme has been set up. Again, all things I would have done.
But this is different.
And it is different again to how I had to deal with the AC's bereavement counselling, and the needs that he developed and that we dealt with after that. Putting his needs first delayed me dealing with my own grief to a large extent, and that is fine - that is motherhood! Children first, every time.
This is different because whilst I love T-Boy, I can see him as a child of my class as well. I can more easily separate the personal and the professional and see what needs to be done. I have explained to a parent that yes, their child has needs and behaviours that they cannot control, but that also their child manipulates that and is aggressive and inappropriate and looking at exclusion. Last night, some of that was said to us.
This is different, because a lot of what was said last night was confirming my assessment (reassuring for me in itself lol!) and that is disheartening in a way, because I also know what comes next. I can see the path. I know children who have walked it, some with supportive parents, some without. I know the different outcomes for some of my previous children.
This is different, because I have to talk to the grandparents, I have to explain it all again, I have to go through what they need to do, how they need to respond when he behaves the way he does. It's not a case of letting a parent know and leaving it for them to deal with and hoping they get the message across.
The short-term outcome for T-Boy now depends on several factors. Consistency between our house, and his mothers house. GP referral. Emotional Literacy work. Mostly though, it depends on him, and he doesn't do change. :-(