Okay… this admittedly is a bit of a perverse post for an HE blog…..
We have always maintained that our HE decision will be an individual assessment for each child – i am not one who can just apply a conviction blanketly really. I do believe that HE is right, but i also believe there are those for whom school is right and forms of school which are more right than others. So for instance we have always used playgroups as part of our childrens lives and continue to do so, always as a place they “can” rather than have to go to.
When it became obvious that Moo had very different needs to Pud, and is probably autistic although we await the final decision still, we looked into her going to the only nursery school in town, now an early years centre. It has no school attached but is govt run and has huge experience with autistic children. We were offered a place for Pud but turned it down as she was happy at playgroup, but we accepted a place for Moo, not without great anxiety as change is hard for her and she was relatively happy at our very good playgroup. i felt she needed more specialist help than they were able to give her.
Well today was the home visit – two ladies turned up to say hello and find out about Moo. I wasn’t really expecting Moo to be pleased with unknown people coming in and trying to be friendly but her reaction was staggering. She dropped to the floor, lay completely inert and after i carried her into the room she burrowed into my lap and lay there shaking for the whole visit. Yet she had no reason to be seriously anxious at all :~( It has kind of horrified me to say the least. its particularly horrible because while people are coming to HE new this week and worrying if its the right thing, i am doing the opposite and worrying too. If i felt more able to key into things that would fulfill her i wouldn’t, but Moo seems to need extra somehow and also, we all need a break. She can be very very hard work. So i am faced with this horrible decision; do something i feel may benefit her with the terror that it can’t be undone and it may damage her or keep her out and risk her NOT having that benefit. And while my HE instinct says “keep her home” my Moo-Mummy instinct is saying “we have to try.” Its a bizarre situation :~(
We have a brief visit tomorrow and then a couple of others this week and next before term starts. We have agreed she will only go part time – ie not even a full half week and i am hoping we can gradually get her into it. Then we have to deal with the issue that she has SEN transport there – that will be a battle and a half :~( The onl good thing i can see is they now have some reception children there so if it does work, she can continue for reception if we want, rather than chopping back to playgroup.
I hate dilemmas – i would love to be a political protagonist HEer – but I’m not. i don’t see my way clearly – i have to fight out each scenario – and it involves lots of effort….