The final instalment …. for now, of the journey with my complicated little boy. I left you last time with us slogging away at his Anxiety Program in The Adventures of My Complicated Little Boy – Part 3.
During that time, we had the big decision of which Senior School to go to. Our local school had sadly been placed under special measures and there were very big changes happening with the staffing etc. This would not normally bother me, as I do think that sometimes the government agencies can make it difficulty by changing the boundaries all the time, instead of letting the teachers teach. But I was concerned that with all the changes, my quiet troubled boy would get missed. As we really had no choice, I put a brave face on it and we both went for a look around. I was being all peppy and positive, pointing out the great science program, but I could see my boy creeping into his shell. The school was very higgledy piggledy and cluttered and he even pointed out a big spider’s web. And the school cafeteria was placed in a hall way, which he would have to pass to get to class and he shied away from it as we walked past. My heart sank.
So we went off to visit the other local school, more in hope really, than in any real expectations. A lot smaller school, very simply laid out and also very popular and hard to get in. Oh my, we loved it and the Head of Special Needs even came out specially to speak to me and was very interested in my boy’s unusual needs. Sigh, I didn’t know what to do, maybe I could write to someone and request special entry.
But luck would have it, we had another meeting with the psychiatrists and I mentioned my concern, when my boy popped out for a wee. She said that it shouldn’t be a problem, because any child with mental health issues goes to the top of the list and as he is officially under the care of CAMHS, he could have the pick of schools. I cried – really, I did, in pure relief.
Because although the school was important, the most important thing that my boy was looking for was a clean break. He didn’t want to be known as the odd boy with the cucumber phobia and to do that he needed to go to a different school.
And he got IN!!!! YEAH, YEAH. Talk about a silver lining to all of the work we had put in and distress we had been through.
He was beating the phobias! After a year and half of me putting cucumber all over the house, he can now have it on his dinner plate. He won’t touch it, or eat it, but he is able to ignore it. The whole spider thing is a bit harder to crack, but he can now go into the shed, he has held a very small house spider and when we went to Harry Potter World, he gently came up to me and ask me to walk him through the room with the GIANT Spider. Still not over it, but not sobbing, or screaming and definitely managing his emotions. It is now part of our daily life, we discuss it all the time, but I think, I hope, we have totally conquered this Anxiety stuff.
His new school is on the complete other side of town to his previous school, where his sister still goes – so we have made him ride his bike. The summer before I borrowed a friend’s daughters bike and we tried all sorts of different routes – lots of busy roads to cross – eeek (AND my bottom has never been the same and I will not get on a bike again!) I also have an app on our phones that pings me when he gets to school. One day his bike broke on the way and he had to walk the rest of the way to school. He had to go into a whole school assembly in front of everyone – LATE. Now that would have normally had him in pieces, but he calmly told me that it wasn’t his fault, he had a good reason and it was all okay! Well, I nearly started to look for my boy, because this confident person wasn’t him.
Then I was nagging him about getting access to the laptop at school to help in class, because of his writing and he sternly told me to stop worrying as he had it sorted!!!!
After a meeting with his form teacher, she mentioned that she was worried because he sat by himself all the time in class. Well I wasn’t too concerned, as I knew he preferred to work without distractions and I had asked him about making new friends and he said he had. But it did stick in my mind and started to niggle. What had I done, taken him away from all of his friends. But the next day he came racing down stairs and asked if he could go into to town by himself to meet his friend for the movies. Phew, he was okay then.
Then – this shocked me most of all and made me feel that everything had been worth it. He came home sobbing – oh no. He said that he had a problem with another little boy. This boy had been grabbing his bag all the time for a while and had got other people to do the same. And that day my boy had turned around and punched him in the stomach and floored him!!!! OH MY GOOD GOLLY GOSH. I didn’t know what to do, say or express. I was so very, very proud of him for standing up for himself, but knew we would have to talk about not using violence – I so didn’t want to go down that route. So I asked him what he thought.
My boy said that he didn’t want to start his new school with someone picking on him, as he had come so far. He had tried to talk to this boy, to no avail. So he had reacted with a punch. He wanted me to contact his form teacher and tell her what had happened, as he felt that it had to be reported. So that is what I did and the next morning they all had a meeting and everything was sorted out. A few months later, I heard my boy talking to a boy of the same name on his gaming console. I asked him who was this new boy he was talking too. “Oh he is the boy I punched.” “Oh,” I said. “Yes, he has come round to my way of thinking and I even think that the reason he was bullying me was because he was anxious as well, but it’s all okay now.” !!!!!!!!!!
We have come so far. His life will not be easy, his exams will be stressful because of his writing, but he will be in control. And because of who he is and how he thinks, he will have an interesting life, surrounded by people that know he is a kind, caring, funny, clever and special boy.