Riding high from the success and improvements at fridays sessions today should be a breeze right? Wrong :o( I have been reminding Elliot that we have a play group this morning and that after that we will go home and head to school. Just a formality really as he is pretty much used to this routine now, however reminding him generally makes life a little easier as he knows what is coming and there are less surprises. I gave him a new car prior to going to the purposeful play programme (for being a good boy yesterday) so he is pretty excited to show his friends. This seems to have helped him break the ice and he has a great last session with his friends, which his teacher comments on and is really pleased about. Which is reflected by the class notes finally it looks like the social pieces are starting to click for him too, great :o) (A small niggling doubt is making me think he handles situations better with a prop hmmm will consider this more as time goes on) Also it looks like the mums of the other boys in the play group are free on fridays so we are going to meet up and have playdates over the summer. Hopefully this will really help Elliot to play with children who have similar challenges to him.
Elliot: Session 9
- Cheers: shared about his cars from home. Showed everyone his race car and talked about it. Followed the group plan and kept with the group – kept his body with the group, less wait time before responding, did not hang back from the group, even though it was a noisy busy day he stayed near his friends and imitated some actions, joined in the fun of the recycle town. Close to peers when popping bubbles with the “grabbers” had a big smile on his face.
- Challenge: maintaining group peer play, speaking to peers.
We head home and I am getting lunch ready before Elliot goes to school and I remind him that he needs to have lunch then he can go to school and play with his friends. His eyes fill with tears he puts his hands over his face and breaks down. OMG what is this for????? I go to him and give him a big hug and he sits on my knee sobbing. Through the tears he tells me that he doesn’t want to go to school :o( In the whole time he has been gong to Mulberry Elliot has only ever refused to go to school twice once with the whole plaster incident a few weeks ago and today. I am absolutely gob smacked as he gets upset when he is poorly and isn’t able to go to school. So why the tears now? I ask Elliot why he doesn’t want to go to school and he tells me that he doesn’t have any friends and that nobody will play with him because they don’t like him. I can literally feel my heart breaking and swallow down the tears and try to stay strong for Elliot. I tell him that he is a very quiet little boy and that there isn’t anything wrong with that. I try and explain to him that when he wants to play with the boys at school he has to talk to them and use his “big loud voice” so that they can hear him. I tell him that I know it is hard for him and that is ok too and that he will find it easier the more he does it. For the first time on this journey and I am sure it isn’t going to be the last, I feel totally and utterly out of my depth. How the hell do you explain to a 4 year old the complexity of social interactions and that for him it just doesn’t come naturally and he needs to work on it and probably always will. He cheers up with a well timed bribe that if he goes to school I will take him to target and he can pick a new toy. Total cop out I know but I needed to encourage him to go to school. I have a quick chat with Bonny his teacher at school and explain the situation. I know there are only 3 days left of school and there isn’t really anything more she can do to help I just thought she should be aware of the situation just incase he gets upset again. He lets me leave him at school without a big fuss.
I head home pretty devastated. I am at a loss as to what I can do to help him more than I am already doing. I guess there are a few things and PTS have already suggested another session during the summer so I get the paperwork out to tackle later (more paperwork :o(…). I decide that I should maybe be upfront with a few of the moms at school especially the ones I know have signed up for JK next year. I pull myself back together with a decisive plan of action and head to pick Elliot up from school. On the way into class I chat with one of the moms and she tells me she has been helping Elliot join in play with another boy and that they had great fun together. I suggested that we maybe get together over the summer to make an easier transition for both boys into JK. Yey she agrees and says she will message me so we can get together over the summer. I also talk to another mum/mom and we swap numbers. Fingers crossed that we manage to get some play dates going and this hopefully will really help. I am more hopeful for what the summer can bring if we get organised and don’t overload Elliot too much
The rest of the day is pretty uneventful. We head to bed and we are sat reading stories as he is in an amiable mood, I decide to play a game with him. He is talking to me so I put my hand in front of my face and talk quietly and he can’t hear me. I also do a few other things like talk quietly without looking at him. He tells me he can’t hear me and we have a little laugh about it and I tease him that I was using my quiet voice. I tell him that I have an idea should I use my big loud mummy voice he thinks this is a good idea and smiles when he can hear me again. I ask him if he thinks maybe his friends at school just don’t hear him and that he needs to use a big loud voice like mummy when talking to them. I am hoping to do this exercise with him over the next few days and see if it works for him. Fingers crossed.