Thursday, 30 October 2014

Grinning Like A Cheshire Cat!





We've all had those days haven't we? You know the ones I mean! The days when everything you hear about your child is wonderful and positive! Remember those days? No? Sometimes as a parent of a special needs child all you hear is bad or negative news. Its mostly about the 'can't do' or the 'won't do' or the 'no hope of ever doing' or quite often the ' Lets just schedule another hospital appointment'. And, if you are like me, you get world weary hearing the same things over and over again.

Thankfully my daughter attends a very special school that fills me full of hope every time I visit. A few weeks ago I had a parent-teacher meeting. My daughter's lovely teacher is very understanding of my hectic lifestyle - working full time in a manic job and then working full time at home in the evenings too. So, she changed her schedule to fit in with mine so that we could meet properly to discuss FD. Let me just say that despite the school and teacher being wonderful, these sorts of meetings still fill me with trepidation. This all stems back from the awful couple of years when FD first started school and we tried her in a mainstream school. Every day the teacher would make a beeline for me at the school gates to tell me something that FD had done - hit another child, wet herself, fallen off her chair a lot, refused to do her work, screamed a lot or wouldn't participate in class. There was never anything positive. The teacher meetings were worse, with a lot of time spent discussing how far behind FD was compared to the rest of her classmates. You get the picture? 

Anyway, getting back to my recent parent-teacher meeting I am pleased to report that I sat in the meeting grinning like a Cheshire Cat until my face froze. I am pretty sure FD's teacher thinks I am some sort of a lunatic or high on drugs! It was impossible not to smile. She made it pretty clear how much she adores my daughter and I could sense the pride in her voice as she listed off FD's achievements. I fought hard not to cry. I'm not sure I did terribly well but I think the teacher understood. My darling FD has been given the job of helping out in the school library. She has been chosen as class photographer to help put together the class newsletter and she helps the teacher and classroom assistants with the other children in her class, showing them how to use the computer or helping them with work. My child! MY CHILD! Apparently my daughter is happy in class, a bit of a joker and totally relaxed! 

I know that FD is happy in school because she tells me. She enjoys going and is only ever positive about her experiences in school. To have someone else confirm this and also speak so lovingly about her and so positively just filled me full of pride. I thought I was going to burst. To discover that my daughter was handling little extra bits of responsibility well was encouraging. At home we are continuing in our efforts to teach her more life skills and the school are working alongside us with this. Her confidence is building and she is enjoying her achievements. She still has a lot of obstacles to overcome but my very special little Superwoman is learning to fly all by herself.