Inclusion has been much on my mind this week.
A while back we made the decision to send Pudding to mainstream school when he starts full-time in September. Hopefully this will prove to be the right decision for us, but in order for it to work he would need full-time support in place. Without proper supervision he’d turn the place upside down in very short order. Oh, and I assume most people would be impressed with his throwing skills until the hard object hits them square in the face….
This week we have a meeting to discuss getting him onto an Education and Health Care Plan, which is the format that replaced the old Statement of Special Educational Needs. (This is after we sent off reams of information in December which was discussed by a panel to decide whether he can be assessed for the EHCP. Tortuous, eh?) So I’m girding my loins for another meeting where we have to focus on what he cannot do, and what the future may throw up.
On a much more positive note for this week, Pudding was invited to a birthday party for the first time. It’s a rite of passage for many children, but especially important to those with special needs. As a parent I’m sure many of us worry that our child will be included in these sort of events or overlooked. No worries there – with a bouncy castle, balls to kick around and plenty of pizza, Pudding had a whale of a time.
And during our ERT infusion last week there was another important step towards ensuring that he doesn’t always have to miss out on the fun things in life. He’s never been keen on using the shoulder bag that comes with the infusion pump; until now while it’s going we’ve had to keep a close eye out and leap to grab the bag if he makes a run for it. This time we tried a little rucksack that we’ve had for a while (bubble wrap and tape to try to stop it pressing on the port and gripper needle!). It worked brilliantly and meant that he could be far more independent and even enjoyed playing ball for a bit during the infusion. Although he’s not sensible enough to trust further afield for now, when the weather is better we will now be able to go out in the garden if we want. I may yet get it looking nice this summer. Hoorah!