Monday, 19 March 2012

Parents' evening - one year on... Tissues ready

So... Pippi has a new teacher, as her previous teacher, who was fabulous, left to take up a headteacher position.

Went to parents' evening last week, and was so depressed afterwards, couldn't even blog about it. Basically, the first words out of her mouth were "I don't like labelling kids, I just like to meet them where they are." OK, fine. But I would like to let her know that Pippi is starting to display higher levels of anxiety at home, and that I think this is related to her difficulties with social skills, mainly in the playground. She loves school, and is always happiest in structured activities.

I get the beginning of this out, but she interrupts and says "Well, all girls find that sometimes, don't they, it's difficult getting along with other girls." I continue to try to explain, and we end up in a cycle where she keeps saying the same thing, and basically cutting me dead every time I try to explain what I'm talking about. When I mention Pippi's language difficulties, for which she's been receiving intensive speech therapy for the last 18 months she says "speech therapy?" in a tone which leaves me in no doubt that she had no idea this was happening.

It finishes with me saying "I know that all kids have difficulties sometimes, but for Pippi, this is not a sometimes thing. It's an everyday, every playtime thing, it's her life all the time. She really needs some help with social skills, I would really like it if we could work something out for her." She kind of nods.

And then we leave. DH is a bit disturbed by the fact I kept interrupting her, and wouldn't let her talk. I'm too angry to even argue with him.

Anyway, a few days later, we were back in school for Lucas' parents' evening meeting. Down the corridor was Pippi's new teacher, and she beckoned DH over, I was holding on to Pippi as we waited for our meeting. When DH came back, I asked him what she had said.

"Oh yeah, she said she felt really bad after our meeting, she felt she didn't know enough about autism and Aspergers. So she's been on a course, and now she knows a bit more about it."

So we met with the SENCO, which was our next meeting, and she confirms, like it's no big deal, "oh yes, Ms X has been on a course on autism this week, she's got lots of new ideas on ways she can work with Pippi on her social skills, she's very excited about it."

Lump in my throat. This truly is an amazing school. Pippi is a lucky girl.