Update on J

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello all. For anyone who cares :)) ), here is a little update on J.
    We've just come back from three weeks in the UK - a week longer than planned because I forgot our passports at the friend's I was staying with, as I discovered just as we were leaving my mother's (where I had gone after) for the airport... good luck, bad luck, who knows. I had loads of work, J had to go to a British nursery (pre-school) for a week, meaning he was in a class with 3 and 4 year olds. And loved it! Played to his heart's content, learnt little rhyming songs, got on well with everyone. He and my mother are very close and he was in great sobs when we left. England is so much better for us really - people much more relaxed and tolerant, on the whole. He was generally okay, had a couple of big meltdowns related to the usual sensory/fatigue/thwarted wishes thing.
    Just before we left I had a consultation with my mother's homeopath, who works with something called CEASE therapy, for autistic and related disorders. She impressed me, and she talks about it as something approaching a miracle cure, over 6 months to 2 years.... Of course I reserve judgement at this stage but she says she has had excellent experience.
    Meanwhile I have let my house from May 1 and have honestly no idea right now whether we are going to Morocco, England or staying in France. I have some serious legwork to do re schools.
    So there we are. J has been adorably sweet and completely maddening. Usual thing. I begin to see his sensory overloads, see that he needs to be taken care of differently because of them. It's almost meaningless to talk about bad behaviour, really... he just gets overwhelmed, can't deal with things.
    Which I understand...
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update. Many....and I do many....of us have found that we are the determiner of alot of the behaviors that society finds challenging. I am glad that you have been in contact with people you trust and who love you and J. If a "quick fix" existed you can be assured many of us would have found it...pronto. Good luck. DDD
  3. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Thank you very much for the update. I've been wondering where you've been. I'm glad you've found some positive things (outside and within yourself) to benefit J. If things are that good in England, then maybe that should be where you go, at least for a while. He'll be near grandmother whom he adores as well as more understanding and tolerant "systems" or at least people.

    Welcome back!!
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks TeDo. It's just the usual dilemma over nationality and passports... I recently appealed the decision regarding the refused British nationality for J - I don't hold out great hopes but you never know. J has inherited a kind of trio of identities - Moroccan, French and English - and it looks like, really, it's always going to be that way. As much as richness as a drawback.
    For the moment the real dilemma is regarding schools. Which school where? It seems clear to me he'd do better in an alternative school - really if for no better reason that he is a child with differences and he can only thrive in a system that will see him as a unique individual rather than as a peg that is fitting badly into the ready-made hole.
    Will keep you posted :) Thanks for caring.
  5. Astrid

    Astrid Member

    I'm so glad you and J had a good time in England.
  6. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Thanks for the update. It sounds like the extra week while unplanned, was wonderful for J. It sounds like he had a great time at school. I hope you find a wonderful school for J and your move will be easy.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Been wondering how y'all have been, thanks for the update. :)
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Nice to hear from you! And been having such a good time too!

    Few unsolicited advise: When trying to find a place to settle and school for J, make sure there is also plan B available if the school will not turn like you hope. Do not get too enamoured with small, family-like atmosphere schools. They are the greatest, when they work, but if there is a problem, it is often almost impossible to solve. For example if the teacher is a problem, it is that same teacher you have to try to solve it with. If there is a problem with peer, J will not have a possibility to just avoid and hang out with other peers. Not saying that small school is not worth trying it, it can really be marvellous if it is a fit, but if you choose small school, make sure you have that plan B. When looking for alternative schools do not buy what they sell at face value. Try to find a way to connect with the parents (and not just parents in some parent committee) and find out their gripes. There is always something with every school, but it is very telling what they are. If it's about having to bake things to school functions and fundraisings or school never informing early enough what clothes kids need for gym, you don't have to be worried. But if it's about bullying brushed under the carpet or incompetent teachers they are not getting rid of... It's not uncommon for alternative schools have trouble with kids who are not unique individuals in the way they want the kid to be an unique individual ;) Choose a school that appreciates J's brand of uniqueness and not some other brand.

    I hope you will find a good options to choose from!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the update!
    I am so glad you were able to spend that much time in England and that J enjoys your mother, and the preschool worked out so well! That's wonderful.
    I'm thinking the pretty much anywhere except where you've spent the last yr should be an improvement. :)
    I don't know what you mean by let the house ... you rented it to someone else?
    Let us know what happens with-the homeopath.
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thank you for the update! Have you had him evaluated for sensory processing disorder? It's usually diagnosed by an Occupational Therapist (OT) here. We found that using the Wilbarger protocol has really helped Duckie quite a bit with her sensory defensiveness.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes. It's a very British term. Just like living in a flat... I don't, but CB just got one... Know what I mean??
    I love the idiosyncracies of British English.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yaaaaaaaaaay!!! J! J! I love hearing about cute little J!

    Malika, I truly hope you find him a school, wherever it is, that appreciates this neat little guy and his slightly different learning style. I think he has so much untapped potential! Nice to hear from you again! Glad you both enjoyed the UK :)
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Lol, IC, of course from our standpoint it is Americans that have the "idiosyncracies", not us :) All a matter of where one is looking from, of course...
    I hope I can find the right school. It is all a leap of faith, in the end, working on gut feeling as well as more rational information. I appreciate the points you make SuZir. A smaller school seems to make sense in terms of what I have seen happening to J when there are too many kids - a kind of over-stimulation or sensory overload. Also he works better with one to one attention, of which there is more in a specialist environment, of course.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The irony, Malika, is that I get to enjoy the idiosyncracies of BOTH "UK" and "US" English... It's one of the joys of being Canadian... Most of us Canadians can also "almost" speak Aussie and/or Kiwi.

    Of course, there are NO "idiosyncracies" in the Canadian version of English... right?
  15. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Those are some of the good points of small schools. Another is that your child is seen as a whole person all the time and all adults know every kid. And kids have to learn to come along with very different kids, you can't just choose friends like yourself. Bad points are that if it's get bad, it can get really bad. And if you don't have friends, you really don't have them. And if you are bullied my your classmates, you can't change class or hang with other kids. And if school is small enough to have several different grades taught in same class room, it also means that kids are required to work independently and quietly more. That can be a good thing, if you have a easy child kid, but for certain type of difficult children it is really hard.

    As you probably already guessed, my kids went to small school for elementary years. It was awesome for easy child but I think you know how it turned out for difficult child. I have also myself spent a year in very small school as a kid and for an outsider it was rather tough (it was also a small village and we really were outsiders there.)

    Maybe trying to find small alternative school near enough of bigger city could give you both the possibility for small school experience and also the plan B, if it doesn't work out?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  16. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Malika! So glad you're back, I have grown fond of J. He reminds me of my guys. I can no longer find you on FB and was worried by your silence.
  17. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, I decided to discard my personal FB account (still have one related to a website I created) - the trivia was beginning to feel particularly trivial...
    Of course I am still hesitating between:
    just to make life simple for myself. Not England to live because J doesn't have the right to stay more than six months in a year (in my home country, yes!) but the next few months at my mother's house and then back to France, or ditto Morocco and then back to France, or stay out the school year here (even though I have let the house), or England now and then Morocco, etc. It's ridiculous! Thing is I have to visit some schools and talk to some people and then things will become clearer. I hope!
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    There are schools that are so small the entire school is in ONE classroom? Wow. I thought Jumper goes to a small school since only 39 kids will graduate with her as a senior. I don't know that I'd like a class with all different ages in one room. That means they are teaching a lot of grades to different kids. Also, I personally think it's good for kids to hang around with kids in their own developmental range rather than older (I smell trouble) or too young (your child can cause the trouble). Not t hat Jumper has no friends from other grades from her...she does. But she is mostly with her same age peers and I like it better that way. I think it would be hard for a difficult child to adjust to so many different lessons going on in one class.
    Not all small schools are cliquey. At Jumper's school there are no kids with no friends at all. They all grew up together. And Jumper is the one who is different, since she is bi-racial, but she's one of t he most popular kids in the entire school.Kids of all backgrounds hang around together.
    It is a lot more racist and rough in our bigger school (2000 kids). And the fighting and drama is worse there. Interesting discussion. Guess all places are different. Much more bullying at the big school because they can. It's too big for all the teachers to be on top of the kids and what t hey are doing so even if you try to make new friends, when your old ones are bullying you, they tend to follow you around when nobody's looking.
    All in all, I like small, but not just one classroom for all kids. My unecessary .02!!!! :)
  19. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, MWM! There are lots of village schools like that in France. There are about 40 kids in total in J's school, divided into two multi-age classes, one of ages 2 to 6 and the other ages 6 to 11. There was a famous documentary called "Etre et Avoir", which I'm quite sure exists in the States, subtitled in English, about one such single class village school that I think you'd enjoy to watch. It would certainly give you an insight into a very different world!
    There are arguments on both sides, as with most things. Personally I like the multi-age class as it means children learn to get on and play with different ages which I think is a good thing. After all, in adult life we don't just have friends of our own exact age :) And again in J's case, the having to work by himself seems to have given him greater autonomy and self-discipline than he might otherwise have had. I am now thinking seriously of a Montessori school for him, which also works in multi-age classes, 3 to 6, 6 to 9 and 9 to 12.
    I know when I was a child, people of very different ages seemed to play together outside, and I see them still doing that in places where outside, spontaneous and unregulated play still occurs.

    Here you go!
  20. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    MWM: Of course there are that small schools. For example in this country there are kids who go to school with less than 20 kids and even that school may be 50 miles from their home. I'm sure you have remote and rural schools also in USA.

    The school I was a year had two classrooms. One for Kindergarten and 1 and 2 grade and another for 3,4,5 and 6 grade. I think there was 38 kids that year all together. In some ways it was academically really good. It was flexible and kids got to study very individualised pace. I was third grader and I think I studied three years worth of math that year and for once I wasn't bored out of my mind. And when teacher thought I was moving too quickly she simply came up something else for me to do for rest of math classes. I did some seriously cool stats and probability projects that spring.

    My kids elementary school had little over hundred kids and one class per grade and two combined (again Kindergarten to 2 grade and 3 grade to 6 grade) class for special needs kids that were more resource type of classes (all the kids were also integrated to their age group at least for some classes.) If the student count gets any smaller they will likely start to combine grades. easy child's grade had 18 kids from which one was mostly in Special Education class (she is daughter of our friends and with down syndrome and while she did have individualised syllabus in everything but PE and music, she was integrated with others also in some academic classes, but she had some difficulties in concentrating with bigger classes and that's why she spent most of her time in Special Education class) and two were going between Special Education and mainstream. difficult child's class was uncommonly small, 12 kids with only difficult child spending any significant time in Special Education. There was only one other kid who was in Special Education first for our native language and later for foreign language because of dyslexia.