Starting School Fears with #SEN

I should be able to write a post telling you not to worry about your child starting school (like this one): After all this is my fourth time. It was always going to be hard letting go of my very last baby as it was a difficult decision to decide to have no more children (see previous post).

All those fears about starting school are generally irrational – of course your child will eat, go to the toilet and make friends – why wouldn’t they. That in fact they are no different to the other children starting.

Sometimes I can listen to others who tell me my son is also no different: I hope they are right. I hope my fears too are irrational. A good friend reassured me that I’m actually in a better place because there are children starting school who struggle with toileting, for example, but that my son will receive extra support. Of course I’m crazy to think that he will just go to the toilet, get off and walk round half naked – because there will be someone there stopping him wont there. If he wets himself, that’s okay as I’m sending him in with spare clothes.

The other kids will see what a lovely lad he is. That when he gets to the point where he wants to bite there will be someone there to stop him. I’ve ordered him a chewy toy – and the school they will hopefully encourage him to use it – no of course they will. That the other children will take into consideration his difficulties – that aren’t so physically obvious, as they will see that he has 1:1 support. He already has friends going too – even if they aren’t in the same class. And his big brother will be there at playtime.

That worst case scenario he doesn’t eat at school – but guess what it’s not that long he’s there and he can eat at home. But he has his monkey lunch box, and his old 1:1 there at lunchtime, she knows him, and what he does and doesn’t like. The school have offered that if he can’t cope with all the stimulation he can move to a quiet room.

That when he is anxious the school will deal with it and help. That the VERY worst case scenario is he doesn’t HAVE to go. He’s not 5 until April. Plus there’s always home schooling.

Starting school fears with SEN @pinkoddy

He cannot hold a pen properly, and is just mark making – but am sure he wont be the only one. He recognises his name and is coming along so well. So he wont be able to achieve all the many wonderful things that his brother did at this age (see our letter learning journey), but guess what, for him he will achieve so much.

I must forget my experience of my oldest starting school – with the teachers telling him he was evil, made to sit under a table with no shoes on sobbing – this isn’t that school, there are not those teachers, and he has support.

But why oh why does it feel like 2 hours a day is going to be a lifetime. And as he spends more time at school it will free up more time for me to find more ways to help him. He is hyper-mobile in his hands – and I need to find ways to help him strengthen them, to move his hands across his body to reach across for things (instead of swapping hands). To help him count past 3 (counting to 3 was a huge milestone).

Fine Motor Skills With Dinosaur Craft on Pinkoddy

How are you feeling about moving up to school?

18 thoughts on “Starting School Fears with #SEN”

  1. It sounds like your family is in a very different place to when your eldest started and the school is already much more geared up to help your son. It’s understandable you are worried, but I think by writing this you are helping to convince yourself that it will be OK. Good luck! Will be thinking of you both.
    (And thanks for the link to my post). x

  2. It is completely understandable to be be worried about him, but as you have reassured yourself in the post, you have prepared him so well and have things in place to help him. The extra time to arrange things for him etc will be so useful for you. We had so many problems that I wasn’t expecting when Danny started, I suspect similar to your eldest, so when the girls started I worried it would be similar even though they didn’t have any additional needs. So I can’t imagine what I would be like going through a similar situation again.

    You are a brilliant mum doing all you can to give your son the best start in life that he deserves! It doesn’t get any easier with our “fourths” does it? 🙂 xxx

    PS: Good luck for school- I hope you have a lovely time!

  3. aww bless you. You’ll both learn together and grow together each day through this like you have done with everything day before this big one.

    thank you for sharing your thoughts, wishing you all the best for first day of school. x

  4. I hope everything goes well for him (and you!). It is hard when any child starts school to make the adjustment for both of you. I hope he gets all the support he needs and I am sure once settled he will love it x

  5. Oh Joy, I’m sure everything will be fine. There might be the odd hiccup but it sounds like you have a MUCH better school this time around. I sympathise totally with your worries, but I think having a supportive school makes such a difference. Best of luck for you xx

  6. It sounds as though you’ve thought of everything after such a terrible experience with your eldest son. Wishing you both all the luck in the world. When’s the big day?

  7. Oh Joy, my heart is so with you on this. It must be really tough for you letting him go, but I hope both you and he just sail into this and he thrives. He’s such a gorgeous little boy, everyone will love him. I have to say I felt sick reading about your big boy and the things that were said and done to him, the word wrong doesn’t even come close. xx

  8. Sounds like the school are geared up for him even if it is only 2 hours a day to start with. Keeping all my fingers crossed that it goes well.

  9. You know I a terrified of school, even with all the preparations and the work we’ve done, I am terrified. So I can’t help with reassuring at all I guess. I hope taking it one day at a time and nagging the school as much as humanly possible will help me deal with the move from 3 hours a day to full days. I will tell you what I tell myself every single day. Maybe you will be able to believe it – the school is on your side. It has been a few years since your eldest started school, and things have changed, awareness is better, wanting to help is better, the teachers are better. You have the school’s support, he has 1:1, you made sure the school is ready and willing to help, and that he will not get lost in the system. There will be good days and bad days. But hopefully more good than bad.
    Do you believe it? I hope so. I also hope I do.

  10. Hmmm. I know I read this post and was sure I had commented on it, but can’t see that here (so sad that mobiles and blogging don’t mix!). Totally understand your worries. Wishing you all lots of luck and hope it goes smoother than you expect x

  11. In case anyone has come back to this bit of an update. Yes he went in nicely yesterday and seemed to have a good day. This morning in the playground I took my eyes off him for a second and found him punching a child smaller than himself (he did apologise). Nipped back to his classroom to get his inhalor (as didn’t realise it needed to be in the office) and his 1:1 was taking photos of another child. Didn’t even look up to see where he was until she saw me and then once she located him carried on. He’d been in the bathroom and then was sat with some very small beads. I actually feel sick.


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