Second thoughts about school

Sophia has really been struggling this year with school. It really is amazing what a difference a teacher can make.

Last year her teacher was the first to actually take her Autism seriously, as he has relatives who are Autistic as well. Most teachers so far, just expect her to fit in and don’t check in with her to see how she is doing. She thrived last year.

She is bored at school. She has learned a lot of what they are just starting to learn in her class so she gets bored and then disconnects. She also has to take Woodworking every Wednesday which she hates and is extremely afraid she will cut off her finger.

Combine her fear with her sensitive hearing, and the fact that her anxiety about the class kicks in as soon as she wakes up, and her nervous system gets overwhelmed before she even goes there. She even spends some Tuesday nights awake, unable to sleep due to stressing about the next day.

She has been home a lot this year, for a few reasons. There have been some really terrible viruses going around this year and we seem to get every one!

She has been struggling with her menses as she has a heavy flow and there is no allowances made with regard to PE while she is dealing with that, and any woman who has worn pads can tell you, running or playing sports while bleeding heavy makes a real mess and you get worse cramping.

They worship sports and physical activity here and I just don’t get it. It seems like there is a running or biking competition every couple weeks and of course it is mandatory that you participate.

This angers me, because it strips our children’s right to consent about what happens with their bodies. This is a huge issue and not only for girl’s but also, the boys. They see and perpetuate that you can force people to do what they don’t want to do just by pressuring them and telling them they have to. Also, it takes away the child’s ability to be sensitive to what their bodies are telling them. It interferes with their Autonomy and individuality, which is sadly, what schools were originally designed to do. This all needs to change.

Another issue for her, is that she keeps getting sick, some off it is anxiety, which has always manifested as stomach issues for her.  Also, she is environmentally sensitive, so she feels seismic, barometric and electromagnetic variances, so any changes in those areas and she is affected physically and emotionally. She gets that from me, I have the same thing. This has been steadily increasing the past couple years.

Her psychic and empathic abilities are also harder to ignore at this age, so she feels other people and knows things about them. It can be confusing when someone’s words don’t match the energy they are sending out. This is such a tricky age with Extra-Sensory development (now called Sensory Processing Disorder.)

She has had some of her tics coming back which indicates stress. Her appetite has been all over the place and so have her moods. The rage that comes form her is quite overwhelming at times, and I know she needs help channeling that again.

I work with her of course, but catching it in the moment is crucial to helping her recognise the subtle changes before they get to that point.

This illness, anxiety and stress… is all from school. I am seriously considering taking her out and homeschooling her again.

I know she will have great opportunities for learning, and make friends within the homeschooling community. They have an amazing Network here locally and do some really great activities.

Her class is taking a trip to Wellington next week and she can’t go. Brent asked to be one of the parents, but he wasn’t chosen, so she won’t go. I know this is the best decision for her, but it still sucks that she missed out on the opportunity.

We sat down with her and explained the trip and what they would be doing. Just the thought of it made her anxious so we decided as a family we would keep her home due to health reasons.

I can’t have her so far away in that environment without one of us there if she needs help. If she had a full blown meltdown, they wouldn’t know how to handle her. Also, her classmates may not treat her the same once they witnessed a full meltdown and we can’t allow that to happen.

We will take her on a trip down there as a family and see some if the places she missed. She has been to some of it already, when we took our family holiday last year. Thanks to IHC and their Take A Trip Getaway package they so generously awarded us. You can read more about Day 1 here and day 2 here.

Brent and I will talk with her again and go over what her options are. If she is going to keep missing school, I would prefer that she is homeschooled. Right now, she is in a state of confusion and the anxiety and stress are affecting her physically and that is not good.

At least if she homeschooled, I know she is still meeting (and exceeding) her education requirements and can join in their activities and make some friends within the group. She gets along with everyone at school, but yet has no one she is really connecting with.

We will see what happens, but for now, she is in bed, and will stay home again with a slight fever. She has a head cold and a sore throat. She has also been very angry, sleepy and withdrawn for the past few days and her tics have increased. I know she wouldn’t be ok in her classroom in this shape.

We are having a lot of seismic unrest, and that always affects her, and myself. I think we will have a good quake soon to release some of the pressure. Hopefully it will be out to sea and not affect anyone directly, but I also know that God always has a plan.

Now to make a plan with my girl and see how she feels about trying to homeschool again, or even do Te Kura (homeschooling with a Teacher that visits once per week).

Finnic for Ace

Art by 8yellowcats for +Ace (The Parademic)

On a lighter note, you can check out some of her latest works of art here, and some of her older work. This is how she copes, doing art. She is really pushing her boundaries and trying new things and I love watching her artwork blossom. She is so talented and I would love to get her into some art classes. Maybe we can take them together. 😀

This post was read and approved by Sophia. 😉 Thanks for stopping by and have a great day. Feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

 

Sick days, Art and Reading

Sophia is home sick today, she was home yesterday as well.

She seems to have caught a bug. She has gone through 2 boxes of tissue in the past two days and developed a slight fever last night so we decided to keep her home again.

Yesterday after breakfast, she finished up her OC Good Shadow, a Kivat (an original character which is a mix of a cat and a bat.) and posted it on her 8yellowcats Google+ page.

Good Shadow Kivat

Good Shadow Kivat

After lunch she  came along and did the mosaic tree class with me, but got frustrated and tired after about 30 minutes, so we left it for later.

Her perfectionist was in overdrive yesterday and she spent a lot of time cutting, then re-cutting the paper to fit just perfectly.

It will look great when finished. I will finish mine when she does hers, as I too, was getting tired and had not thought to bring my glasses.

I tucked her into a corner with her own table and supplies, away from the other kids near a trash can for her used tissues just in case she was contagious. None of us have it so that is good.

I took her to the park on the way home to get some fresh air. After 15 minutes she was wiped out which worked well as it started pouring down rain not long after we left.

park 6 sept 2017

She has not been eating as much, and is very cuddly and just wants to read and watch movies and do digital art which is fine.

In the past two days, while doing her art, she has read two Warriors cats books and is reading the third one.

The first was ‘The Sight’ –  Warriors: The Power of Three Series, Book 1, which has 417 pages.

510UrbRXRUL._AC_UL320_SR216,320_

Next, she read ‘Dark River’ –  Warriors: The Power of Three Series, Book 2, which has 368 pages.

51pdQZ9FonL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_

There are 352 Pages in ‘The Apprentice’s Quest’ –  Warriors: A Vision of Shadows Series, Book 1, which she is currently reading.

VOS-1 The Apprentice's Quest

I can’t believe how fast this kid can read! Last week she read four of these Warrior books all averaging 300-500 pages.

The Warrior Cats books have been amazing for her. They have taught her so much about community, friendships, hierarchies within the clans, betrayal and lying, spirituality and even herbology (Which I have actually checked, and it is fairly accurate.)

The best part is that she loves to reread them. Eventually we will own all of them. We have several now, but one day we plan to get all the boxed sets for her. I will likely read them too as she has asked me to.

Later in the afternoon, she finished her second entry of Queequeg for KoalaAJ’s art contest. It turned out cute.

Queequeg 2

Queequeg 2

This morning after her shower, she wanted to finish an art request she had promised to her friend Kola AJ and posted it on her Google+.

Custom Turkish Angora for Koala AJ

Turkish Angora for Kola AJ

Our little artist is now happily reading in her room with her water, colloidal silver, tissue box and trash can nearby.

I will do some more baking, then some reading while finishing the laundry and maybe if she is up to it we can do some artwork, a craft or finish our trees this afternoon.

Hopefully she is well enough tomorrow to head back to school as she has really been enjoying it.

 

 

Trialing School Day 1

Sophia is off to school today for a 20 day trial with the expectation to have her enrolled if all goes well.

This was her idea, she has been talking about it for a month, but last week she said she was ready for me to make an appointment so we did.

This past week we have been meeting with the new (to us) Principal and the Teacher of her school to set it all up.

She got the news on Friday that she would be going back, so she had time to process over the weekend. She was very excited that she was going to start today.

She has been practicing getting up with her alarm for the past couple weeks, and getting herself ready so that she would be all good to go this morning.

She showered last night so she would have less to this morning. She got up on her own to her alarm, got dressed, ate breakfast and did her hygiene routine before getting her bag ready and helping me pack her lunch.

Her Teacher is the same one who taught our son Max in year 6. He also worked with Sophia when she was there before so she is also familiar with him. He has also known Brent since they were in school together.

He is a lovely man who has extensive first hand ASD knowledge as a co-carer for his adult autistic brother-in-law.

This Teacher and the new Principal are why we decided to trial her this year when Sophia asked if she could go back to school. She knows she is ready and we are pretty confident that she is right.

We had excellent meetings and discussed her diagnosis and all of her possible triggers and preferences. I went prepared with a printout and he was happy to have it. Here is the link Diagnosis and Triggers for Teacher. We also discussed her strengths and methods for success.

He said most of the triggers and allowances are similar to those of his Brother-in-law so it was easy for him. What surprised and delighted me, is that he even knows the intuitive nature of the sensory issues with regard to feeling others emotions.

He also knows how sensitive the girls are at menses and said staying home is not an issue and of he knows when it is, he knows to be more sensitive with the girls.

We are really looking forward to seeing how well she transitions back into school. She has grown so much in the past couple of years, especially with regard to her self-confidence and knowing who she is.

I took this photo this morning of her first ‘school’ day of year 6.

WP_20170828_001.jpg

“I am nervcited Mom”

We went in early, and it was nice seeing the teacher and some of her old friends waiting for her when she arrived.

He assigned her a desk next to her BFF when she was there last, so she was even more excited. When I left, another of her old friends was showing her around and she was settling in.

She knows her ‘safe space’ and that she is allowed to go there when she gets overwhelmed. She also knows the school well and the staff and that she can ring me.

I am sure she will have a fabulous day and I am very happy for her. We are confident she will breeze past her 20 day trial and want to continue.

I will write more after school, now I am going to bake a cake for the family as they are all awesome and deserve to be spoiled.

 

 

 

Detectives | Episode 1 | Jett Black

Today Sophia started off with playing her organ, I left her to it and soon was called up to hear the song she had recorded. She has decided to do an album of music for YouTube videos. I was amazed as she did this all on her own, and I asked her how she managed this.

 

She used Screencast-O-Matic hooked up to her microphone which was wearing her headset which was plugged into the organ. GENIUS! I was so proud of her for using her mind to create such a wonderful sound.

Next, we did some bookwork and had a snack.

WP_016604

When we finished eating, she gave me a script for her Detective Series; Episode one, in which I play the antagonist Jett Black. Then we recorded our parts on Animal Jam.

WP_016608

After that, she went upstairs and put it all together, did the editing, added the music track and uploaded it to her YouTube channel.

She even created lite fake social media accounts for my character in this series and added an almond cookie (my favourite) and some other cute little things. This was all her and I am still amazed by her details and her courage. Her friend also had roles, but she was our  director.

You can watch it here… Detectives | Episode 1 | Jett Black

The first 40 seconds play her song she recorded earlier, “Winter Rosebush”

I hope you enjoyed reading about a bit of our day.

Dear Class (a note from Sophia)

Today we went to the school to gather Sophia’s belongings from her desk and some of her work and records. Sophia had an idea so her friends could find her and keep in touch.

She made this letter and some little tickets (with her name, phone, email and websites) for her classmates.

 

 

Dear Class 3 June, 2015

It says:

Dear Class,

I am home schooling now. I am having lots of fun. My Doctor gave me a certificate to go swimming at the splash centre. I go to RDA to ride ponies. That’s called Equine Therapy. The pony I ride is named Princess Puzzle. She is white with brown patches and has a long white main and tail. I do my studies really fast! If you want to contact me please ask Mrs. (Teacher’s name) for a green ticket.

From Sophia Lawless

P.S. Stay in touch 🙂

 

UPDATE:

I was told by several of her friends that the Teacher never read this to them or handed out the cards. Such a shame they tried to interfere with Sophia maintaining her school friendships. Fortunately, our son still goes there so he gives messages to her friends before school and at lunch. Plus we attend the charity day and other family events and she always has her number cards in her purse or mine.

Officially Approved to Homeschool

I got a call this afternoon, from the amazing woman helping me with my ‘Application for Exemption from Enrollment at a Registered School’ aka exemption application.

Cynthia said she had just spoken with Charles (Uncle Charlie to Brent) at the Ministry Of Education and that my application had been approved [on 28 May] and should be in the mail within the next couple days. She advised me that we are officially approved to homeschool!

(Uncle Charlie did not process our application as that would be a conflict of interest, it went to another person for processing.)

Sophia is now ‘officially’ attending … Lawless Academy of Aut[odidactic]ism. 😉 SQUEEK!!!

We are very grateful to everyone, for your encouragement and assistance. So excited.

 

Tucson-20110430-00005

Flappy Takes Flight

Yesterday afternoon the girls fed Flappy and Sugar, and then Flappy went missing until 3:20 today. Sugar was just lost and sad and we weren’t sure Flappy would come back.

Soph was pretty upset this morning and said; “It would be selfish of us to keep her all alone. In my research, I found they are social animals. That means they need other ducks or they can get depressed. Sugar looks sad. If Flappy doesn’t come back, we could send Sugar to live with other ducks so she’s not alone and sad. Maybe some of her family is still alive. Dad can check. We would never eat her aye mum?”


I told her we were on a ‘Sugar’ free diet. 😉 Then I said I was very proud of her so being so kind and we would wait until tomorrow and do more research before we decide what is best for Sugar.


Exactly at feeding time, Flappy came soaring across the lawn all majestic and proud of those amazing wings with a few extra flaps for show. Poor Sugar was so sad all day, then as soon as she saw Flappy, started wagging her little booty and chirping… (So did Soph.)


They nuzzled up and it looked like they hugged. I swear! Then she said, “Muscovy are the best, most loveliest ducks ever.” They had dinner, took a swim, and both are now fat and happy. She is right, they are so amazing.

1509962_10205520866534075_363287797347891266_n11329871_10205520875894309_6091797949008378332_n

Why don’t they listen Mom?

Sophia’s teacher told me today when I went to pick her up, that Sophia missed out on swimming because she hit a boy. (he also missed swimming)

Sophia said the boy, kicked her a bunch of times, so she finally hit him to make him stop but the teacher only saw the end of it, and she missed out on swimming.
What the actual hell??
She said she felt so sad she was crying really hard and then she felt embarrassed because she cried in front of them all. She feels it was “completely inappropriate as a punishment.” and I agree. They are suppose to lose playtime for offenses, not swim instruction.
So we teach our girls early on that boys (bullies) can do whatever they want and if we girls defend ourselves, we get punished too.

I was so angry I couldn’t even say anything. Why oh why can I only communicate in writing with authority figures. I just freeze up and nod and panic inside and try to get away as fast as I can. I could so easily become a hermit with a little hermit daughter.
This is the same boy S who helped R attack her last year and harasses her all the time for being ‘different and weird.”. Grrrrrrr.

She said on the way home, “Mom, there is a notice on the wall that tells you your rights. It says you are not suppose to tease people for being different.

Why don’t they listen Mom? ” I told her that I really don’t know, maybe they are just not thinking of how it makes you feel. Then I suggested she write the teacher a letter, or we do it together so she can have her say.They completely ignore the Autism and expect her to be a typical kid. She can’t do that, her brain and nervous system are not wired the same. This small incident was devastating to her, and created a massive meltdown on the way home and likely she will grow to not trust her teacher to do what is right in the future.

I may need an advocate to come to the school with me and write everything down for them. Her Doctor yesterday suggested I get one, and this is just confirmation for me.

Déjà vu, my own school days all over again. We may have to teach her some ninja self defense moves but I am sure as hell not telling her not to defend herself. A lack of support personnel is the issue, not my daughter defending her body.

She knows home school is an option, but I won’t force her unless I feel I must. She loves seeing her friends, but her health and well being must come first.

A plan to deal with a girl at school

Oh dear, Sophia’s friend was helping her make a plan to deal with a girl at school.

She was cracking up and said, “You know it is a joke right? I wouldn’t do that for real Mom.”

She was laughing a bit too hard…. she may have a bit of Auntie Frankie‘s genes.