I've not blogged for ages!! Sorry about that Everyone! Here's a bit of an update on major things that have been happening in our household.....
I'm pregnant. We are expecting baby number 6 in early February 2013. The kids are all very excited. Now that I'm past the 24 hours a day nausea stage, I'm getting excited too. Those first 3 months were long and trying. I feel very lucky to have my Wonderful Hubby around looking out for me, making sure I rest and eat, because to be honest there is so much else going on it is easy to forget to stop and look after myself some days.
I have been to so many meetings and appointments, and filled in so many forms in the past couple of months. The most irritating form I've had to face has been recently. The Principal of the Primary School and I have to fill in a form to apply to be considered eligible to apply for individual support funding for MissG next year. Yep- you read that right! We aren't actually applying for the funding- we have to apply to be eligible to apply. And there is a 30 page document that explains to you what sort of information they need. To be honest, I am not at all convinced we will be successful, either. The form is geared heavily toward children with either intellectual disabilities or physical disabilities like deafness or blindness. The fact that MissG needs full time Teachers Aide support to be successful at preschool counts for nothing. Nor does the information in the Occupational Therapists report describing her as a child with high support needs.
We are at the Psychologist almost weekly at the moment between MissG and MasterL. We love our Psychologist because nothing phases her. She helps us think clearly about the situations we face and is great at arming the kids with strategies that help them cope with situations they come across at school. 13 year old L is finding the abstractness of social interactions increasingly tricky as his first year in high school goes on. And he now has much less one on one support from the Teachers Aide he had been assigned, thanks to the "Every Student Every School" policy that the Government claims is making resources more accessible and equitably distributed.
I have been carrying on with my advocacy efforts in the background of everything else I do, attending meetings and just generally being the squeaky wheel in conversations around the place, letting people know what the real impacts of the changes to funding in schools are.
I am going to meet with our Federal member of Parliament in a couple of weeks. At least, I'm planning to. The appointment time has already been changed once by her since I booked it in, and I'm kind of expecting it to be changed again! It really does confirm my suspicion that hearing from people in the electorate is not a high priority when I get a call saying "something" has come up and she can't keep the appointment time we made. Along with the long-time-coming and very dismissive "thanks for letting me know of your concerns" response I got to my very detailed letter, I think it is fair to expect that not much will come of that meeting. However, I have to keep trying. As I explained to my 16 year old when she asked me why I am putting so much effort into this when nothing is going to change- at least when my Autistic grandkids ask me why there is no support for them in school I won't have to say,'there used to be, but when they took it away we all just sat there and didn't try to stop them'.
Anyway, that's a bit of an update. I'm going to try to keep bit of a record of all the things we've done to prepare MissG for school, as it could be helpful to some of you. Aside from that, I'll do my best to blog more often over the next few months, but if you don't see much on here it's just because things are so busy! I wish the people who make these policy decisions actually had an idea of the real impact made by their number crunching solutions to what they think the problems are. I wish they could experience the results of their decisions the way those of us with kids needing extra support do. I used to have so much more time to spend actually being with my kids. Now I feel like I am so distracted by the work it takes to get them the help they need that I'm often not actually being any help. And that is frustrating.