Half way through term four. Five weeks to go until a nice long break. Of course, they are the busy last weeks before Christmas where all the end of school year concerts and presentation ceremonies happen. And by the time all the members of our family are covered I’ve got what feels like a million other appointments to go to as well..... Kindergarten Orientation, High School Orientation, Ante-natal clinics, Doctor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Physiotherapy..... It’s no wonder I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.
I can see that MasterL is feeling overwhelmed too. I know this from observing his behaviour. I also know this because he has told me numerous times in the past week that he doesn’t want to go to school anymore. When I ask him why not he can’t tell me. When I ask him if something bad is happening at school he says not really. He just doesn’t want to be there anymore. He has stopped even trying to manage being in the playground at lunch time, preferring to take himself to the Support Unit to sit quietly with other kids who struggle in the same way he does. I’m not that worried about him choosing this coping strategy- it shows a good deal of maturity in many ways, in that he can see for himself that he needs a break and knows how to get it appropriately. I’m proud of him for that. I am disappointed, however, that he feels he needs to do that.
To me it says that the cut in funding has led to a reduced level of support which only provides for L’s academic support and no longer for his social support needs. I have spoken to the school about this, and they have told me they can organise an assessment to see if they can attract any more funding to help him individually, but it really is a long shot.
The new system doesn’t allow for kids who aren’t showing difficult behaviours to get individual funding (and he isn’t showing difficult behaviours at school....yet) and the money they have in the general pool is already being stretched too far. It’s frustrating to be able to see the trickle down effect of the funding cuts starting, but still not being able to do anything about it until it gets worse. He already is struggling with going to school, and I can see his behaviour at home showing this. He expresses reluctance to go, and is having trouble completing homework tasks, yet because he looks ”OK” at school there is unlikely to be any support available.
It brings up the question again for me.... why is what my son needs less important than what other children need?