My Special Assembly

Published January 10, 2017 by thefamilyof5

We had a special assembly today, some people came to visit.

Everyone was really excited to hear what it was about, but not me. I don’t really like it when strangers come in to school, it makes me feel all weird and scared inside, I don’t know why.

Anyway, today was no different, there was a man with a stripy T-shirt and a lady in a blue dress. I felt funny in my tummy. Mr Jones set up the big screen for them, everyone thought we were going to watch the new Disney film that came out in the cinema last week. But we didn’t.

 At first I wasn’t really sure what was happening, I heard lots of words but I couldn’t make sense of what they were saying, and then I realised. It was all about me! These people had come in to school to tell everyone about me. They told everyone about what it was like, you know, before I got adopted. They told everyone in my school that my birth dad used to hit me and my birth mom. They even told them about the times they both got drunk, I remembered how they did rude things to each others private parts that night, it was gross. Then they told everyone about the time they left me in the house by myself for the whole day, I was so hungry but I didn’t dare leave the house or cry, they’d have just got mad and hit me. Everyone was looking at me. I just looked down. I didn’t want to look up and see their eyes starring at me. My cheeks burned. I really wanted to cry but then they’d all laugh and think I was a baby. I just sat quietly and hoped they’d stop. But they didn’t. They got out the laptop next and showed a film. I took a peek. It wasn’t me in the film and I didn’t recognise any of the other people, but I knew It was about me. I just knew it. The man hit the lady and the little boy sat and cried, he was hiding under his bed. Just like I used to. It was definitely about me. I felt sick. I wanted to get up and run out, I wanted to ask my teacher if I could go to the toilet, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t trust her now. I thought she was my friend but she let these people tell everyone about me. My mom let this happen too, why would my mom tell them all of this stuff about me, why did she let this happen, how could she!! No one will ever want to be my friend now, they all know I’m bad.image-boy-ashamed

I didn’t talk to anyone for the rest of the day, I knew they were all sniggering and talking about me, they thought I didn’t know, but I did. When the bell went at the end of the day I got my bag ready super fast and ran outside to my mom who was waiting for me. I gave her the biggest hug, I wanted everyone to see that she loved me. When we got home I shouted at my mom, I shouted a lot. I told her how much I hated her, I hit her, Just like I saw my birth parents doing to each other. I was bad. She needed to see how bad I was!

My special assembly today was about Child Abuse and Neglect. The visitors in my school were from the NSPCC. My teachers hadn’t really thought much about me when they planned it, they didn’t consider how talking about such things would stir up my traumatic memories, or how I would feel hearing my life story being discussed in that way. My mom didn’t know about the assembly so when I went home and screamed at her and hit her, she had no idea why. She didn’t know how to help me because she didn’t know what was wrong. If the teachers in my school had listened to my mom and read the books that she suggested then they would have known what would happen and I wouldn’t be sat in my room crying now and my mom wouldn’t be sat in the lounge crying and bruised.

Events like this aren’t suitable for all children. Schools need to be better educated on the lasting effects of trauma and neglect so they can begin to have some insight in to how these things effect these children. A simple phone call to mum here would have allowed her to either prepare her child, or withdraw them. Because afterall, mum always knows best.

 

 

#SupportAdoption by Big Girl – Part 3 

Published October 21, 2016 by thefamilyof5

Following on from Wednesday National Adoption Week post part 1, and yesterday’s part 2, this is big girls piece. She decided to write a poem, which given that this time last year she was screaming at me that poems were stupid and she hated them, I think this shows how much she’s benefitted from home education.

She told me that adoption was amazing and she struggled to think about anything negative, she said it was good because our house was cleaner and quieter and brighter but her birth family home she remembers as being loud and dirty and dark. She worked super hard on making this look pretty and happy and lovely she said.

#SupportAdoption #NAW2016

#SupportAdoption by Baby Girl – Part 1

Published October 19, 2016 by thefamilyof5

It’s National Adoption Week! 

I never get time to blog these days so instead I asked my girls if they’d like to write something about adoption for the world to see. 

They said yes. I gave them a few ideas, I suggested a poem about adoption, or a few words about what adoption means to them, or even something important they’d like someone to read ie a social worker, a foster carer or another child. Remember these are girls that struggle to express emotions outside of the realms of ‘happy’ and ‘sad’, so this was a really big deal for them, especially thinking about negative thoughts and trying to find the words for those. It’s been something they all found really difficult but enjoyed. I think it’s also worth looking at the decoration they added to their pieces, I think their effort and enthusiasm to make it ‘pretty’ and ‘colourful’ speaks more than their words in some ways.

I’m going share their pieces of work with you over the next 3 days. So this is part 1 of 3.
This is baby girls, she said she wanted to write something for children who are about to be adopted so they didn’t feel scared, she told me that adoption is sometimes sad and happy at the same time, she explained the sadness from missing her foster carer and the happiness came from loving her new family. 

#supportadoption #naw2016 

Imagine #NAW2016

Published October 18, 2016 by thefamilyof5

I haven’t blogged in such a long time. Things are really busy here right now as my fight for support for the girls education continues and I continue to struggle to ‘do it all’.

It’s National Adoption Week 2016, there are some great articles and heartfelt stories being shared this week. I don’t have time to formulate my own thoughts right now, heck, I barely have the time to read other people’s, but I’d urge you to use the hash tag #SupportAdoption to go find and read some of the great stuff being shared this week, you might even like to write your own.

I read this post this morning written by an adult adoptee for ‘All Aboard the Trauma Train’ and felt it was worthy of a re-share 🙂 hope you like it too.

All Aboard The Trauma Train

Guest blog from an adult who was adopted:


Imagine having a parent that doesn’t love you.Or maybe two.

Or maybe one that doesn’t know or care that you exist.

Imagine having parents that actively put you in harms way.

Can you do that?

Perhaps you can, perhaps that is your experience too- and I’m sorry if it is, because I know that it really hurts.

Now imagine that you have been removed from that parent (or parents) and put in a different home, you might be a baby and pre- verbal or you might be 10 with a pretty well formed life around you.

How are you doing now? Are you feeling alright with this or maybe a bit shaken or confused. If this isn’t your reality, its a pretty big leap to make. I’m not trying to be contentious or upsetting, I am inviting you into my world- I…

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Pausing for summer……….

Published July 14, 2016 by thefamilyof5

I haven’t written anything for sooooooo long!! For those that don’t follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I’m still alive, just been super busy!! 🙂

Right, where to start!?

Home education update:

We’ve just completed years 4, 5 and 7. The girls have improved so much, especially in maths as we have a tutor! My own knowledge of verbs, pronouns and conjunctions has also improved, vastly! 🙂

We’ve enjoyed too much to list. The girls favorites seem to be our weekly visits to the library, they’re each reading 2-3 books a week now! We also listen to audio books on car journeys, we’ve listened to lots of Roald Dahl and David Walliams, we’re currently listening to Matilda which is being read by Kate Winslet, we’re all really enjoying it, especially the bit about the newt in Miss Trunchballs water jug! We’ve also done some gardening, which is a first for me. We have some potatoes and herbs growing as well as some sunflowers and lovely wild flowers that we planted especially for the bees living under our decking. We’ve done lots of arts and crafts, the girls have really enjoyed some YouTube tutorials for sketching and crafting and really enjoy catching an episode of Deadly 60 and Operation Ouch, thank goodness for recordable TV. We’ve also recently started a bit of bird spotting, inspired by a trip to a local wildlife sanctuary. There’s more, so much more.

Therapy update:

We have continued with our DDP therapy, the girls have been so much more engaged in the sessions now that they’re no longer anxious all the time. We’ll be continuing with our therapy for sometime yet I imagine. We plan to also start some additional sensory based therapy towards the end of the year, so it will be interesting to see what becomes of that.

I’m still trying to get some support from our LEA with regards to funding for tuition and have 2 EHCP appeal tribunals to look forward to at the end of the year. One is for the refusal to assess middle girl for an EHCP and the other is for inaccurate information and lack of support from Big girl’s EHCP. I also have a formal complaint with our LA regarding the lack of support available for my girls education, they failed to address it formally though so I’m still awaiting a response, it is neither my fault, nor the girls fault that they are unable to manage a school environment. Like I haven’t got enough on my plate eh!

I’m exhausted. Being mom and ‘tutor’ is really hard and not something that comes easy to me. Its really hard to find the energy to be theraputic or even just have fun after a few hours of pre-learning the English curriculum and then trying to teach that to children with a high level of need. It was never something I’d ever considered but I can now safely say that I’m not teacher material! 😉

Its become even more apparent how hard middle girl finds her learning and how her auditory and memory difficulties impact this for her. She can totally forget how to do something whilst doing it i.e she can be doing a full page of 3 digit multiplication grids, get half way and suddenly have no idea how to do them any more and start putting random numbers in odd places. Also what she hears and thinks, isn’t always what comes out of her pencil i.e when we were listening to the ‘Billionaire Boy’ audio book, she was able to tell me what it was called, yet what came out of her pencil when she wrote about it in to her diary was ‘Billy the Miner Boy’, to which both she and I were quite surprised to discover. I’m worried that there is something else going on with her but I’m not sure what, perhaps dyslexia or maybe something else, I don’t know. What I do know though is that she shouldn’t have got to year 5 without having her learning difficulties formally investigated. To my knowledge, she has never been assessed by an Educational Psychologist or any other learning specialist in school despite me asking teachers about a statement/EHCP since she was in year 1. However, despite all her difficulties she never gives up, constantly strives to succeed and really glows with pride when she does. Middle girl is fantastic at concentrating, she can really immerse herself in her work and enjoy it. She’s picked up multiplication really well but still struggles with her phonics/reading. I’ve bought the Toe by Toe reading programme in the hope that this will help her. She is absolutely loving dance class and her swimming has improved dramatically! Her speech is more fluent, her word finding has improved and her ability to say ‘I cant think of the word’ (rather than remaining silent), demonstrating her confidence, has been lovely to hear. She’s been doing a lot of imaginative play with baby girl, and whilst sometimes she can still be a little awkward with her play, she is certainly improving and enjoying her new ability to just relax and have fun.

Baby girl is, well baby girl. Cheeky and sassy and generally full on. She needs constant re-focusing and gets bored with ‘work’ very easily. She rushes everything, makes lots of silly mistakes and is always eager to get on to the next task so she can go and play. She is really enjoying learning new things though and often tells me about some interesting fact she’s read in a book. She is no longer obsessively collecting things, she is sleeping better, she is playing nicer and she is enjoying life. However, I think she’d really like it if we just watched TV, ate cake and cuddled her teddies all day 🙂

Big girl is so much happier, she no longer rages, she no longer self harms and she actually enjoys maths! She’s got quite good at it as well, which is lucky because I’ve needed her to explain subtraction with carrying to me so that I could help her sisters with their homework! There are still lots of gaps in her learning, so for example whilst she now knows all 12 of her times tables, 12hr and 24hr clock, she still struggles to use basic number bonds, for example she’d still use her fingers to add 10+5 or 6+4 etc. Her self confidence has improved massively too, she knows she’s better at things and she feels proud of those achievements and likes to tell people how proud she feels. She’s really enjoying the weekly dance class they all attend is happy to confidently demonstrate her new moves to family. Her reading has come on brilliantly too, she’s not only moved on to harder books but her comprehension has improved and she is really enjoying the stories she reads, taking real care with her choices of book when we visit the library.

So that’s us and our first academic year of home education! I have a lot more grey hairs and the circles under my eyes are darker, I have a billion unanswered emails, my to do list is getting ridiculous and the dust in my house has its own dust, but the girls are positively flourishing so its all worth while. For now, we’ll be taking a deep breath and pausing for summer 🙂

I will try my hardest to write more here, but I urge you to come follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I update those with regular little snippets because its quicker 🙂

 

 

 

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