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Am I expecting too much of ds - looking after his dsis?(6 Posts)
DD1 is 9 and started middle school this month. Her older brother is in year 7 of the same school. DD is HF ASD and has an official diagnosis, her brother has lots of traits but no diagnosis. DD is apparently settling well in school - but she is struggling with the walk to and from school a bit. I have a younger dd in year 2 so I cannot take the older ones to school - dh has a long commute by train but he does sometimes walk with the older ones in the morning (part way to school) We are a short distance from the middle school 10-15 min walk.
Yesterday I asked the older ones to meet me at a coffee shop near their school in the afternoon instead of going home, as a treat I promised milkshakes. DD had had a difficult day. She had an Occ Therapy review assessment in the morning and she did well and has been discharged from the OT (she took the word 'discharged' badly though and is feeling rejected). We were both a little stressed getting her to school after the appt, and she missed the school photo session which upset her, she struggled to ensure she had all her belongings at the end of the day and as her teacher was with her then she got into trouble with her teacher for not switching her phone off in school, as it rang (my fault I called but it was outside of school hours so she should not have been told off). So then she was late meeting her brother - he got stressy trying to drag her to the coffee shop she was yelling at him about the way she had to walk home (she was convinced she had to avoid crossing the road - ds and dd knew they were meeting me).
I spoke to ds on phone and heard dd going into meltdown, so rushed to meet them. Poor dd was distraught - really wanting a milkshake and really embarrassed that she was all shouty and shaky - it was heartbreaking. so she wanted to go home and go to the coffee place - I just really regretted having the idea in the first place - it was absolutely the worst day to do it.
This is not ususal but ds has had to put up with/ manage dds tempestuous emotions before, to and from school. He has been amazing even having little races with her to encourage her to speed up and beat him home! She has made him late to school once though which bothers ds greatly and is stressing him out.
Not sure what to do? Do I get the school to come up with some support, find a way to pick up and take dd to school myself? DD2 needs support as well and I don't want to neglect her needs or ds. It just seems that dd will probably seem to be doing great at school and then take all the pent up frustration/ stress on ds and I cannot allow that. Help.
Tbh I wouldn't expect an older sibling to take charge of a sibling with ASD. My dd (ASD) is 12 and in year 8. I left her with her brothers and sister while I went out with dh for a couple of hours. Our eldest is 22 ... dd had a meltdown at bedtime and ds even at the age of 22 did not know how to handle it. Sometimes even I don't know the best thing to do in some meltdown situations. ASD behaviour can be so unpredictable that, for me, it's just not fair to ask older siblings to look after their sister.
I'm not sure how to help your situation though with regards to being at different schools at the same time. Is there a family member/friend/neighbour who can help?
Thanks frazzled - I see what you are saying - I think we are on a learning curve at the moment as dd has only had a diagnosis for a matter of months and her issues regarding school have been relatively minor - in the great scheme of things - not for dd.
As this is a new school and a new situation it is a bit ad hoc. But ds is in need of support from us and I don't want him to be burdened - I don't want dd to be stressed either - though it is going to be unavoidable after a day at school. If I can pick her up 5 mins early and then get to dd2 school it might work and there are now 2 afternoons where dd2 is in after school clubs and one where dh is home so it might be possible to pick up dd at least 3 times a week and possibly walk her to school as well if it seems necessary, but I will be rushing everyone out in the morning so getting up times (and bedtimes) may need to be earlier.
I have to keep reassessing what support dd1 needs and that is worrying.
I'm a firm believer that siblings should love and care for each other and in our family that means supporting those that are disabled. My nt children must work harder and do more than their friends who don't have siblings with difficulties. That is their life and they are for the most part proud to help and not sad about it. They don't always know what to do to help and to be honest neither do I, but for us gong the extra IS inclusion and it allows all of us to be part of our family.
I think that the school move is going to take a lot of coping with for your Dd! She is still young and is suddenly needing to be more independent!
Personally I think it sounds like she was already heading for a meltdown before she met with her brother on this occasion!
I hope she settles soon and gets the support she needs at school to manage.
Dd had a much better day. Went to school and returned with a smile on her face. While I am still getting over yesterday's excitement! The school needs to know my concerns so I will contact the Senco but I am feeling less worried about it all. I tell dd every night that "tomorrow is a new day" and I need to remember that as well.Ds has been amazing, he is happy and settled, and is coping with the sibling responsibility. Elsewhere in the country he would be the one dealing with a new school right now but here it's not till yr 9.
I am still sure there will be problems again, so I am not going to be complacent.
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