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I Think It’s Time to ‘Discuss Things’

January 29, 2010

Today was the day.  I arranged a meeting with Chipmunk’s SENCO to generally catch up, and also to question the lack of communication that seems to be happening (or not happening) right now.  The meeting was scheduled, as always, for twenty minutes before the end of school, so that I could pick Chipmunk up straight away, and wouldn’t have to make another trip especially (the school is about a 20 minute drive away).

I got there at the allotted time, to be asked to wait a few minutes, because he was taking assembly.  Umm, surely he knew when he called me yesterday to arrange the meeting that he would be in assembly at that time today?  Particularly because it was a special assembly that had been in the diary for a while?  I was irritated – but not having much choice in the matter, I had to agree.

Eventually, he shows up.  More than ten minutes late.  Leaving me with about eight minutes to discuss everything with him when I should have had 20.  At this point, I am not impressed.  I am even less impressed when he stops every so often on the way to his office, to have a chat with various parents coming out of the hall after the assembly.  Grr.

Eventually, we managed to start the meeting.  I have to say, the outcome was very positive.  I expressed my concerns about the lack of communication.  About how Chipmunk’s link book was not being filled in.  How I was concerned that if nobody was writing in it, nobody was reading it either, and that I had put some important information in there.  About how his Special Needs TA seemed unaware of his physio report, and therefore of his mobility and possible vision problems.  In fact, the SENCO had not really understood that Chipmunk has an issue with gauging depth/height etc, either.  He took all of this on board.   He was actually much more serious than usual, keeping the conversation focused solely on Chipmunk and his needs, rather than going off on various other tangents, as is the norm.  I hope this means that things will actually get done.

He thinks that it would be a good idea to set up a CAF – where all the professionals involved with Chipmunk can get together to talk face to face, and ensure that nobody is being left out of the loop, and everybody knows what they are supposed to be doing.  He is also going to see if he can get Chipmunk referred to CAHMS – a children’s mental health service.  This is to see if we can get to the bottom of his hallucinations.  Yes, it’s great the the EEG was clear, but finding out the cause would be better!  He also agrees with the opinion of the assessor from Spurgeon’s that a social worker would be an asset, so that we always have a point of contact for the many and varied agencies involved with Chipmunk!

The SENCO ended up with pages of pencilled notes to be typed up, and the meeting actually seemed to end on a really positive note.  He is going to call me next week and let me know the situation as regards setting up the CAF.

Of course, this all took far longer than the eight minutes we had left of the meeting time, so when I got into the playground, Chipmunk was standing on the classroom steps with his Friday teacher, looking worried.  (Chipmunk loves his Friday teacher.  He is one of the few male influences in the school, and he is just great with the kids.  His parting shot to Chipmunk was:  “Goodbye Chipmunk, missing you already!”).  And wouldn’t you know it?  Chipmunk had clutched in his hand, a piece of paper with the link information on it – he didn’t have the book, as I had taken it to illustrate to the SENCO how the information wasn’t being passed on.  Oops.  Oh well, my point is still valid – it’s the first time the teacher has filled it in for over a month!

I guess time will tell if things get better this time.  Here’s hoping!

Picture courtesy GavinBell
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