Updated: Apr 26, 2021
Back to a female teacher. This teacher though was prepped by last years teacher and by ourselves bombarding the school with emails over the summer. ASD and ADHD were well prepped for as a potential.
The school year was very short this year as we all know, Sept to March. He settled into the new class very well. His new teacher had done Karate when she was younger, so they had a connection that they could talk about. Our lad loves to talk.
His new teacher continued where the last had left off, inviting fidgets, bands and movement breaks into the class. There were still incidents (and phone calls) in the year but the school again became more open to learning and adapting their format slightly as well. School assemblies were becoming an issue - so he was brought to them separately from the class. Lining up was becoming an issue, so he was made 'line leader' for the class, meaning he had a role and responsibility - this helped his behaviour. Making his movement breaks more meaningful (and physically exerting him) - he'd 'help' an SNA to move an old car tyre (something we picked up from GAA - where he really enjoyed lifting the tyres used after training to help clear up). He'd be asked to bring a collection of books from one class to another.
His teacher was very open to helping him get the best out of himself in class. She was very supportive of ourselves and if something wasn't working was engaging in how to adapt or supplement. It was a great year educationally. He started to begin to search out things to read, only the Beano mind, but it was the first time he'd proactively do it. It was a pleasure to see him go into his room for quiet time to read instead of seeking a screen.
He joined a Junior Badminton club in September as well, so his week was becoming busier than ever. Karate on a Tuesday, GAA on Wednesday, Karate on Friday, GAA on Saturday morning and Badminton Saturday afternoon. He was enjoying the activities, the exertion and the movement. The additional benefits of increasing his social circles and differing input from different coaches seemed to be doing him good as well - he would still appear to be distracted in the lessons but he held his own and was picking up some good skill development.
Christmas passed without any major upset, he was very happy with his presents and with time off school. We thought at the age of 8, this would possibly be the last year with magic for him, but it's November of the following year now and the magic is still in his eyes regarding Santa. Hopefully we'll see it through to the New Year and then maybe I'll have a small chat with him. He's getting a bit too old and I don't want to have him not speak to me for months for lying to him. I know that's how he would take it if he wound up believing his school friends. I have to balance off this with the potential guilt of finishing a wonderful belief.
In March 2020 the world seemed to stop and begin to re-set. It was almost like a computer needing to re-boot. COVID caught up with Ireland and in mid March we went into lockdown. Schools closed initially for two weeks. Then it was a month. That basically developed through to them closing for 6 months. We all formed family pods and pockets. Our social life disappeared for 3 months. No training or structured sport. Masks. Hand washing. Empty supermarkets and on-line shopping. Home schooling and homework Apps were the only connection with school. I cover this a lot more in the COVID piece.