Like most of you I’ve become a bit of a news-aholic. Sometimes I have to make an incredible effort to haul myself away from an easy to create pokeable rotation of news/ social media/ news… cycle.
I have to remind myself that – relatively speaking – we’re pretty low risk, we live in a small town in the countryside and we – broadly – move around the same people. This doesn’t mean my anxiety levels haven’t shot through the roof.
I berate myself for the hands not washed properly (before 20 seconds became a Thing)… the person I perhaps stood quite close to (before standing too close to someone was a Thing)… or that meeting which could perhaps have been done via video call (before video calling became a usual Thing).
And I’ve watched – like some far away storm approaching at speed – the impending news that the schools will close. And my heart has sunk, and my chest has tightened because – though I absolutely understand the reasoning behind it – dear God, Alex at home all the time?
I cannot over-estimate to you the importance of school in Alex’s life. He genuinely loves it.
He comes out energised.
It is stimulating for him.
It beyond doubt helps his sleep cycle.
School have the space and time to do those things we don’t have the space, time, patience, enough hands… to do with him here at home.
And they are not trying to wash and dry the laundry whilst doing it.
And for us… it is without doubt respite. A routine we cling to, and a window that we need for our sanity. He will not understand why there isn’t school. He will not understand why he isn’t with his classmates.
He will not understand why he is at home. All. The. Time.
So when the government announced today that the schools will (somehow?) stay open for those children with EHCPs…
(an Education, Health and Care Plan – every child that attends a Special School needs one, and every child with additional needs in mainstream ought to have one in order to access the extra support they need – though that is a separate post all of its own).
… I saw a chink of light.
I know this won’t be for everyone.
I’m more than aware that there are children with medical complexity and fragility for whom this wouldn’t be an option. And many others of you who just don’t feel comfortable with the idea. Which I more than understand. And this will be something we have to sanity check regularly.
So I can only speak for myself if I say that if we can retain some normalcy for Alex for as long as feels right – for us (and I think these are deeply personal times) – in this absolutely not normal of times… It may just give us the resources, the energy, to weather this.
This was me and Mummy on the way to school today. I looooove school. I love home too but it is sooooooo boring being there all the time (but don’t tell Mummy!)