Mental Health Concerns.We didn’t have the best start to 2009 either. Ryan’s violence continued to escalate as did my concern for his mental health. He was still very violent & disruptive. He wanted to kill everyone or himself. His head was ‘Full of zombies & voodoo’ (no he wasn’t playing computer games at this point). Several more instances and meltdowns resulted in him bolting from the house and school. This is where the Education Psychologist (EP) comes in (remember I mentioned her in Horror Friday). She first met Ryan in March 09, he was seven at this point, and she agreed that he was a very challenging boy. The EP provided a very detailed report on her day spent observing him and offered some excellent advice and strategies for managing the situation going forward. Things did improve slightly for April and one of the strategies of Ryan being moved ‘up’ a class for his Maths seemed to work well. Giving Ryan some much needed boost to his self esteem. Oh I do have a knack of speaking too soon don’t I...
Violent Meltdown - White Rabbits.
I still to this day do not know what triggered a major violent meltdown on the morning of 27 April 2009 as I tried to get him ready for school. It took both DadiSkilts & I to get him ready and to school after both of us being thoroughly punched, kicked, head-butted and called numerous obscenities. As soon we got out of the car at the school gates he attempted to bolt but was managed to be headed off by a teacher and crossing patrol.
The head (Mr J) took Ryan into the staff room where he eventually managed to calm down, so DS and I left. A short time later Mr J went to answer a phone call at which point Ryan managed to climb out of the window and went missing. We were called and so were the police. Ryan was eventually found in a local park right up at the top of a very tall conifer tree where he could be heard repeating over and over “Hurt is good, it cleans the soul”.
Mr J tried to coax him down but he sat rocking back and forth repeating “White Rabbits” over and over. He refused to come to me and eventually another parent, who lived locally, managed to convince him to go with her instead. I don't know how she managed it, but she got him to come down from that tree. The EP saw Ryan urgently the following day for a follow up and it was here we agreed that Ryan would benefit from a restricted school timetable and that I would home-school him for a while. We would continue to try Ryan in school during the mornings, as overall he seemed better able to cope in the mornings, to get some formal education and access to social situations and would come home at lunch time.
The ½ days worked well and were the start of a positive change for all of us. Ryan began to really open up to me on one of our afternoon sessions about how much he hates school and that the ‘Good days’ are only because he puts himself into a ‘pretend world’. SNAP Cymru also became involved and were a great deal of support to me.
Home education should not be seen as an 'easy way out'. For some it is definitely the best option, for me I was not confident in being his formal teacher although capable of doing so at least temporarily. If you think homeschooling is right for you then the NAS provides some really good advice on their website. I also have a Pinterest board on Homeschooling with lots of lesson ideas, tips and advice.