Well what a day! After six years as a SENCo you think you have most things covered. But I suppose variety and surprise are the excitements of the job; why we keep dragging ourselves out of bed each morning, why we are passionate about our work and of course why we are a different breed to everyone else!
Days like today make me realise why I love the job so much.
With four annual reviews, a parent at 08:30 and someone from the Local Authority after school, today’s visitor list was considerable. Before the first meeting, I put Handel’s Messiah on as loud as my small CD player would allow, to get my body and soul going for the day…then I discussed the day’s meetings and events with my secretary, Clare.
That’s pretty much my usual start to the day
Meeting with parent
The 08:30 meeting was fine; a parent looking for support with a young man in year 8. He has a Statement of SEN and we are about to have his annual review in the next few weeks. Mum however, is concerned. She’s not coping well at home. Mrs M adopted Ben when he was 7. He has attachment difficulties from early childhood trauma. I have become something of a ‘pseudo-expert’, after working with several young people with similar difficulties over the past few years.
Each case is different, individual; as all students with specific needs are. But attachment needs presenting in teenage years is difficult – for parents and carers, brothers and sisters and teachers.
I agree to work with Mrs M and Ben in a more personal capacity, helping her with boundaries at home and supporting a consistent approach at school and when he is with mum. I will be working again with a doctor who is an expert in helping young people who have attachment difficulties – we have worked together a lot over the last few years, perhaps more and more young people are experiencing these difficulties? Or maybe diagnosis is more frequent? Or perhaps young people with attachment need are choosing our school?
I know this won’t be an easy road but I feel confident that Mrs M can make the journey, with a helping hand.
The other meetings went without any significant issues. I always think that a good annual review has no surprises. If we are supporting that child’s needs well, nothing should just appear as a surprise – we should know and respond to needs as and when they occur, providing a swift response.
So a good day all round.
Time to relax with a nice glass of wine before starting some IEPs.
Attachment Disorder, as defined by John Bowlby – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bowlby