Sunday, August 30, 2009

Comfort in a Plan

I've made a plan. I suppose the plan only give me comfort... not Matthew. He only knows that Monday morning means school and has been wracked with stress and tears off and on all weekend. But I have a plan and it empowers me. I will be doing something, rather then sitting back watching my child in agony over what most kids find normal.

I have written a letter to his teacher.

Dear Mrs. ,

As you have noticed, Matthew is feeling very anxious about school. This has been an issue in the past and he is doing better then before. That said, he is still experiencing difficulty and we are trying to come up with some solutions to help with his transition.

Currently, Matthew is finding recess to be especially difficult. He is overwhelmed by the noise and activity. He has told me that he sits on the stairs and cries until the bell rings. I am hoping that with a bit of support, we can make recess more enjoyable and hopefully school less stressful.

He has told me that he is scared without an adult that he knows amongst all the children. I have told him that there are adult supervisors (with the orange vests) outside but he is too anxious to seek them out. I was wondering if it were possible for you to introduce him to one of the supervisors at the start of recess. I am assuming that the supervisors change either daily or weekly, but an introduction to another adult may help him to seek out the supervisor next time.

I have chatted with another Mom of a boy in your class who is also new to the school and is feeling lost. I am trying to get the boys together for a short play date this week to see if both boys could benefit from a friendship. I was wondering if you would be able to encourage that friendship at recess.

We are also working at home to help ease his transition. We talk about school and listen to his fears. He knows that he will not be allowed to stop going to school and that we hold education, schools and teachers in high regards. We stay positive and try to point out the successes he has had already. We are going to start tracking on a calendar when he has a successful morning or afternoon to show him that he is having fun and that each week, hopefully, he will be having more success.

We are also contacting some support people we have used in the past to see if they have any new coping strategies for Matthew to try.

We would be grateful for any suggestions from you as to what else we can be doing at home to help out. Please feel free to contact me at

So Monday morning at 7:55 am I am going to call the school and see if I can talk with his teacher. Failing that (or maybe just because) I will send the letter onwards to her.

I am also going to try to talk to the other boy's mom and see if he can come over Monday afterschool.

I am also going to call his o/t from last yr and see if he has any suggestions. If he can help, we would gladly pay for private sessions. I have searched for pressure shirts (deep pressure vests, weighted vests and compression shirts) with little luck. I am going to ask if the o/t has any leads.

I am also going to call his psychologist from last year and see what she can offer.

I feel better. Unfortunately, Matthew, does not.


Always A Party..... said...

Although I am sorry to hear of your troubles I think you have a great plan Joanne. I will keep my fingers crossed that thing will work out better soon.

Jennifer said...

Looks like a good plan, that may in short time help Matthew feel better as well. I hope this works. I like the intro to the supervisor idea. That could really help him feel more at ease outside. Keeping my thoughts with you guys. Good Luck today.

Sara said...

Your plan sounds very good Jo-Ann. I am hoping with all of my heart that it works and that Matthew will begin to enjoy the school experience much more. Best of luck with all of this. xx

Jaye @ said...

I feel sad for Matthew but then I also feel a great sense of relief. He is so blessed to have you advocating for him at all times.

I know you are doing so much good and I believe it is all going to work out. You should be so proud of yourself and Matthew alike. He's come a long way and it will only get better.

I can't wait to find out if the boys hit it off. :)

Sue said...

One thing I have always admired about you -- in the short time we've known each other "cyber-ly" (haha!) -- is your clarity of mind when a problem arises. You feel what you need to feel, yes -- but then you step back, look at it full in the face, and plan your move. But all the while, you do not distance yourself from it, nor remove your feelings or compassion. I think you are approaching this splendidly -- one small step at at a time!

I've been praying that this week will show some improvement, little by little. It will take a while, I'm sure -- you know that better than anyone. But I wonder that if he knows you're taking whatever steps you can for him ... well, what better champion? That in and of itself must bring a shred of comfort at the very least.

Hang in there! Looking for a happy day ... soon!