When you have a child who cannot tell you about his school day, you rely very much on the feedback which comes back from school and also from the escort who accompanies him to and from school, as they have the school gates experience that we parents miss out on. Joshua’s passenger assistant always reports briefly on what she has understood the day to entail and on Monday I was told ‘ he has been asleep virtually all afternoon’. My heart sank and I jokingly told him off as we walked back to the house from the taxi. Once he had his coat off and his Show on, I checked his home/school diary, where I was surprised to read that JOshua had swum in the monring despite his late arrival from respite, then he had enjoyed physio and time in Music. There was no mention of sleep so I was confused as to what had actually gone on.
I queried it with his teacher and again with PA yesterday morning. Joshua cannot tell me and so I rely on accurate information as it has a bearing on how well he is likely to sleep, how hungry he might be if he skipped lunch as he has been doing lately and whether or not he has seemed to be brewing a seizure? These are all essential pieces of information and I like to know them plus some anecdotal tales from the day so that I can get a sense of the day and the activities. I love to read about something cheeky Joshua did or him interacting with another child, when that happens. It is true that a picture can say 1000 words and photographs in his diary are a real gift and pleasure.
But having helped in the classroom, I know how full on the days are and even with just ten pupils in the class, if a teaching assistant takes just 5 minutes to write in each diary, that amounts to 50 minutes and no member of staff can really be spared for that long, so it must be a necessary evil for school to manage. I have recently received the equivalent diary from Joshua’s respite provision which is incredibly detailed, which is the next best thing to being there with Joshua! But I realise that they have the luxury of time to write it over a full weekend and the staffing to child ratio is much higher than at school.
Sadly however, though I understand school’s predicament and their need to put the children ahead of the diary, my need, not desire, for detailed information is paramount. And in the main, I get the information in his diary that I need and I love the fact that it is almost always positive even if he has slept all day!