It was a busy day yesterday, starting with a meeting at Missy's school regarding her Personal Education Plan (PEP). The meeting was at 9.30 although due to snow and traffic issues, the SW and Advisory Teacher from the LA didn't make it til 10.30! Thankfully Missy's teacher was very understanding and we had a good chat in the meantime. All Looked After Children have to have an PEP (Missy is still a LAC as we have not formally adopted her yet). The point of the PEP is to provide a teaching and learning provision to meet the educational and other needs of the child.
The meeting lasted an hour during which Missy's teacher ran through her thoughts about Missy, how she settled in, what she liked/disliked, her hunger issue etc. The SW and I outlined some of Missy's issues and we all discussed how the school can support Missy. We looked at the curriculum and highlighted a couple of points such as family tree and Mothers Day work which the class will do. What people may feel are innocent and fun subjects can actually stir up a whole load of stuff for adopted and fostered children. I think it was a good meeting and a few things I was going to bring up were already highlighted by the teacher. I like her, despite not having worked with LAC, she is on the ball. I also gave her and the Head a copy of Education Now, an educational supplement put together by Adoption UK, for which they were grateful.
After the meeting I had time to rush home, have a coffee and a quick bite to eat before heading back to school to pick up Missy for her Theraplay appointment. Missy had fallen over in the snow and proudly showed me her plaster. Unfortunately her tights were still wet so the TA had put her in boys socks. Luckily I had her gym leggings in my bag so changed her into those.
I had previously explained to Missy that we were visiting a lovely lady who worked with other youngsters who had found new families and could help Missy with some of her worries, and that lovely lady was going to play with her. The point of Theraplay is to enhance and build attachment, self-esteem, trust in others and 'joyful engagement'.
All Missy was interested was whether there would be colouring pencils. We all sat on a rug and started by drawing round Missy's hands and making hand prints to illustrate that only she has those hands and that she is an indvidiual. Then the therapist started to play a few games, all designed to help regulate sensory issues. Missy was more interested in the toys around the room and looked a little confused as to why we were doing these silly games. When it came to hiding a toy in the sandpit, Missy got annoyed that I was looking but the therapist explained we were working as a team. We then finished with a biscuit game (of course, Missy had already clocked the biscuits). We both had to but a ring shaped biscuit on our fingers with Missy nibbling round my biscuit and me nibbling around hers, trying not to break it. No surprises this was Missy's favourite game. We've got another 8 sessions so only time will tell how successful it is.
After Theraplay it was time for gymnastics. Missy can now manage a forward roll of sorts and was happy jumping off some apparatus on to a mat, which I think is fabulous. She's never going to be a Beth Tweddle (I'll probably eat my words in ten years) as she doesn't concentrate or really take it properly what is being demonstrated, but the fact is she is getting exercise, she's interacting with other children and it is boosting her confidence.
So, by the end of the day I was exhausted, let alone Missy. No surprises she was asleep by 7pm and I was falling asleep on the sofa at 9.30pm.