School is back in session and Sam is thrilled! It’s where he sees friends, where he has adapted toys to play with, and equipment he can access.
Fortunately, he goes to a very special school; it is one in a million.
When I was pregnant, I imagined walking my child to school, chatting with other parents at the gates, and listening proudly as my little chap told me all about his day in that wonderfully excitable way little ones do when they feel like it.
But that wasn’t to be. When at he started nursery at a SEN primary, it was a terrible wrench sending him on a wheelchair taxi without me or his Dad –his Nana however was his assistant, making the transition a little easier.
Then we moved, and he changed school. New taxi, new driver and new assistant. He didn’t know them; would he be ok? Would they understand him, keep him safe when the seizures hit and comfort him after?
I was a mess of anxiety, and then we met them.
Before coming to collect him at the start of term, his new people came to visit. They obviously cared greatly for these amazing children, and understood why this Mama was so antsy; after all, I was being asked to trust these people with the most precious person in my world.
In the 3 years Sam has been at this school he’s had several different drivers and assistants. They have all been lovely and have all come to care very much for their young passengers – one Easter, knowing that he was nil by mouth, his assistant bought him a fabulous, gigantic balloon and I don’t think there was ever a child as excited! Sam’s drivers and assistants become like family, phoning to ask if he’s ok when he’s poorly, or if he’s been upset in the taxi.
But it isn’t what we imagined taking our son to school would be like.
If I’m really honest, it makes me sad on a level that goes to the bone. For us there’s no attempting to persuade an uncooperative child to get dressed in time to leave, no mad dash out of the door to make it to the school gates in time.
It’s a much calmer affair, Sam usually snoring softly through being dressed and given breakfast (the joys of having a tubie), and a gentle stroll out with his assistant to his waiting taxi. While deeply grateful, it’s a reminder of how life is different to what we expected.