A few weeks before Christmas last year, Samuel started school. Yes, my boy is a school boy now!
As you might expect it’s a specialist school which offers Samuel fantastic medical support but in a school environment where he takes part in all sorts of activities from sensory play, songs (there is lots of singing in his class), stories, crafting (Samuel’s school seem to like to use A LOT of glitter!) to baking (although we never saw the shortbread he helped to make as they got burnt in the oven!).
The school put on a fantastic little Christmas play which was really fun to watch. And although he didn’t have a starring role, Samuel did fulfill a very important role on the stage as an elf. Samuel the Elf.
But there is so much more to Samuel’s school than that. He now has weekly hydrotherapy sessions which he finds very relaxing, very regular physio, an occupational therapist who adjusts his special buggy when required plus finds the best equipment and seating that is appropriate for his needs, plus there are speech and language therapists who work with him on communication and sensory play.
To be honest I could go on and on about Samuel’s school. I absolutely love it. It is such a wonderful place and perfect for Samuel. Plus, although they do work the children hard (even those who try to avoid work by going to sleep), there is still plenty of cuddles given out.
The nursing team are wonderful too and very quickly seemed to understand Samuel and his epilepsy (well as much as anyone can). They aren’t fazed by him at all and do everything they can to make sure he’s content and comfortable every day.
Unfortunately though, Samuel’s attendance has not been great. Perhaps it has been because of being in a new environment, but Samuel has been catching quite a lot of bugs and developed infections since the start of the year. I started referring to him to his teacher as ‘Sicknote’! But when he’s in school they look after him really well and do so much with him.
He’s even been awarded two certificates which were given to him by the Principal during assembly.
And you know, there was a time that we never dared dream of Samuel going to school. Who would have thought that a child as complex as Samuel would be going to school four days a week?! But here he is going to school on his own on the minibus (he travels with two Passenger Assistants) like a big boy.
I can’t tell you just how proud we are of our special, brave and gorgeous little boy.