Last Wednesday I went to pick Jack up from school as usual and before he even came out the vice-principal caught me and asked if I had time for a chat. So of course l was caught a little off-guard by this?
Next thing Jack comes out and his nose is all scraped, so I suddenly think they must want to tell me what happened. All the time my mind is racing did someone push him over, did he fall, surely he wasn’t fighting. I asked jack what happened to his nose and he said he didn’t know. This has happened before when Jack has got hurt, I have to drag the information out of him.
When we got into the room Jack and Lucy sat outside then the vice-principal and resources teacher start telling me that when Jack went to his resources teacher first thing this morning, that he was really withdrawn and looked like he had been crying, and quite upset, and they began asking me how things were at home.
It suddenly dawned on me that he must have got hurt before school started this morning. I asked them if he came into school like that and they said yes. Apparently, the teachers had asked Jack about his nose and he said he didn’t know. Jack has speech and language difficulties, he is shy and doesn’t like a fuss. So if he is in a situation where people are asking him questions, especially if it is someone like a teacher or any person outside of the family, he will do his best to get out of it.
I think the school thought this happened at home and they were concerned for his wellbeing. When they saw my concern, upset and surprise over what had happened, and I explained that he wasn’t like that when I dropped him off this morning, we came to the conclusion that something must have happened in the yard. It may have been an accident with another child or Jack simply could have fallen over, but whatever it was we had to get to the bottom of it. I told the teachers that I would speak to Jack at home and that I would come back to them.
I want to emphasise that the teachers were lovely to me and in no way accusing, they were just checking, he could have fell of his bike, had a fall at home, Lucy could have hurt him or anything at all. A child arrives at school with his nose all scraped, withdrawn, quiet and upset, and won’t tell them what has happened; of course they are going to be concerned. I am pleased and lucky that Jack is in a school where they do check these things out and are proactive about it.
When we got outside I put Lucy in the car and had a chat with Jack outside as it was going to be the only chance I would get to speak to him without Lucy interrupting. He told me he fell when running to his yard this morning.
Jack and Lucy go to two different schools, well technically they are the same but Lucy is at the girls’ school, and Jack’s the boys’ school. The two schools are next door to each other and there is a private one-way road that runs through the grounds enabling parents to drive through and drop off or park up if needs be.
The two schools start at the same time and what I have been doing recently is that I park between the two schools. I let Jack run up to his yard, which is about 20 meters away and I bring Lucy down to hers and stay with her to her bell goes. I usually wait and watch Jack until he has gone into his yard. But for some godforsaken reason, I must have got distracted and didn’t on this particular morning. As per our usual routine, after I dropped Lucy I drove past Jack’s yard and he is still lining up outside waiting for the teacher, so I beeped and waved and he gave me a wave back, so I was happy I knew they are both in school safe and sound.
I got Jack to show me exactly where he fell over. I must have only been a short distance from him when he fell but instead of coming to me or calling out to me he carried on to his yard. This is typical Jack he would have been embarrassed and picked himself up and carried on hoping no one saw him. I am so annoyed at myself for getting distracted and not watching him this particular morning. I wish he had come to me, as he knew I was only in Lucy’s yard, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t even look back for me and just carried on, he probably didn’t even realise how badly he was hurt until he got to his own yard.
As I went to leave the school that afternoon, it was just my luck that my car battery was flat, and I had no phone as it was in for repair. So I had to go back into the school, and the vice-principal, who I was talking to before kindly offered to give me a jump start. This gave me the opportunity to tell him what Jack had told me about the incident. Wednesday was not a good day!
When we got home that afternoon I had Jack up on my lap for cuddles for about an hour this is exactly what he had needed all day. We had a chat about the whole thing and how important it is to tell a grown up if he has been hurt.
It’s not the physical part of hurting himself that worries me the most, kids fall over and get hurt sometimes, and Jack maybe a bit more often than others, as dyspraxia can cause you to fall over your own feet at times. It is the emotional side of things that really worries me. He won’t tell anyone or ask for help when he’s hurt. He gets too embarrassed and doesn’t want a fuss, and then he will bottle everything up, which just isn’t healthy for a seven-year-old.
Jack has a hard time when it comes to emotions, he doesn’t like to show emotion in public. When he’s at home he has difficulty controlling them, he can get extremely angry or upset over the smallest of things. He finds it difficult to express his emotions, he can only explain as to whether something made him feel happy or sad and that is about it.
Then just to top things off, for some reason, his usual little friends haven’t been playing with him. Jack told his dad over the weekend that one of his friends had been kicking him, not enough to hurt him, but this had happened on a couple of different days. Once again it is the psychological impact this would have on Jack that worries me the most. It has taken Jack a long time to build up the friendships he has in school. I have tried to talk to him about it all but the more I try and talk to him the more he clams up about it all. He won’t talk to me at all at the moment, so I have had to back off him a bit for now. Thankfully he seems to be opening up to his dad a little more about things, which is a relief.
Jack’s normal teacher has been out this week but I have an appointment with the vice-principal tomorrow, in the meantime, I have been dropping Jack to his gate, Lucy to her school then running back up to Jack’s school just to keep an eye on him.