Today was forest school, and Rye really does seem to struggle with group situations. He clings to me and hides his head if he's spoken to; he is a reluctant participant and constantly needs jollying along.... I confess my patience did wear thin when he, another young girl and the assistant, (not many at FS today because of lots of illness) went for a walk to find things to make a hedgehog with. The older children went off looking for firewood. Anyway, all along the walk Rye kept saying, "I don't want to," and being generally very whiney. I am not a patient woman with whinning, irritates the buggery bollocks out of me. Still, I managed to get a few smiles out of him; and he did sort of join in. The assistant decided to take us on a longer walk than initially planned, in many ways she was showing me around Brockhill, wow, so much bigger than I realised. Anyway, she took us to a large fallen down oak, the idea being the kids could play and climb on it.
I hate to say it about my own child, but he was pathetic. It took him forever to get on the log, and it was perfectly within his abilities. I offered to help, he whined at me. Then once on it, he clung to it and whined he was scared he'd fall off. His anxiety had kicked in, and I know when it does, he becomes rather unmanagable. I did manage to spark his interest in the patterns in the log where the knots etc where; but then we got down to go and have a look at another tree, this one a living oak, but with a huge hole in it, big enough for a child to go inside.
Rye had another anxiety attack, and was deliberately working himself up. Sigh, I confess my patience snapped at that point and I took him to one side and told him to pack it in, that I did not expect him to go inside the hole in the tree if he didn't want to, but he was to have a look...oh and, "I do not want to hear you say for the rest of the day, Rye, "I don't want to". " Saying that, it does seem to have knocked him off the spiral into uncooperativeness, because after that he was a bit better; and even asked if he could stroke a sheep - even if he did change his mind when one did stand still and let us touch it.
Back at the Forest School area the older kids were still foraging for firewood, so the younger 2 got on with making their hedgehogs, once he started doing that, Rye began to blossom, could almost see him relaxing and starting to enjoy himself. It did spark an idea; and I wonder if he might find it easier to join in, in future, if he's given a piece of clay to play with and manipulate right at the beginning of the session - perhaps that will ease the anxiety?
|He has a piece of wood that's sort of rocket shape and he was rubbing it along the log, Anna is talking to him about it|
Once we reached the playpark area, Rye ate his sandwiches and then ran off to play; it was familiar and he was happy.
I need to get him out in the countryside more though; today it was kinda like he'd lost his affinity for nature and being able to use nature as a "playpark" He wouldn't climb the fallen log, but he'd climb really high on the climbing frames in the park etc... and I mentioned I might take him to soft play tomorrow afternoon after I've picked up the mindie from nursery; and then said, "Oooh actually, we might go down to the coastal park instead"...and he wailed, and said he didn't want to go and wanted to go to soft play instead... I was, I admit shocked.
An illuminating day; it was really good and Rye has enjoyed himself, and it was lovely to be out and about in the countryside; it was simply a day that also highlighted some of Rye's traits that does suggest to me he's on the spectrum.