Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 7: no spinning, but not a day of rest...and a (long!) rant

At the end of the first week of the Tour de Fleece, I am a little disappointed that I didn't get the second bobbin of my Turtle Sky Navajo Churro spun - I did get about half an hour of spinning in today but my hand was just so painful that I couldn't do any more, and decided that resting it was a better idea.

However, just because I wasn't spinning didn't mean I had idle hands (something I can't stand) - I got some more of the Bunny Love Mk. II (Rainbow Edition) mitten done:

This rather bright baby's plain-Jane mate will be visiting Bendigo with Charly on the Ixchel stand:

Hopefully tomorrow I will be back in full spinning mode, because I'm on a roll and my spinning mojo is running hot! :) I want to at least finish the skein of Turtle Sky before the first official rest day on Monday - the rate I'm spinning at the moment it will probably take me till the end of the weekend to finish it, and I plan to spend Monday on fibre prep for the rest of the Tour (and maybe get some more of the Rainbow Edition mitten done). 

Speaking of bunnies, I have been thinking about it for a while, and have decided that I need a couple of rabbits again :) I had a black dwarf lop rabbit for a while who was just the most awesome, attitudinous bunneh EVAR, his name was Shadow:

Dontcha just LOVE those adorable footsies? :D I miss having a furry little bundle of attitude around, and have decided that I need a couple of bunnies (they are very social animals so do better with a companion) - this time however, I want to get bunnies with fluff that I can spin as an added bonus. I love how the Universe works with me when I am on the right track with something - within less than an hour of deciding that I needed bunnies, I had someone offer me not one, but two rabbit houses (one 2 storey one and one for outside time that can be moved around), so I'm taking that as a big fat "YES" on the bunny idea ;) And of course if I have bunnies (I'm thinking English Angora or maybe cashmere lop, as I have been told their fluff is also good for spinning), there will be plenty of excuses for gratuitous cute bunnehpix ;) 

Guess I better get my butt into gear and get the backyard sorted out so that it's fit for bunnies and the dogs won't be able to eat them! At least I know the cats won't bother them, they're well used to rabbits because they grew up with Shadow; he even taught one of the cats how to do binkies, and they used to chase each other up and down the hallway - on the way up, it would be Neko chasing Shadow (and there would be much bouncing noise and scrambling claws on the solid wood floor), then Shadow would suddenly turn on his heels and bounce madly after Neko, who would hotfoot it back down the hall to the kitchen with the black ball of attitude in hot pursuit! :D And the victory dance Shadow would do after chasing Neko back out of the hallway was hilarious - binkies in circles like "oh yeah, oh yeah, who's the bunny boss?" LOL :) 

So yeah, anyway, I want bunnies again. In other news this week, we have made some progress on trying to get Ethan (my 7yo) tested - his teachers and I have been saying for 2 years that he is high functioning autistic (and I would know, because two other members of his immediate family are also high functioning autistic, and I'm one of them) but the system here is ridiculously slow. Because he is over 5 years old, he is not considered a priority for assessment - here, the focus is on the under 5's because they have not yet entered the school system and the policy is one of early intervention to assist them to function as normally as possible in the school environment. But because Ethan is 7, it will take us 18 months to be given an appointment for the assessment to even START >.< Which means that in the meantime, his education suffers because he is spending so much time at home after being suspended for his behaviour (which all the staff including the principal who has to hand out the suspensions agree, is classic textbook autistic behaviour, but until we have a proper assessment and diagnosis, they cannot treat him as if he is autistic - the system says that they have to treat him as if he is just a problem kid with behaviour issues or bad parenting, neither of which, everyone agrees, is the case). 

So Ethan has spent over 30 days this term at home due to suspensions, because he doesn't like change, and because he will fly off the handle at the smallest provocation from other kids (who KNOW he does it so they poke him to make it worse) and then without warning, will explode and trash the entire classroom or hurt other kids or punch the teacher, and generally cause a major scene requiring either the removal of the entire class from the classroom until he calms down enough to be removed (which often takes up to an hour, and means that the rest of the kids in the class lose an hour of class time because the staff are not allowed to actually physically manhandle Ethan or remove him from a classroom, they are only allowed to restrain him if he starts hurting people or damaging property). And it has now got to the point where the principal has said he has to only do half days at school - which means that I am stuck at home unable to do anything but supervise him for the rest of the day when he comes home after morning recess, until they decide to bring him back up to full days slowly. Don't even get me STARTED on how ineffective and stupid the school's policy is for kids like Ethan (or the whole damn SYSTEM for that matter in recognising and dealing with issues like autism)...

*AHEM*. OK so I started saying that we had made some progress and then got sidetracked into my rant....but the Fremantle Behaviour Centre have been observing Ethan's behaviour in the classroom when he has actually been at school (ie, for a day or two in between suspensions at most), and they are going to put everything they have observed into a report to be sent to Southwell (the child development centre who told me they can't see him for 18 months because he's not a "priority") to try and hurry things along a bit, because they are very firmly of the opinion that he IS high functioning autistic (to which I say, "well DUH!" because I have only been trying to tell the school and the system that and get him assessed for nearly a year already).

I will also be contacting my local MP to explain the situation to them, because seriously, how the HELL is it helping Ethan to cope with school or get an education so he won't be miles behind his peers, when the goddamn school won't even let him ATTEND because they just plain aren't equipped to deal with his behaviour because they don't have a diagnosis on paper, and won't have one for at least another year or more? I am on disability, which means that I am not capable of keeping him at home all the time because of my illnesses, and yet I am still expected to do this and there is absolutely NO support for either Ethan or myself while he is stuck waiting for some so-called "child expert" to tell me the same thing that I have been trying to tell THEM for the last two years - that's just bloody ridiculous. I mean you would THINK that the fact that he has a sibling AND a parent who are diagnosed as high functioning autistic, and the fact that the principal of his school and several of the staff, all of whom are trained to recognise various forms of autism and several other disorders, have said they think he is autistic; and that the Behaviour Centre have also said that in their opinion he is autistic, would count for SOMETHING in getting the assessment to happen a bit sooner, no? Well apparently it doesn't, so excuse me if I'm one VERY pissed off parent whose kid is being penalised unfairly with suspensions that even the principal (who GIVES them) says he doesn't deserve and she feels bad about giving them - hell, even SHE said that suspensions are not going to help him, but that it's all the school can do because they can't deal with him and can't change their tactics until he has been officially diagnosed >.< And the fact that I, the high functioning autistic parent of not only Ethan but another high functioning autistic child who also lives with me, am supposed to just drop everything to keep Ethan at home when I have enough difficulty dealing with my own day to day stuff (not to mention the fact that I have other permanent disabilities that make taking care of a high-needs child like Ethan even more difficult), AND to do it without any support (because I can't GET any until he is officially diagnosed, which will not happen until he starts the assessment process that we have to wait 18 months to get an appointment for), is just beyond belief. I can't even get any financial support for having a special needs child until he gets the diagnosis because of course, I have to provide proof to Centrelink of his needs before they can grant a payment, so in the meantime for however long it takes for us to get an appointment and the assessment process to be completed, we are all just struggling.

And they wonder why I get so pissed at them on the phone when they tell me they can't do anything >.<

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