As you know, my youngest son Kyrylo has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PSTD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a person has been through a traumatic event. Kyrylo experienced such traumas while he was still in Ukraine and when he came to the UK with his parents, he unfortunately was sexually abused by them. I have had Kyrylo in my care for the last 4 years. (Since he was 2) He was first on a Police Protection Order, then a Child Protection Order. Kyle and I fostered him for the duration and was recommended to adopt him 2 years ago. It’s been a hard 4 years, with the amount of therapy he has been through and several attendances to A&E, when he is that traumatised that we have had to call for an ambulance, when he’s been at his worse.
He is getting better, which is good. However, we needed to find a way for staff at school, to identify when he is having a flashback or an attack of his PTSD. Last Thursday, he had an attack, where he could see his abusers (even though they were not there) and became very frightened and aggressive. He knocked over pencil pots on the tables, sent books flying etc and ran out the classroom screeching “leave me alone!” He also sent foam all over the place when he was running, by letting off a fire extinguisher. Thankfully, his 1 – 1 Helper used the phone on the wall by the whiteboard and asked reception to page me. I found Kyrylo in the toilets near the Canteen, where he was extremely exhausted by the trauma, that he had fallen asleep; sat leaning against the divide by the door. I carried him to Sick Bay, where he could rest and get over the attack. A couple of hours later, I went up to Sick Bay to see him. He’d just woken up and was really confused of how he got to Sick Bay. He could not remember the attack when I asked him about it. It was then, I realised we needed to think of a way, so that if he feels an attack coming on, we can get him the best care.
So that’s where the K.R.I.S Protocol (Kyrylo Requires Immediate Support) come into play. If he feels an attack coming on, he can raise his hand and say that he does not feel well and may he go to Sick Bay. Then his 1 – 1 helper will escort him to Sick Bay where he can be properly monitored. If a Teacher or a Teaching Assistant notices that Kyrylo is figgity or is staring into space, or is acting out of character, they will ask Kyrylo if he feels he needs to Sick Bay. If he feels he needs to leave class, he will be escorted as normal. Either way, if he goes to Sick Bay and he is in distress, either myself, Kyle or Jenny will be called. All staff are aware of the protocol and know how to implement it, if required.
Kyrylo already has what is called a “Day Bed” in A Bay on Sick Bay, because of his Narcolepsy. (A condition where he falls asleep suddenly) Special arrangements have been made, so he does 2 hours in the Classroom and the rest of the day is done in Sick bay, with his One to One. We have this arrangement with our school SENCO, (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) Kyrylo, The Head Of Care (Kyle) and the Head. it means that Kyrylo can do his work, but if he falls asleep suddenly, he can be laid down to rest and be kept an eye on, at the same time. Of course, the main things is, that this arrangement takes into account his physical health needs and keeping him safe. he does not have a fixed time when he is up on Sick Bay. For most lessons, we are flexible, where he has the choice of Sick Bay or the Classroom. (However, this is restricted to 2 hours, so that he can rest if needed. He goes outside for playtime, with his 1 – 1, but unfortunately, he has to sit in a wheelchair to do this; to prevent injury if he suddenly fell asleep, fell and seriously injured himself in the process. He can access his “day bed” from 8am – 6p m Monday to Friday and this is an “open access” arrangement.
At home, he has a much earlier bedtime that the rest of the boys, (which he does not mind) and we have had to restrict some activities, where it needs 2 on 1 support. (IE: Swimming, where there is the higher risk of drowning)
Kyrylo requires a lot of support, as he has literally been to hell and back. He is lucky though, because he has 2 great parents, a family who love him very much and a school that is not there because the kids who attend have special needs, but because it is full of very special children, in a school that is full of love and understanding, where we care and share. It’s a lovely thought, don’t you think?
I am now going to a rehearsal for the Annual School Summer Talent Show, (which is being held at the end of term. That is not far away, only a few weeks!) I am doing a duet with my oldest son Josh. (The song is not a duet as such, but to help his confidence, I am singing it with him.) The Talent Show is really good and has all sorts of acts, from juggling, magic acts, singers, dancers and much more! Josh and I are singing a track by The Cranberries, called Zombie. If you have never heard the song before, have a look at the below video.