On Friday my husband and I were invited to CAMHS for the follow up appointment after J's group assessment sessions. This was a talk through of the report - allowing us to ask for more detail or explanations where necessary - and a discussion of what next.
The appointment was very quick - largely because there was no need for any "do you know why you are here" preamble, or much discussion of the next step because we are - as the two professionals put it - old hands at this now.
I feel a little deflated at what happened next.
I have always worried about direct observations, what will happen if the child is having a good day? Or if none of their particular buttons are pushed? Or if they are in an environment in which they thrive and are happy? Well, it seems that Mr J *was* happy, and chilled, and enjoyed the sessions. Whilst a lot of things were spotted - sensory seeking, needing to move all the time, rushing through tasks, poor attention span, unable to sustain social interaction - a lot of things were not.
I can't blame the staff at the assessment sessions, something like 80% of the time J is happy, and whilst he still has issues then it's the times he looses it that are the key to understanding him. If he didn't loose it during any of the sessions then it cannot be observed.
I just wish he had shown them a little more of his stressed side.
So, next is the referral to the Neuro developmental psychology team. But we already knew that! In a bit of stunning efficiency we got the appointment *before* we were told about the referral. So on Wednesday J and I get to try and cover the other 20% of him - all the stress and unhappiness that the group assessment team didn't see. That'll be fun . . .
I'm glad that there is plenty of opportunity for us, as parents, to give our observations, our experiences, and to have that recorded on the file. With the appointment so close to the last one it sort of feels like a rebuttal, but it isn't really, more of an addendum.
Just hope I managed to cover enough, give them enough insight, and help make the picture clearer and more complete.