The floor of DS1’s bedroom is awash with pieces of paper – drawings, song lyrics, made-up family trees – he’s kneeling on the carpet frantically moving them around, engrossed in whatever game he is playing. He has been ensconced in his room for the best part of three days now, only leaving it to go to the toilet. “Shall we go out?” I ask, feeling trapped in the house. “No way! N. O. W. A.

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As we enter the theatre for the event of the year – Horrible Histories live on stage, DS1 becomes agitated, dithering over the best place to sit (I’ve never been to a Ryanair version of a theatre before). Eventually we take our seats, DS1 seemingly happy with our vantage point. He sits hunched up in his chair. Any attempt to speak to him is met with a “shut up” and a flick of his hand.

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Just before the Easter break we had our end of term catch up with DS1’s teacher to go through how he was progressing against the targets set in his IEP, which forms part of the overall EHCP. Which is as easy as ABC. One of the ‘outcomes’ the school is working on is helping DS1 to ‘manage his emotions’. The ‘small step target’ is for him to identify two emotions – worried and upset –

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As we come out of school, the wheel of DS1’s scooter gets caught in a drain and he hits the ground with a thump. Before I can check if he is alright he is up and swinging a roundhouse punch at me, which luckily I manage to deflect. “Hey, what was that for?” I ask. “Serves you right.” “So it was my fault that your scooter got stuck in a drain and you fell off?”

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