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Simmerville web proudly introduces Lucy Test of Mayfair Plaza, with a series articles about living with a special child. She will share her experience from bringing up Jack, her child who suffers from learning difficulties.
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Life With a Special Child [4]
March 7, 2003 - by Lucy Test, Mayfair Plaza

Lucy Test is sharing experiences from her own life. If you missed the beginning of her true story, please click here. To be continnued next month.

P   a   r   t       f   o   u   r   : 

M   o   v   i   n   g       H   o   m   e

Recently due to power failures and the Councilís inability to keep Sim Dale running smoothly Alex, the children and I moved to Mayfair Plaza.  This meant changing the childrenís school.

Jack hated the move, hated leaving his home that he knew and for the first week after moving in to our new home Jack was a nightmare to handle.  He was constantly in a bad mood and was fighting with the other children.  I also had to get a new job.  The local elementary school were happy to accept Jack, based on the reports from his old school, but the first term was difficult, his grades kept slipping and he couldnít concentrate.  Alex and I discussed home schooling him again, but with me back at work this would have been difficult.  Thankfully Jack managed to settle after his old classroom assistant was brought in from Sim Dale to help Jack with the transition.

Children Like Jack need a lot of extra attention and at times he can be quite difficult, especially when they have disruption in their lives.  We tried to make Jackís room in our new house as similar to his old as we could, and I think that has helped him to adjust.  The other children havenít had as much difficulty in settling into our new neighbourhood and have already made friends with some of the other children, but Jack remains withdrawn and somewhat isolated.  His best friend is his brother Adam and I have to say that Adam has been wonderful with Jack, often spending all afternoon with him after they get home from school.  

Just after we moved I became pregnant again and this was something else that put additional strain on things at home as the baby hadnít been planned. I was happy about it, but Alex seemed to pull away somewhat from the family.

Shortly after Jack had settled into a routine at home and school I discovered Alex was seeing someone else.  He has moved out of the family home the day after our daughter Deanna was born, and now lives with his girlfriend Saskia and their daughter Lucinda.  All the children reacted badly to Alex leaving, Natalie was always very close to her father and I know she misses him very much.  For Jack the disruption of his father leaving the house has been very traumatic.  He is very unsure of things, and often tantrums if I leave him alone.  He needs a lot of reassurance at the moment, as he is afraid that I will leave too.  Jackís behaviour since Alex left has deteriorated so badly that it is very hard to cope.  Being a single parent is a very hard thing to do, and Jackís grades have started to slip again.  He doesnít like to go to school because he doesnít like to be out of sight of me.  His grades have started to fall so badly that the local education authority has spoken about sending him away to military school, which I know would be very bad for Jack.  He is currently back to home schooling, with his tutor coming in for the four hours a day that I am at work, and this seems to be keeping Jackís grades high enough to keep him at home until he has had a chance to adjust to the changes in his life.

Because money is so tight now we may have to move into a smaller house, which will be more disruption for Jack and I know he values his personal space and I am unsure how he will react to having to share a room with Adam and Kurtis, but I canít get a better paying job without needing to spend less time with the children.

Alex and I are still friends, and he sees the children once a week, although this seems more distressing for Jack that not seeing Alex at all.  It seems to undo all the work we have done in helping Jack to deal with Alex leaving the family, but I could never stop Alex seeing the children, as I know they all look forward to it.  

Jackís behaviour towards Saskia and Lucinda is very distressing to see.  His psychologist says it is natural for him to blame Saskia and Lucinda for taking his father away.  Alex and I have agreed that to help Jack with this that Alex should be alone when he visits with the children, that bringing his new family is too painful for all the children, but Jack in particular as he has more difficulty understanding what has happened.

Alex has said that he is not happy with Saskia and he wants to come home, but I am wary of more disruption to the children and how this would affect Jack, but I still love Alex and we havenít completely ruled out reconciliation between us.

Until then my first priority has to be to my children and in helping them through this difficult and emotional time for us all.

To be continnued.