Specialist SEN Solicitor
11th October 2021.
We all have a silent todo list that always screams at us, don’t we…
Things that we see around us that we have to deal with are constantly sending us silent messages and reminders, aren’t they? Like ‘fix me’, ‘do this or that with me’, or even ‘just decide whether to keep me or get rid of me’. It can be really very emotionally draining!
Seeing something constantly around you that you know you have to deal with really increases your stress levels, even if you are not consciously aware of it. In fact, most of the things that we have around us are actually just bits of clutter that, if we are being honest with ourselves, we know unconsciously that we really don’t need or will never get around to doing.
The irony of this of course is that, if you cannot see something, you cannot really deal with it – ‘out of sight, out of mind’ as people say. But that is exactly my point! It is really better to say: ‘in sight, in mind’! In fact, just reading this and thinking about what I am saying and knowing that the concept of a silent todo list exists and knowing that it weighs on us in the back of our minds, sometimes lets you give yourself permission to let go of these things, or put them away somewhere where you cannot see them, but know that you can take them out when you need to.
Or just get rid of them!
Also, practically, it is often easier to see what you need to do as a full task written down, rather than just seeing something physically. So, I find that when I see something that I need to do, I have to be very clear about what I need to do when I look at it, which I find easier if I see a task as something written down, rather than just seeing the thing itself. This is because I then know what I have to do immediately, rather than first interpret in my head what I need to do when I see it, which is really quite stressful.
Remember, it is always easier to separate identifying what you need to do from actually doing it, as there is usually time in between when you can think about how to do a task that you have to do, before you actually have to do it. However, let me warn you, there is always a bit of pain to be experienced when you try to organise new or different systems from how you did things before and you cannot do everything at once. If you try to, you may succeed in the short term, but may probably fail in the long run.
So, this week, please look around you -and, if you see things that are sending you silent messages that you need to deal with, but which you then realise are just things you may never get around to do, or don’t really need to do (and are, in fact, just cluttering your life), please give yourself permission to get rid of them, or at least move them to somewhere out of your sight.
You will be amazed at how much lighter you will suddenly feel in yourself when looking around you again and no longer consciously or unconsciously seeing an overwhelming list of task for you to deal with anymore!
In this week's SEN Update, you will find sections entitled:
I know how busy everyone always is, so please feel free just to read the sections that are of interest to you or read everything; the choice is always yours.
Lots of Covid-19 news this week (see below), but very little SEN news for me to report, I'm afraid.
The thing that did catch my eye though was an article on the BBC website about Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) entitled: 'Better diagnosis of FASD in children needed, adoptive mum says'.
FASD is the name for all the various problems that can affect children if their mother drinks alcohol in pregnancy, which can result in mental and physical problems in the baby, called foetal alcohol syndrome. This is because alcohol in the mother's blood passes to her baby through the placenta and, as a baby cannot process alcohol as well as an adult can, it can damage cells in their brain, spinal cord and other parts of their body, and disrupt their development in the womb. This can result in the loss of the pregnancy and babies that survive may be left with lifelong problems.
More common than people think I'm also afraid...
In terms of news, here are the articles that I found of interest this week:
School Covid absences rise two-thirds in fortnight
1 in 14 pupils at English secondary schools have Covid, ONS data shows
Covid: Are schools back to normal yet? Not quite
Again, aside from clicking on the relevant links for more information, I would also remind you of the very useful resources and information provided on the following websites:
- Council for Disabled Children
- Special Needs Jungle
I would also highlight again the magazines: SEN Magazine and Autism Eye which are both very helpful to any parents or professionals involved with children/young people with SEN.
Keep safe until next week.
With best wishes
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