Start Here – a transitions diary: DECEMBER

Follow Harry* and his mum in their own words through his final year in school, planning and preparing for his next steps.

*Names have been changed

At the turn of the year

The story so far …

We’re following Harry month by month through his last year in school. Harry found November a bit of a grind, as anxiety and uncertainty about what’s ahead begins to escalate. Harry’s mum was frustrated at the slow pace of getting support lined up and in place. As we moved into December even the Christmas break was feeling a bit challenging…

Read the November diary here

Read the October diary here

Read the September diary here

Read the August diary here

Christmas 2020

Harry came home from school grinning from ear to ear.

“I had a good chat today with a man.”

 “What about?” I asked.

“Life after school,” he replied.

Wow! That’s a big topic.

I emailed school to ask and they told me a useful organisation called Mindroom had been in touch to have a virtual session with all pupils due to leave school about their hopes and aspirations for the future. 

It might have been good to have some information about what they’d covered, because I didn’t really get any information from Harry as he got distracted by a Pokémon…!

In other news, you might remember I was getting anxious that although we’d interviewed and recruited a personal assistant to start working with Harry, he might not be able to start before Christmas?

Well he certainly won’t now unfortunately as Disclosure Scotland rejected his update as either he or I had ticked the wrong box!!! This although he already has disclosure checking for his other PA and school based work… He has emailed them to ask for guidance as there is very little or it’s as clear as mud. He can’t start working with Harry without this and we’re still waiting to hear, which is rubbish.

I’m also concerned about how the latest COVID restrictions will impact on the PA starting – you may remember we’ve had funding for this since July but with recruitment and interviewing it’s taken until now to set this up and it will only go up to leaving school, so time will be tight for him to make a difference.

The new restrictions seem to have come as no surprise to Harry.

“Well that’s just typical,” was his response when I asked him if he had heard the news about changes to the Christmas plans. “The government makes plans and changes them all the time!”

Luckily we had not made any specific plans to meet family, having already mutually agreed to “bide at hame” instead, but the idea of going back to online learning is a little bit of a worry from the point of view of motivation! But we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Harry’s art qualification from the virtual course he undertook in the summer arrived, which he was pleased about, complete with a booklet of examples of art work from the 100 Scottish students who took part. He was proud of his achievements, which is a nice way to round off the year.

He is looking forward to “just chilling” (in his words) and some favourite Christmas movies plus of course a certain delivery on 25 December!

2020. What a year?!?

One we won’t forget in a hurry but it’s given us all a chance to take stock of what is important and look forward to brighter times in the future. 

Harry’s mum

Salvesen Mindroom Centre has created Future Me, My Digital Workbook, a free interactive resource to help young people reflect on their skills and interests, and formulate ideas on what they want next in their lives. It features in our transitions planning webinar Transitions Planning that Works for parents and carers. Click here to watch our webinar or click here to find out more about the resource.