I hope you're enjoying lockdown, no really I do, because thanks to the government we now get to live this life for at least another three weeks! Can I get a "Hell Yeah!"... anyone?
Honestly, though, can you truly say that you're surprised? I'm not. The news has been telling us for weeks that other nations further ahead through the process are looking at 3 month long lockdowns, so surely it makes sense that we'd be in a similar situation.
But what do I know? We could be stuck in this for months and that is stressful for everyone. In fact thousands of people are finding that they are becoming more stressed under quarantine than ever before; and with most hospital facilities inaccessible for non-emergencies it means that too many people are being left to deal with it by themselves - I don't know about you, but I've been stress eating to the MAX.
Now you imagine trying to deal with not only your own stress, but that of your SEND child's as well. How do you think those people are coping right now? It's an unprecedented challenge so where do you find help?
We're lucky with our lads, Sam seems to be coping quite well at home as it's a bit like an extended holiday for him. It's mainly boils down to keeping him busy and playing with him when you can. As for Alex, well he's only 6 months old and I'm not really sure he could care less about the outside world any more than the copious amounts of chocolate I've been stress eating could care about my waste line.
(Don't judge me, what am I supposed to do when Sainsbury's reduce unsold Easter eggs to £1.50? and I'm not talking knock-off brands, I mean Cadbury's, the ones that come with a couple of chocolate bars...)
Regardless we all need as much help as we can get right now so I thought I would share this link to the governments FAQs about the dos and don'ts of lockdown: CLICK HERE
There's a little paragraph in section 15 which anyone who has a significant health condition may find useful. It says:
'You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area - then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day - ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.'
This effectively means that if you, someone you live with or care for has a 'specific' medical need then you can leave your house with them as many times as you have to. Now it doesn't actually say what 'specific' medical needs are, other than the terms listed in the paragraph. What is key though is that the final sentence mentions 'a care plan agreed with a professional'.
What that can be will vary depending on your individual circumstances. In our case, like a lot of children with SEND, it will refer to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If you don't know what that is it's basically an assessment of a child that states what help they need and, broadly, who should provide it.
So, in short, if you have a child that has something like that, then you've basically got a reprieve to go outside more than once a day to exercise. Obviously, you must still socially distance yourself as much as you can while doing this, but it's still a big help to a lot of people.
It goes without saying that this is a far cry from normal life still, and won't solve all you problems. But if you're lucky enough to have more than one person at home helping out, then you could take turns going for a walk, so one of you gets half an hour of peace. Or if your child only feels comfortable walking in certain places then you can travel to them and laugh up the joys of going out for a car ride like the proverbial dog having the time of it's life!
There are lots of other places to look to help relieve stress. Websites like BBC Sport keep updating daily exercise routines you can try out at home, while others like Joe Wicks have their own YouTube channels dedicated to physical and mental wellbeing.
I'm in no way qualified to tell you what's best for either, as yet another discounted Easter egg stairs longingly into my heart... Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
No, I'll just scoff you instead.
In the meantime:
Stay Home; Stay Safe.