Jo Worgan column: We are incredibly lucky to have this specialist school

Guardian columnist Jo Worgan
Guardian columnist Jo Worgan
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We have all survived Tom’s first week back at school. He seems to have settled back well into school life and the summer holidays now seem like a distant memory.

He has though started to wear his dressing gowns again. I mentioned last week that he wore his ‘tiger’ dressing gown on his first day back at school.

However, he continued to wear all three of his dressing gowns in rotation for the whole week, his favourite being the ‘monster’ dressing gown. Today he set off wearing ‘Bob the Builder’.

I think it must be a form of comfort to him and must reassure him in some way. The school have no problem with him wearing them and for that I am grateful. He does look rather funny when he walks down the path to board the mini bus. He reminds me of Noel Coward.

He has settled well into class 3. I was a little worried about him as he has now progressed into a more academic year, but so far he seems to be coping.

It was only this morning while getting dressed that he told me: “I am getting dressed to go to the work station.” It took me a few seconds to understand his meaning. When he does his work at school he sits at a desk or ‘work station’ that is just for him.

It will contain a box of work to do and a finish box where he will put his work when completed. In front of him will be a visual timetable of the work needed to be completed and the order in which to do so. I think to begin with there are only a few tasks.

When he said this to me though I was so happy that he had told me a little about his day and he was so calm when doing so. He obviously enjoys his ‘work station’.

Another milestone last week for Tom was that he brought home his first ever reading book. I did not think this would happen so quickly. It only contained a few words and was a phonics book but for Tom this was a huge step. The fact that he also sat and read it to me was also hugely significant.

I am so happy that Tom is continuing to make progress at Hillside Specialist School. I am so very glad that this school exists and that they understand my Tom. We are incredibly lucky.