Sunday 15 May 2011

Exam week - and what a change from last year!!!!!!

This time last year Ben sat his GCSEs. He'd been away from school since March, unable to face it at all. The school arranged for him to sit his exams in a separate room away from the main examination hall. And before each exam he registered in the school Medical Centre rather than the form room. In other words, everything was carefully managed so Ben didn't have to meet any of his peers at what was an extremely stressful time for all of them. Being with his peers would have stressed out Ben and could easily have resulted in him walking out and going AWOL - or just freaking out during the exam which, in turn, would have upset everyone else. I'd drive Ben to school because the eating disorder fueled social anxieties prevented him from getting the school bus and we'd deliberately arrive at school after the other pupils had gone to their class rooms. That's how bad things were...

On the one day we had to arrive when everyone else arrived (art exam), it took Ben AGES to work up the courage to go from the car park to the art block; in the end he just fled with his head down... And I later found out he'd been doing sit-ups in his private exam room whenever the invigilator went out (which they did occasionally because it was a full day exam).

This week Ben's AS Level exams start - and what a difference!

He'll be getting the school bus as normal and sitting the exams with everyone else, as normal - no question of needing special treatment of any sort. And, although he is still unable to do full days at school, he's been doing full mornings, every morning, virtually since the start of the Recovery Contract - mainly because he is sleeping much better. I just hope he sleeps OK before the exams...

There's only one day when there's an exam in the morning and afternoon which will mean a full day in school, but so far he seems cool with that.


  1. So happy to read of your progress! I can't imagine what an immense sense of relief you feel while writing this and seeing the change in your son! *applause from across the pond*

  2. I recongnise myself in everything Ben has dealt with, especially things like social anxiety. People always fail to realise that an eating disorder has so many aspects beyond food.