Yeah, it’s been seven months since I posted. Not sure who’s still out there reading, but here goes…
This is the last full week of the school year. Heaven help us. We just had a meeting with the school psychologist because he just did an MFE (multi-factored evaluation) on big J. He has made huge strides in every area since the last time he had one. He’ll keep an aide for next year. Even better, it’s the same one he had this year. She really helps him a lot. So good news on that front. He still has some challenges, behaviorally. The biggest is getting him to complete a task the first time he is asked and not to stop until he is finished with it. I have a lot of trouble with this at home. He does still see a behavioral therapist, so we’ll be working on it.
So…school’s been back for just over a month. Very exciting. Little J finally started kindergarten, which he was really excited about. And, as expected, I prepared him academically but he’s having a bit of trouble adjusting to the whole being at school thing. He does strange things…he actually got caught falling on purpose at recess so he could get an ice pack, because another kid got one and that wasn’t fair. Another time, it was super-hot and they couldn’t find him after recess, and then somebody found him sitting in the bathroom in his underwear because he was hot. What. The. . . Anyway. Hopefully he’ll get adjusted.
As for Big J . . . I have spent a month getting, “He had a really good day! He worked really hard!” from his aide at pickup. But yesterday interims came home, and…
Well, YEAH. That’s why he has an aide in the first place.
Bwahaha. I wish. Believe me, we’ve practiced. I’ve endured ‘Multiplication Rap’. I bought him a multiplication machine, on top of all the books and workbooks I’ve either purchased or scoured the library for.
I’m sure I’m taking this too personally. I just… GAH. He has the same teachers as last year. They know I bust my butt with him. I’m mostly upset by being blindsided. I mean, they email the homework every day. We’ve emailed about other stuff. We went through this LAST year. He sees a behavioral therapist, for crying out loud. Tell me about behaviors! Head; desk. If he’s having all this trouble, why haven’t I heard anything until now? Sigh. Very frustrating.
Anyway, that’s where we stand right now. The IEP is coming due in October, so hopefully we can all hash some of this stuff out. Because…
It’s been a while since I blogged here, so I should probably post some kind of update, or whatever. But since all 4 remaining readers are likely on my Facebook anyway, I’ma skip it, because a venting session may be in order…
Problem behaviors abound, I’m afraid. And I’m frustrated. It feels like every time we make progress, it’s “two steps forward, one step back”. Or maybe five steps back, I don’t know. Let me preface this whole thing by saying that it is coming up on the end of summer vacation (thank GOD. 5 more days!), and we’re all burned out and in serious need of structure. I recognize that. I’m just. so. exhausted. Big J wants to make friends, like really really wants to make them. And every. single. time. we go somewhere, he will play peacefully with other kids for a while, but it’s like… I know it’s coming. He will, without fail, do something that sends the whole thing crashing into the dust. Today, he spit on a girl. Now, he claims that he was just spitting (a recently acquired disgusting habit) and “didn’t aim” at her, but still. We left immediately. I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t feel like explaining or defending myself to other parents –and really, do I have a leg to stand on when my son’s spit is on her daughter’s shirt? Not really, no– or “advocating” or educating anybody about the freaking awful parts of autism/asperger’s that take my sweet, beautiful, good-hearted, creative son and make him an instant social pariah. Yeah, part of me feels like I should do that, so that the next kid they run into will have a fighting chance, but at this point? I’m done. So now we’re at home, watching Spongebob and counting down the days ’til the start of school.
Also: the kid has serious anger issues. He gets so frustrated when people are annoying, or illogical (especially that), or when things don’t go right. Which, of course, is life. He’s been working on coping strategies in behavioral therapy, but progress is slow. In the meantime, he’s been throwing himself on the floor in a fit. At Walmart. Lemme tell ya: when they’re 2, this may elicit sympathetic looks from other parents. At almost-10? It doesn’t. He also got himself grounded for punching the hood of my car (thankfully, we were driving the old one).
So…venting complete. I’d appreciate your prayers, y’all. I intend to keep this more updated once the J’s are in school. (Yeah, I know, heard that before. Heh.)
Big J has been rather frustrating lately. There, I said it.
It seems like a lot of different behaviors –pervasive behaviors– which were believed to be eradicated, or nearly so, have popped back up recently. Chewing. Oh, lord, the chewing. The boy has constantly got something in his mouth. Wrappers, small toys, you name it. None of our toy cars have rubber tires any longer. Pencils? You won’t find them with an eraser, unless I’ve been successful in hiding them. Fortunately for me, he prefers things that are noisy, so I usually catch him at it. He doesn’t ever deliberately eat/swallow anything, but with things like plastic wrappers I can’t help but worry about him suffocating himself. (Lord, thank You for your mercy.)
It seems like the “autism strange behavior switch” gets flipped to HIGH after he goes to his therapy group. After he’s exposed to a group of only autistic children, he goes haywire. Nuts. It takes two days to get him calmed back down. We had this same thing happen when he was in an all-autism kindergarten. He’d pick up on other kids’ behaviors, things he’d never done on his own before, and he’d mimic them. There was an ear-piercing “AY-YEEEE!” sound that I won’t soon forget. Thank God he seemed to. (Please, PLEASE don’t let THAT come back!) So, I need to evaluate whether this group is really helping him.
Anyway, today. Weird thing happened. I don’t think I can blame this one entirely on autism, except for an extreme lack of impulse control. He was upset at school that recess was “blacktop only” (there is super-wet snow on top of super-soggy grass and mud), and that was “WAY TOO BORING”, and so he decided he was going to walk home. And away he went! (We live close, and walk every day.) Apparently the teacher was able to yell and get him to stop, but GEEZ. I don’t think we can really classify this as “wandering”. He had a clear intent, and a clear destination in mind. But yowza. I don’t need to have to worry about this! Upon hearing about this from his aide after school, I immediately grounded him from EVERYTHING for the rest of the week. Beyond that, I don’t know.
Never a dull moment around here.
Yeah, I know, it’s been months since I posted.
Anyway. Big J, 3rd grade. Seems to be going well, for the most part. No major issues with other kids at the moment. I don’t know that he’s all that well-liked, but as long as there are no altercations, that’s the most I can ask for, I guess, as far as that goes. He seems to enjoy school, and he’s at grade level in every subject. Well, if he could just get those pesky times tables memorized.
But. I do have good things to report. He participated in the pinewood derby at church last night, and got third place. First trophy. EVER. He’d been incredibly anxious at one point (awhile back) that he’d never get a trophy for anything ever, so there’s that. But better than that were the cheers and high fives at the race. After so much time and tears and therapy, he was able to do something…normal, with other kids his age. It was just awesome.
Little J turned 5 in January, so the countdown to kindergarten begins. Yay. Also, I’m gonna lose my baby and be all by myself. ::sniff:: He is a turkey, to be sure. He talks and talks and TALKS, which is weird for me, since, you know, the other one didn’t.
So, that’s what’s new. Still around, just busy and stuff.
Sigh. I am so very frustrated with Big J’s school right now.
Last year, his teacher kept me in the loop. Yes, it was very frustrating that he continued to have frequent incidents with his behavior, but at least I knew about it. Now? I had both an IEP meeting and a conference in the last month, and all I basically got was that he’s doing well.
The other morning J started talking to me while he was in the shower. In fact, I’d nearly walked out of the room and missed it. He told me that all the kids in the school think he “likes boys” because this kid told all his friends and they told all theirs. And that he got in trouble even though he didn’t say it. Well, obviously it concerned me that I hadn’t heard anything about this before.
Now, I know that a boy insulting another boy by insinuating that he likes boys is not a new insult. They used that one back in my day, matter of fact. Also: I am not even opening up any discussion about homosexuality here, period. Irrelevant to this discussion, and I will not engage it, k? Not what this is about. /preemptivedefensiverant
So…I went to the school and asked about the incident. They said two whole people heard him say it, so, you know, it must be true because kids don’t ever team up against another kid, or anything. (I’m not assuming that happened, just annoyed that it’s not ever considered as a viable possibility.) And, he didn’t actually get in “trouble”, but was just removed from the cafeteria table with these same kids.
The thing I’m truly upset about is that they also told me that J lies all the time, mostly to get out of trouble. Why have they never told me this!?! Because they “try to take care of issues [them]selves”. Well, I call bullshit on this one. He’s not a typical student. Obviously. I pull him out of school every week to take him to behavioral therapy, and they neglect, for half a school year, to tell me about an ongoing problem behavior.
So. The therapist is going to call the teacher, and I’m going to go from there. The Husband talked to the principal today and told her that we expect to know about further incidents, and he plans to be present at the school on a more regular basis. I think because J’s needs aren’t as severe as they were, he’s now kind of getting swept under the rug.