so I sit here at the computer, exhausted, after a difficult week with my son Caleb.
What made it difficult?
I forgot this week that his issues that come out as behaviors- are a disability. I bought into the lie that "he really can do it if we force him to, or con him to."
yup. I did. Just like parents of dyslexic kids who for years were told that their children were lazy readers- because all the other area of academics in their lives, they were doing well in. It took years, research and someone taking the time to listen to these children to realize that dyslexia was a REAL disablity and not an excuse for lazy children.
My son was restrained three times this week. Three. You would think after the first I would have called a meeting.......it's a warning that something isn't going correctly.
He is terrified of going to school. So angry that this morning he took off his clothes as the bus pulled in our driveway because he knew that we would not be able to force him on the bus, in this cold, in underwear.
Then, when my husband, already late for work (and he works for the governor who is watching for lazy state employees that she can lay off to fix her economic problems- you know ones that come to work late often...which is him...because of Caleb but he always stays late to make up the time)....stressed...and my 21 year old tried to get him in the car; he refused.
he walked up to me quietly and whispered in my ear, "I am running away but don't tell anyone because they will stop me."
When my husband left for work, I called the school and indicated that we couldn't safely get him to school after all; feeling guilt as a parent that I was not able to get my son to school; feeling fear as a parent because at what point will they hospitalize him for his "acting out"...
With a screaming toddler in tow, I convinced Caleb to cuddle with me while I put Sam down for a nap. Curling up with him, I asked him, "you know how much your daddy and I love you and for how long we wanted you, right?"
He answered, "1,000 million"
I responded, "more, can you tell me about school?"
Caleb explained that he hated school because play time was too long away. He thought it a better idea to do math, then play; read, then play. He proceeded to explain that when he has to work all morning and can't play until after lunch; that his body starts to feel funny. He told me that when his body feels funny, he looses his "good boundaries" which frustrates and angers him. That is when he starts acting out, or he gets bored until his head hurts.
What amazes me with his answer is that it seems to be always around 10:30 that he starts to "loose it" at school.
Second, he misses his favorite toys. He had some toys (a batmobile) that were taken by the teacher and returned to the locked closet because he was told they are toys for younger kids.
Third, he hates restraints. He went on to show me how they covered his mouth with his shirt and held his head down. He said his feet and hands hurt when they hold him down.
I have always been against restraints. I have been trained at my work that they are dangerous, only get temporary results, and teach kids with sensory issues to get the input that they need inappropriately.
The time has come for me to evaluate the effectiveness of this program for Caleb. When I homeschool him, he does very well. My confusion comes in with the question, "am I enabling him to shelter himself in his house?" Does a child with autism have to learn to wake up everyday and go meet life?
My husband pointed out to me that if a child is wheel chair bound, do we treat it as behavioral when he can't walk?
My son can't work on academics without physical breaks. He is socially developmentally delayed; batman toys are still appropriate for him. Restraints? Well, they just scare the crap out of me, can you imagine him? When the state has decided that spankings are abusive and restraints are ok (they are more likely to cause death and/or injury) then what kind of world do we live in?
The real question that I continue to face is, am I ready to homeschool him full time? Am I able? Am I qualified? Will I ruin his life?
Can I do it?
hmmm and more importantly- Don't you find it AMAZING that in 5 minutes of listening to a "disabled" child; he was able to tell me what the problems are?
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