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Archive for September, 2010

good again

W is having a good week. The mornings have been smooth. The evenings have had only a few conflicts, but about sharing the tv, not school. I think we will get through tomorrow with another smiley face on his chart.

And then we have to make it through the weekend. Weekends bring a lot of change and change is not something that W or I handle particularly well. So P and I HAVE to sit down on Friday night or Saturday morning to plan the weekend, manage expectations and not overwhelm ourselves with activities and being out of the house too much. Which is hard to do. But we are realizing more and more that it is vital and necessary or none of us the patience or energy to get through our hectic weekdays.

W has decided he would rather see his “treat for going to school without conflict” movie on Saturday or Sunday, instead of tomorrow. Tomorrow is Generator Rex and Star Wars Clone Wars. F has her homecoming dance on Saturday (for which she still does not have a dress! She hates shopping. She hates dresses. Hence, she has no dress for the dance that is two days away). T will likely come up with some surprise activity she wants to be involved in. And P and I must, must, must find a few hours to spend together.

All in all it has been a good, happy week.

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Wednesday has so far been good. I can’t even think of ONE bump we had this morning. Not a one. Excuse me while I knock on some wood <knock, knock>.

A pleasant morning was had by all. 

Two more smiley faces on his calendar for the week and he gets to see the new owl movie on Friday.

I’ve got some thoughts swirling around my brain. I think I will shoot for a Friday post trying to corral them all.

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My alarm went off at 6:20 am. I give myself ten minutes before I get up to snuggle with P. This was a rare morning that W wasn’t in our bed. He had slept the whole night through in his bed.

At 6:30 exactly, W came stumbling out of his room, asking what time it was. I told him and asked him if he wanted to go downstairs and watch tv or snuggle in bed for a while. He chose snuggling over tv and promptly went back to sleep.

The rest of the morning went just as smoothly until about 7:45 when I noticed him curled up in a ball on the couch. I asked him to tell me what was wrong. At first he said “nothing”, but then admitted that his missing library book was bothering him and he’s was afraid he would lose a blue key. ( This library book business is bothering me. I know this particular Dr. Seuss book never came home with him.)
I reassured him that Mrs. T and I had talked about the book and that he is not to worry about it at all. We adults will
solve the problem. It was like a physical weight had been lifted from him when I said that.

The next slight blip came at the door as we were leaving – he said – without me having to prompt him, “I’m afraid I will lose a blue key” I reassured him that we all agreed –  his teachers, us and even the principal, that he does not need to be concerned about keys at all. They don’t matter any more.

And then we proceeded to have one of the quickest, most lighthearted walks to school yet. We talked about Halloween and what kind of container you would need to hold all of your candy if you went to every house in our village. We finally decided you would need a spaceship, carrying a jumbo jet, carrying a regular jet, carrying a big truck, carrying a plastic pumpkin filled with candy.

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We learned that Mrs. I had already started making plans for W to be observed and tested.

Ms. B had some wonderful, concrete suggestions on how to reward W for good behavior and to make his day easier for him. No more blue keys. No more yellow or orange keys. We agreed that we will bring him to the office in the morning where Ms. B will meet him take him to room 7 for a little bit to play computer games. Then at lunch time he goes with Ms. B again to room 7 to have lunch with her. We did this all for the first time last Thursday, I think. And it worked really well. He was even done with his lunch early and she told him he could play games for a bit, but he said he wanted to join his classmates in the cafeteria.

He went to school pretty well on Friday and today.

We still have a long road ahead of us. Many many meetings and planning sessions and strategies. But we are not alone. We have help and we have hope.

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I went home and collapsed. That was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through.

My mother went through similar things with me. But we never really got me any help. I think I was just seen as a difficult, willful child.

I got a call from Mrs. T at lunch time telling me that he was doing well. Smiling and participating. I picked up an apologetic child that afternoon, who said he didn’t THINK he would behave the same way the next day. And he didn’t. It was worse.

The next day he refused to leave the house. I had to call my husband home to come help me. I was so angry. So upset. So scared. And so was W. Not a good scene.

We called the school and told them we were having trouble getting W to school and that we needed to set up an appointment with the principal for as soon as possible.

Once again I slowly slowly slowly got him out of his room. Into the hall. Onto the stairs. Where he grabbed the bannister and wouldn’t let go. Finally got him to let go. Into the dining room. Wouldn’t let go of the chair. Finally got him to let go. Onto the porch. Across the yard. Then he saw the front yard and got really upset. P picked him up and that point and placed him in the car. He wouldn’t sit up. Struggled against me as I tried to put his seatbelt on.  On the drive to school he told me that I didn’t care. That was a stab to the heart. I told him it was actually the complete opposite. That the reason we were doing all of this was because of how much we care about him and love him. That we are doing what we believe to be the best thing for him and trying to get him the help and education that he needs.

Got to school. P had to carry him into the office. The principal suggested that P and she take him to his classroom at that point, but they would have had to drag him and I wasn’t comfortable with that. So we had an impromptu meeting right there and then. Ms. B. was there. We all talked a little. W started to calm down a bit. And we started to come up with a plan on how to deal with all of this.

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So things are not going as smoothly as they had been. School is determining his behavior at home AT ALL TIMES. With W is always best for things to go as planned, with no surprises or bumps in the road. But add school to the mix and their has been NO room for bumps of any kind.

He is dreading school. Not playing with Alex. Begging me to wake him up at 6 am so he has more time at home and with me.

Then the day that I have anticipated and dread finally arrived. We walked to school and he physically would not walk down the hill to get in line with his classmates. My toe is still not 100% and although he is small and skinny, he is strong and was very determined not to go to school that day. Was I going to through him over my shoulder and walk down the slippery hill with him flailing  about? Was I going to drag him down the hill screaming and crying?

Someone must have noticed what was happening and his teacher and one of special ed teachers came to help. They tried to reason with him at first. Mrs. T had to attend to the other kids so Ms. B and I were there on the hill trying to calm him down and figure out a plan.

Now really, I am kind of glad that is happened although it was soooo hard, because now they could see what we were dealing with and I knew we would now for sure get the help and attention that we need. Ms. B and I, after more than a half an hour, finally got him into school. I slowly slowly slowly persuaded him to get closer and closer to the building. In the end, they opened the door and pulled him in.

As I walked away, I could still him his shouting “NO!”.

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W started school on August 23. There were tears and a little bit of struggling to get him into the building. The same was true of the rest of the week, but everyday I was picking up a happy, excited kid who has lots to tell me about his day.

By the end of the second week I did start to see a lessening of enthusiasm. He started to complain about being bored. He told me at one point that the other kids didn’t want him to speak at recess??? That was odd. Lunch was starting to get a little bit more difficult. It’s loud in the lunch room, and he likes to sit in the same place everyday. Everyone else kind of chooses where to sit daily. So he had been eating alone a lot.

The teacher kept reassuring me that Wyatt was all smiles at school and he was doing well. But she doesn’t see him at home, and he was starting to show signs of stress. Not wanting to play with his friends, and dreading the next day of school.

Then the library debacle occurred. Library books are to be returned on Monday’s. But there was no school that Monday. On Tuesday we forgot to put his library book in his backback. His teacher told him that if it happened again he would lose a blue key (for responsibility). He listened to the teacher and librarian talking to make sure they weren’t talking about him and his missing book. After school that day he said he didn’t feel good. We talked for a while and we were able to discover that he felt upset about the library book.

I think it was that week that we decided to give him a mental health day. It was a Thursday. He was by my side almost the whole day. He helped me clean the house, we had lunch together, he did some writing and some impromptu science experiments. He went back to school on Friday with not too much difficulty.

The Hell of Week four, next post

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