Middle Child Had A Bad Day

Middle son had major issues with impulse control today. When the daycare teacher instructed him to have some chill time he colored on the wall. He must have been angry.
I didn’t escalate the issue, I just made sure he knew what was going on between himself and his teacher, that he understood right and wrong.

At the dinner table we were talking about children and mortality. My sons claim that children rarely die. I told them that such a claim made no sense and they had to think about it. Why would the smallest and least educated people be the least likely to die? How would that be possible, when children could not even feed themselves?
They thought for a few minutes.
Middle son came up with an answer. He said that ¨Kids be good so that no adults get angry at them and kill them.¨
Which was not the answer I was looking for, but spoke volumes about the state of his PTSD.

So I explained that kids were cared for, and that, contrary to his perception, adults almost never killed children. I told him every parent gets really mad at every kid, but they normally don’t hurt them. Oldest son chimes in with ¨only bad parents hurt kids.¨ Which I let stand as a valid judgement and continued to explain that the vast majority of parents set rules and take actions to keep kids safe, resulting in less child than adult deaths in the news. Overly simple, but really, if some adults out there had to listen to their mommy, their lives would be much better. I am shooting for safety, here.

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5 Ways to Support a Trans Person Experiencing Body Dysphoria

threekidsandi:

Tips on supporting your trans friend with dysphoria, or any friend going through anything. Compassion and empathy. Keep it going.

Originally posted on Let's Queer Things Up!:

Cross-posted via Everyday Feminism

My partner is pounding on the door, begging me to unlock it.

I’m sitting in front of a tall mirror, tears falling quietly down my face, as I clutch my shirt in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other.

The amount of panic my chest has caused me in the last three months has reached a breaking point. I stare, helplessly, at a body that both confuses and terrifies me.

As I look at myself, my body trembling, I’m reminded of the times as a child when I would take the heads off of my Lego characters and place them on different bodies – only this time, the stakes are real, and the stakes are high.

I can recognize my face, but everything else feels so, so wrong.

My partner manages to pick the lock, and they push through the door. Their…

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Charter School

My autistic son got into the charter school, the science one. My other son is next on their wait list. I am so happy, especially after recent events. I hope the paras are better there. There is one in every classroom, so the ratio is better and there is less stigma on having a para help you.

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IEP, Anyone?

So I dropped by the school to talk to one of my son’s teachers before school started. No dice, they were out of their rooms and I cannot just wander around looking for them. I called, left a message and sat, tense and working and running my mouth about inane things all day, trying to let off a bit of steam.

I wrote down my points the night before, and again in the morning after I spoke to his county caseworker, to keep it all straight. I have a habit, when emotional, of forgetting what I need to address.

The caseworker offered to do it all for me, but I told her I would pull her in if it came down to a formal meeting. I wanted to give the teacher and the school another chance. I want to work with them, not sue.

She called back during recess. I explained to her how my son does handwriting in OT. I directed her, gently, towards the IEP, where this process is laid out and the supervision of the school Occupational Therapist is mandated. I reminded her, again, that my son does not have a brain that works like mine or hers. She said she had no idea he was so rigid, so black and white. I don’t understand how you can teach autistic kids and not notice this trait in them. I advised her on how to work with this, creating flexibility by going over schedules, schedule changes, calendars, and sequences. It really can be used in your favor, and it can be fun, too. I advised her to switch paras, because his PTSD, once triggered, is going to get in the way of his learning.
The call lasted half an hour. When I got off the phone I was covered in sweat and I felt the sort of relief one has after a good crying jag. Because it was that important, I was that intensely focused on it, and also because I think she is going to try. She is going to remove that para from his lineup. Thank goodness.

I just don’t understand how his teachers do not understand him. I know they are not his mother, they have not lived with him, etc. But my son is so classically autistic that he is an Asperger’s cliche. If you read one accurate book on Asperger’s, you are reading about my son. He fits exactly into the definition and has every trait and characteristic that his Aspie peers do.

Tonight he sat out on swimming class, glad it was dropped. I don’t care about the money. He was happy. He played a video game and talked to me occasionally and leaned up against me the entire time. He told me he loved me. He doesn’t say it as often as his brother and sister, so I know it is not a casual phrase for him. He is fantastic, fascinating. I want him to be happy. I don’t want him to be afraid anymore.

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Questions for the school

In the IEP it states that a variety of assistive devices will be tried with my son and used under the guidance of the occupational therapist.
Are you using a variety of utensils, or only pencil?
Is the OT involved with this?

In the IEP it states that positive direction and redirection will be used with my son.
Are the paraprofessionals working with him aware of that?
Are they aware that pointing out the mistakes rather than the correct writing reinforces his mistakes rather than his correct writing?

In the IEP it states that heavy work should be given to him before quiet academic exercises.
Is this happening?
If it were happening, he would have perfect sentences. Because that is what happens during writing exercises in OT.

I had better cool off. I am really upset.

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Bullying from the Bullied – Warning: F Word Ahead

My son made his apology to his classmate today. I asked his teacher to please stop forcing them to sit together, because I don’t want his classmate to suffer one more minute. You cannot force my son to become friends with anyone. If they don’t play Minecraft or keep up on robot technology, he cannot fathom connecting with them, and his fears make him lash out. He is tired of being made fun of by others and he just does not want to make a new friend. You just cannot spark what is not there.

He has been getting in trouble for using Minecraft in his writing exercises. The teachers ask him to write about what he did over the weekend, so he writes down what he did on Minecraft. Because nothing else he has done over the weekend mattered more to him than that. He said the teachers have behaved as if they were exasperated with him for it, and have forbidden him from writing on it any further. He feels disrespected. I am pleased to see he can correctly interpret the gestures and facial expressions and get an impression like that. That is real progress.

In my opinion, cutting off an Aspie kid from their interests is like discounting him as a person. My son IS his interests. I see his interests as a way to tie things in for him. I would have him write out a Minecraft recipe, ingredients plus directions, in addition to what he did over the weekend. They would get far more writing out of him with this method. He would be happy about it, too, and he would color. Getting him to color is tough. Only for Minecraft will he color. He has poor motor skills, weak grip, and is sensitive to the drag on paper. Coloring would be good.

He admitted today, after daycare in his therapist’s office, that something was definitely wrong at school. He hates one of his paraprofessionals. She forces him to write, and makes it unpleasant. It is already unpleasant, I suppose, because the drag on paper is so annoying to him that it might be painful. So I can see why she feels as if she had to force him. But it is called Handwriting Without Tears for a reason.

I put into his IEP last year that he be allowed to use marker, gel pens, anything smooth. Dry erase boards, too. So I do not know why they are insisting on pencil. When he does not write correctly or resists, the para snatches the paper away and tells him she will wait for him to be ready, which means he could miss recess. I have requested that he not be punished for having learning disabilities. I have requested that the school allow him the only time he has there for social interaction. I asked them not to use recess as a tool. He is afraid of her, he says. He is too afraid of her to negotiate his tasks with her. He points to things and refuses to talk when she is teaching him, for fear of her anger.

I have to call the school tomorrow. I want to cry. I cannot believe that these special education professionals are treating him like he is reluctant or resistant, still, after I explained to them that HE IS AUTISTIC. He is autistic. He has auditory dysfunction and sensory processing disorder. He cannot stand a toilet flushing or the feel of pencil but he does not notice lacerations on his hands until the blood stains something he likes. His brain does not work like theirs. Can they not extend him a bit of empathy, some sympathy for having to deal with all this noise and light and bustle all day? I think he is doing great.

This is how you get him to write:
You give him the paper and you either have him trace or write something down. Then you give him silly putty for three minutes so he can work the kinks out of his fingers. Then you have him write something else. Then you time him on how fast he can crawl under the table and around the chairs and high five him. Then you have him write something else. Then you give him a sticker to put on his paper and tell him what letters or words look great. Doesn’t that sound more interesting than being stood over and scolded for resisting what hurts you? I can make it about twenty words before the pain starts in my own hands if I am writing without a keyboard, so I can literally feel his pain.

How the living fuck these people do not know this, I have no idea. He is autistic, not naughty. They are professionals. They took a kid with PTSD and ASD and SPD and they fucking made him afraid of speaking out. A disabled kid. I am calling tomorrow and I am going to be polite at first, just so that when I fucking ream them out in person in my schoolmarm clothes and huge glasses that they are completely caught off guard and the message sinks into their heads. MY SON IS NOT BAD HE IS DIFFERENT AND I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO SHUT HIM UP.
Kudos to me for using the F word. I have been working on that, hopefully I don’t come back and edit it out.

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Bullying

My Autistic child is a bully. He does not like children that his siblings prefer, his jealousy gets the best of him and he bullies. He talks over them, he breaks their block towers, just really inappropriate stuff.
Today a child told a teacher that my son had been picking on him in the daycare.
I was glad he told. How would I know if he did not say something?
I had a long talk with my son. I told him if he did not behave the way I expect everyone in our family to behave towards children big or small, but especially small, then he would not be taking technology classes until he could show that he can get along with other children. His classes are a privilege that can be lost. He starts one class tomorrow. He has this week to show his good behaviour and apologize to the little boy, or he can kiss the rest of the classes goodbye, and the cost be damned. Though I did not put it to him like that. I was nice but straightforward. I did not get angry. He did say that he could imagine how it would feel to be treated that way, and that he would not like it. I have been trying to teach him this concept since he started speaking. Empathy does not come natural to him.
I hope he gets it.
I don’t know if it would help or hurt for me to talk to the little boy myself. I thanked the teacher, and I suppose I can pass a message to him through her. I did let her know that of course the parents can contact me if they want to. We haven’t got a parent directory published for daycare, so I suppose I gave permission for my number to be given out.
I had better remember this for the psychologist and the therapist. He sees both next week.

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