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.