Friday, September 16, 2005

Team SmallBoy Update

It's been a while since I have mentioned what we are up to with SmallBoy and his Asperger's. Aside from trying desperately to pay off the neuropsychologist before she takes me to court for the remainder, I have been researching different insurance options to get his therapy and his asthma/allergy meds covered (Ex's insurance pays, but you pay forward and wait 6-8 mos to get reimbursed). I found that my plan at work covers everything that he needs and all of the physicians that we currently are with. Unfortunately I cannot enroll him until December, with a Jan. 1, '06 effective date - at which point, everything will be pre-existing. We'll get it all figured out, though.

SmallBoy has been having a really rough go of it lately. For the most part he's happy, but the fact that he is different from everyone is really starting to bother him. He is realizing that he can't remember things that all of us SHOULD remember, like rules, etc. Yesterday he compared himself to Dorey from Finding Nemo, with her short term memory loss. He knows that he is easily confused. Although not diagnosed by the ridiculously expensive neuropsych, I believe that he also has some kind of a language processing disorder. He knows that he can't always find the words or coping mechanisms that he needs to use when dealing with his frustration and that frustrates him even more.

Today we start our behavioral therapy. This is supposed to help him find coping mechanisms for his frustrations and anxieties. It is also supposed to teach him how to act in social situations, especially when he gets overloaded. He is a little nervous about discussing his feeling with a stranger, but I know the psychologist that he'll be working with. Her son went to grade school with LargeBoy, and, before I moved, she lived on the next block. I am hopeful that taking this next step will encourage him; will give him a little better feeling about himself and that he is not a bad child, nor a lost cause. I want this to help him see that even though he is different from the other kids, that doesn't mean he has to stand out from the crowd. I want this to make him feel better about himself. He is the most compassionate little boy and it hurts me so much to watch him hurting like this.

He is now in third grade. This is the age when all "class friendships" start breaking off into little cliques. This is the age when children discover that there are "different" qualities about some of the other children. This is when they start to pick on those who are different. I don't want my little boy to be bullied, but it is so hard to teach him how to fight back without being a tattletale who then, in turn, gets picked on or beat up for tattling. The last couple days have been difficult for him on the playground. I guess a group of girls were chasing him around at recess the other day and he had asked them to stop bothering him. They didn't, but recess was over anyway. Yesterday, the girls continued where they had left off. SmallBoy asked them, again, to please stop and leave him alone. The girls, being girls and innocently thinking they're doing nothing wrong, continued. SmallBoy couldn't remember what he was supposed to do in this situation (tell a teacher) and took matters into his own hands and bit one of the girls. Well, this resulted in a trip to the office, a phone call to me, an apology to the girl, and a very upset little boy. He was more upset that he didn't remember what he needed to do to handle the situation, than about being in trouble. I mean, he was definitely upset about being in trouble, but it bothered him more that he couldn't remember what he should have done.

I made him write a nice note of apology to the girl and her parents so that he would understand that he had done wrong and that he had hurt her. My son is now labeled as a "biter". Fortunately, they know SmallBoy at his school and they are all very familiar with his issues, so they work with me. SmallBoy is not a biter. He had to have been pretty frustrated with the girls and his confusion over how to solve the problem to have done that. See, that only sounds like I'm making an excuse for him. I'm not. That is just him. It is the Asperger's. People don't understand that. They say that he should know better, that he should remember how he is supposed to act in certain situations, that there is no reason he should forget the rules. Well poo-pooh on them! They're wrong and don't understand Asperger's.

Well, with that off my chest, I think I'll dive into some work now. I feel a tad better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once again...I am in awe of such excellent parenting. Smallboy is lucky...I personally want to go bite those little brats too....but, well, I guess I have to grow up. You are teaching him better values. I just get mad!! It makes me sad too, that kids with Aspergers have to work so hard to "fit in"...but, hey, Bill Gates is doing all right....