Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Let's Play, "What's Bothering SmallBoy?"

SmallBoy has been bent out of joint for a week or two now. Not terribly, but definitely "off". I chalked it up to the pending "unknown" routine of the holiday, being off of school for 2 1/2 extra days, not knowing if he would like the food, funky sleeping hours, the onset of a cold, etc.....Well, it finally hit a head yesterday at school.

SmallBoy is brilliant with math, and I've heard other parents and children say that as well. You can imagine my surprise, then, when I was speaking with his teachers on the phone today and they mentioned that he became agitated when he did not come up with the same answer as the rest of the class to the problem they were doing together. He raised his voice and told everyone they were wrong. He knows that the teachers are very accepting of his need to have a quiet place to chill out, so he went and crawled under their desk....they kindly shooed him out and let him know a couple of places he could choose to regroup.

The same thing in reading. They were doing an exercise in main ideas and supporting details. As a whole the class was having difficulty with this. I was concerned at first, that this was the beginning of the hyperlexia I have been expecting, so I was feeling a bit more at ease when she told me it was difficult for everyone. SmallBoy was stuck and the girl sitting next to him leaned over and offered to help. The poor little girl didn't know what she did wrong when she found herself listening to SmallBoy yelling at her " I DON'T NEED HELP! I CAN DO IT MYSELF!" The teacher told me that they talked to him and explained that the girl was simply trying to help him out because everyone seemed to be having trouble and she wanted to do something nice for him.

His desk is on the end and near the teachers' desk. Unfortunately, that puts him sort of in the line of view of the assignment board. Children are frequently asking him to move, or are crowding around his desk, so that they can see what's there. SmallBoy does NOT like his personal space invaded. Mind you, he doesn't get the concept of personal space when it comes to others, but HIS space is HIS space. This closeness and constantly having to move for others was really starting to grate on him when he finally complained to his teacher about this, "Mrs. F, Gabriel's always in my way...Mrs. B, Jack keeps asking me to move...," you get the idea.

This is all without mentioning the sensory overload in the classroom. The heat, of course, is not regulated correctly, so it's always steaming hot in the classrooms. This results in the windows being opened to try and create a more comfortable temperature. Well, in Chicago in the fall and winter, it gets windy. Windy occasionally means noisy. So here, we have a triple whammy in the sensory department...heat, wind, and noise. Poor guy, no wonder he's been overloaded and cranky.

Tonight is a crazy night: art class, cub scouts, and a basketball game for Girl (which of course coincides with scouts). Poor boy is going to be exhausted, but I think that having his routine getting back in order might do him a world of good. Friday is a visit with his behavioral therapist. I'm hoping that she might be able to fenagle some more info out of him and teach him some more strategies for expressing his needs, frustrations, emotions, etc. I may call the school district and see if I can arrange for a re-evaluation to see if he's eligible for any services, especially OT and I definitely plan on working some social stories with him.

I'm hoping that with our experience getting through these last couple weeks, we'll learn from it and be better able to handle the Christmas craziness.


Felicity said...

huhm...I'm always watching out for MY boy, that is, when he had reading testing at school and he didn't do well, I said, Well, was he hungry? Maybe he was tired? And he's "NT". I'm sure it's hard for your smallboy to manage all that input...*I* don't even like the thought of that, the heat, wind, cold, people around my desk...ACK.

Eileen said...

Similar story over here with my "smaller boy".

Michelle said...

Poor boy! It's tough, isn't it?

I have a student this year with Asperger's in my class, and my heart just goes out to him. It's such a tough road. Luckily, he's very smart so it's mostly the social issues he has to tackle more than grades.

Hugs to you guys during the holidays!

mommyguilt said...

Thanks, Michelle - you too!!!!

Laura said...

I am envious you have found a therapist who has experience with kids with ASD. Everyone I had found had a waiting list of at least a year. G. has an appointment with someone on the 7th and I am crossing my fingers. As for SmallBoy, is there a para in his class that he could sit next to instead of the teacher? That way he would be out of the line of fire, so to speak. G. also takes all her tests in the resource or "quiet room." Less distractions.