Thursday, December 14, 2006

How Do You Spell Oy Vay?

The keeping of the Great Secret of Santa has proven to be an extremely, unbelievably difficult task for my Not-So-SmallBoy. I wrote yesterday about how we had given him something to keep in his pocket to help him keep his lip zipped whenever he felt the urge to share the news. At the time, I thought that was a BRILLIANT idea - and it was. What wasn't a good idea, was re-stressing the importance of not telling. My poor little guy had a REALLY awful day yesterday because of it - or at least, that's my theory.

About 3:15 yesterday, I got a call from Mrs. M, SmallBoy's teacher. She had started writing this in his communication notebook, but as she hit two pages (and she writes small), she figured that calling me was the better idea. The trouble started in social studies class, which he has with a different teacher, Ms. R. Ms. R is a wonderful teacher and is cued into all things SmallBoy also. PC and I went in to her classroom last week and presented the book and Asperger's to the class. As we did the first time, we were well received and the students were glad to have a "reason" that SmallBoy is the way he is and acts the way he acts. Kids are still kids, though, and, unfortunately, in social studies class, Ms. R. had them work in pairs, pairing SmallBoy with someone who likes him, but doesn't "get" him. They had a difference of opinion about which page the assignment started on, and SmallBoy melted - BIG TIME. Crying, yelling, your basic SmallBoy-having-a-really-shitty-day meltdown.

After class, Ms. R spoke with Mrs. M who suggested that she always, always, always pair SmallBoy with his best friend, his rock at school, PQ. PQ is such a wonderful boy and somehow, just knows how to read SmallBoy. I spoke with SmallBoy last night and questioned him, gently, about what he should do if he and his partner disagree on something - ask for help from another classmate or a teacher. He said, yes, he agreed this was the right solution.

That was just the first time. Once they were back in Mrs. M's class, they were starting Language Arts. In preparation for the next part of the lesson, she told the class to take out their practice books and put them on their desks, but not to start working in them until she gave the assignment. Yep, you guessed it - SmallBoy started working in the book - he knew the assignment, it was on the board. Mrs. M was fine with that, saw that he had started working and turned a blind eye - she's good with him that way. One of the other students, however, saw that SmallBoy had begun to work in the practice book and ratted him out. Of course, Mrs. M had to say something then, she couldn't just ignore it. Well, now the attention was drawn to him and he got upset. He got loud, yelled, didn't understand WHY he couldn't work in his book if he wanted to. Mrs. M explained that because she had given the directive NOT to work in the books until she said to, that the class, as a whole, including SmallBoy, had to wait.

He wasn't satisfied with that answer and laid down on the floor next to his desk - and continued working in his book. Mind you, he's not disturbing anyone, but he's not following the directions. Again, though, Mrs. M was willing to let SmallBoy be, as he was now quiet. A second student ratted him out this time. And that was that. Nuclear Meltdown.

He screamed. He cried. He yelled. He went under a desk in the back of the room - the quiet desk - still working in his practice book. Mrs. M told him that it would be just fine if he wanted to work there and cool out there, but that he had to end the yelling and crying. She asked if he'd rather lie on the floor in the hallway, but he wanted desperately to be in the classroom. All of a sudden he let out a yelp and started crying again. It turns out that he burned himself on one of the pipes in the classroom. The classes have radiator heat on that side, and Mrs. M always makes certain that once the students are in the room, the radiator is off. Unfortunately, the pipes that lead to it are still holding heat and steam. It wasn't a bad burn, just a little one, like if you brush your hand across the cookie sheet, but sensory issues plus already being in a "bad place" with his meltdown and his day, he was just lost then. I dont' remember how she finally got him to cool off, because by the time we had gotten to that part of the conversation, I was somewhere else in my head. I did manage to formulate a thought that perhaps, the behavior issues yesterday were linked somehow with SmallBoy focusing ALL of his energy and strength on NOT spilling the Santa secret. Mrs. M concurred, as did PC, that it's a very likely theory. He used everything he had to contain that, and just couldn't hold himself together any longer.

SmallBoy has been talking about how he's having a very difficult time with making/keeping friends at school and Mrs. M confirmed that yesterday. She said it seems as though the other students are keeping him at a distance because they never know if/when he's going to explode and what is going to set him off. I wish that I could be there with him so that I can head these off. I see them, I know how to handle them and bring them down, sometimes before they start. Nope. Gotta work. That sucks. I mean, I know he has to learn these things on his own, or he won't learn them for later in life. My heart just ripped in half, and I think my legs were wobbly until about 8:00 last night. We have OT tonight, so I'll mention it to J the Fabulous OT and see what suggestions she has.

Update: J the Fabulous OT just called- she's deathly ill. No OT tonight. CRAP! Not sure what to do. SmallBoy needs it desperately. I really do need to find somewhere in my house to put an OT studio - or to at least convert his bedroom into one.
We also have the school Christmas program tonight, so it's going to be rush rush rush from one activity to another - but we've had a quiet week, so that's just fine. This year, will be our last year. We've had one child or another in the program for the last 10yrs or so. The children in grades 1 -3 do a little concert, and the three different orchestras play. The whole thing lasts maybe an hour, but it's a BIG DEAL. SmallBoy won't be in it this year, since he's in 4th grade, but Girl is playing with the orcestra. As an 8th grader, this is her last Christmas program. Hopefully we can get there in time to get good seats. This is SUCH a big deal, that the front 2 or 3 rows of center pews in the church are auctioned off for this program at our annual school auction - and they go for upwards of $800 - $1000 - THAT's how desperately people want good seats. The kids are adorable, though. Usually the entire first grade is missing teeth.

I'll bring my camera and hopefully get good pics of Girl playing. My new camera has a setting that lets you take good pics even in places you need a flash but aren't allowed to use one. I can't wait to show off all of the pictures that I'll be taking - once I learn all of the fun stuff. I'm not one to sit down and study manuals, but this camera has SO many cool features, that I would definitely be wasting my time and my money by not learning how to use everything. Posting my pics, however, proves incredibly difficult since I NEVER get to use my own computer. MOST of my posting is done at work because my computer is constantly in use by other people. I usually have to wait until midnight or later to get on. Last night, I fell asleep on the couch waiting for my turn. PC took this hysterical pic of me sleeping, and one of the OCFs all snuggled up next to me. Hopefully, someday, I'll be able to get another computer - one I can use - JUST for me. I bought this laptop so that I could write my book. Now there's about a smidgeon of memory left, creepy things that pop up, in, my "d" key sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, and out of my computer, the lap top mouse doesn't work, so I had to use one of my USB ports to plug in a mouse, and the other port is almost always in use charging someone's iPod. EEEK - and the damn thing's not even paid off yet!

Boy, I'm getting way too stressed, and it's barely 9am!


Kristina said...

I have been known to fall asleep on the couch (it's a hard as a brick sofa bed in my in-laws "rumpus room) and wake up bleary eyed and blog-needing-to-write just before midnight...... What a day and then no OT! We have OT spots all over the place (my bed is the indoor trampoline.....). Lots of fleece blankets, squishy therapy pillows, a huge pillow (really a dog bed---stuffed with rags and stuff, it's a great thing to flop on), a rocker chair. Also a ready supply of latext inside-out balls and a big therapy ball like the one you have.

Charlie, being in a self-contained classroom, does not have to deal with other kids. I know "kids will be kids" but still---what a painful day for Small Boy. With Charlie, he gets upset sometimes when he realizes he did something he shouldn't (like yelling) and then there's 2 problems: Upset child getting himself more upset. And lately he has been having trouble when what happens is not what he was expecting----Small Boy getting upset over the assignment while working in pairs made me think of that. And with the Santa secret pressure, too much!---plus all the holiday season anticipation stress on everyone.

hug to him and you!

mommyguilt said...

Thanks a million! Computer at home crashed last night, just after I saved all of my photo files to disc (thank god I got them saved - I have numerous, invaluable, precious memories). Hopefully I'll be able to get it recovered in time for more blogging.

Thanks for the in-house OT tips. Really would like to convert a room in the house, when LargeBoy heads off to college, but that will be, minimum, two years from now. I never thought about the rocking chair! Great idea!