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Archive for the ‘challenging behaviour’ Category

I’m linking up with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys

 

 

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J started this term a week after everyone else in his class due to our guests being with us, it wouldn’t have been fair to send him to the place he despises whilst we went out and had some fun with our friends would it?  So anyway, last week he begrudgingly went off to school without too many problems and I managed to have a brief chat with his new teacher, who seemed to welcome any information about J that I could give her. She also seemed to be very nice and quite understanding, for example Friday’s J now has show and share, something that he doesn’t particularly enjoy because he doesn’t like everyone looking at him and instead of forcing him to try to take part she simply said that a few other kids could go first and then he could see how he felt, if he didn’t want to do it then he didn’t have to.

Despite a not too bad week (all things considered) J has been refusing to go to school this week. We’ve had “I’ve got a cold”, “my tummy hurts” etc etc and he even locked himself in the toilet on Tuesday so that he couldn’t go to school! Out came the screwdriver, door unlocked and off to school he went. Again brief chat with his teacher and she said the she would keep an eye on him, as did his wonderful teacher aide. J had his homeschool day on Wednesday, last week he excelled and completed a workbook that I had got for him in around an hour and loved every minute he spent doing it, this week he really wasn’t up for doing anything. He was pretty meltdowny all day. I took him to the post office to pay some bills and thankfully it was empty so no huge meltdowns but very whiny, when we got home I took another workbook out for him but he only managed a couple of pages before he’d had enough. Whilst he was already feeling meltdowny I decided to cut his hair, J hates having his hair cut and this always causes a huge meltdown and so since he was already in that mood I figured we’d just get it over with, (I’ve been trying to pin him down to do it for a couple of weeks).

So a little meltdowny and whiny all week and lots of “I don’t wanna go school”. I think it’s partly due to him now going 4 days to mainstream instead of the 2 days he was doing last term. It’s a huge class, 4 times bigger than his EI class with 1/2 the staff, it’s also a much bigger room and there’s less structure. Basically he’s struggling, which I had known he would and even expressed my concerns to his teachers, they wanted him to attend f/t (5 days) but I insisted on him having the Wednesday at home because like I say I knew that he’d struggle to cope in his mainstream class.

Yesterday his new teacher was away, (for family issues) and we were informed that she would be away next week too, as her replacement they have bossiest and scariest teacher ever! She’s just awful, I’m sure she’d be great with a class of teenagers but not 5 and 6 year olds!  J has taken a real dislike to her and informed us last night that she told him off because he couldn’t put his bag on his back! He also informed us that “she’s mean to all the kids even the quiet ones”. You can imagine the fun I had this morning trying to convince him to go to school. He walked into school with me trying to calculate how many more days he had with “her”, she had told them that she was taking the class for the next 6 days, so he naturally thought that this included the weekend (the next 6 days remember?). I told him that he would be home tomorrow and on Sunday, to which he exclaimed “yes! that means I don’t have her for 2 days” then went on to inform me that he only had her for 2 more days?? I hadn’t quite caught up with him at that point so asked him why he only had her for 2 more days. He had worked it out like this, today doesn’t count, that’s 1 day, he won’t be at school Saturday or Sunday, that’s 2 more days, then he goes to school for 2 days and it’s then his homeschool day……… ta dah! 6 days in total. Needless to say he was crushed when I told him that the weekend isn’t included in the 6 days!

When we arrived at the school this morning, I was relieved to see other parents complaining to the teacher aide about the fill in teacher, relieved because for once it wasn’t just us! One parent was very concerned because she felt her child might “do a runner”, the  majority of the kids in the class are petrified of her and the parents aren’t happy leaving their kids there. For us the nightmare is, J already hates school, how are we supposed to convince him that it’s ok really and it’s not a scary place when he has someone like this taking his class?

I’m very tempted to keep him home on Monday, he has a cold at the moment………… maybe he’ll be “ahem” ill. I’m sure he won’t be the only one…………………

Maybe they’ll find someone else to take the class next week…………… please pretty please………

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Today was my little man’s first day back at school. This school term actually started last week but our friends from the UK were here so we decided to let J have an extended school holiday. He’s been off school for a total of 3 weeks. During those 3 weeks we’ve had very few big meltdowns and only a few “mini meltdowns”. He’s also coped really well having our guests stay and has even slept through the night no less than 8 times in the last 3 weeks!!!!  We also thought we’d solved part of our bedtime battles with him, we still have the usual “I don’t want to go to bed”, “I’m not tired”, “I need a drink”…….and so on but I have been sitting with him once he’s in bed and had his stories etc. I’ve been sitting with him stroking his hand or head to calm him for about 10 minutes every night and it’s been working!! He hasn’t come out of his room even once in the last month once he’s been put to bed!!!

Last night I didn’t manage to calm him, he didn’t come out of his room but he did cry (real tears) and he did whine and several times told me he wasn’t going to school. *sigh*

Today it’s all change for him. Not only is he no longer attending EI, he is attending Prep 4 days a week (I’ve insisted he stay home on a Wednesday to give him the break he needs) but he also has a new teacher. Thankfully a couple of weeks before the end of last term his Prep teacher informed me that she was leaving at the end of term so that I could start to prepare him, unfortunately the school didn’t officially announce it until the end of the last week of term and the name of the new teacher was given to us on the very last day of term.  I received a phonecall at 9am yesterday from someone at the school asking for my email address. She then emailed a short letter for J including pictures of his new teacher, the Prep classroom, which has been changed around and the new entrance that the children are to go in. I’m very grateful to this person for taking up her personal time to do this for J. Thankyou

However, the school has been back for a week, there are a few ASD children in J’s class. Change can be hard for all children, throw a little ASD in and you have fun times…………NOT!  Other than this person calling and emailing we have had no contact with the school over the last week, I would have thought with the amount of meetings and issues that we’ve had with the school and J’s reaction to change (something that they are well aware of) that they may have taken 5 minutes out of just one of those days last week to email, call, write a brief letter………….whatever,  to inform us of the changes so that we had the time to prepare him. Instead it was left to this person to email in her own time. Again I’m very grateful and owe them our thanks.

Last night and this morning we’ve had lots of “I don’t want to go school”, “I don’t want to go in a new door”, “I don’t want a new teacher” and lots of “I hate school”. *sigh*

I’ve printed some information off that I compiled about J and about how he “copes” but then explodes at home because he isn’t really coping and gave it to his new teacher when I dropped him off this morning. I also had a very brief chat with her and explained a couple of his “issues”. She seemed friendly and receptive, it’s very early days but I guess we’ll see how we go.

The past few days has really highlighted just how hard the start of each school year is going to be for J ………. and for us. New teacher, new classroom, new routines…………….  It’s going to get easier…………………. right?

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We made it!……………….. We actually made it!……………….

First day of the school holidays and I decide that we need to go to the shops. Shopping centres are something that we usually try to avoid with J, they usually lead to huge sensory overload and HUGE meltdowns. 

We started the planning yesterday and put together a small shopping list just for J, which obviously included a few of his favourite things and would hopefully give him something to concentrate on whilst at the shops. He asked to take his trolley so that he could put his shopping in it. I confirmed (although rather worried) that he could take it………………… the last time I took him to the shops with his trolley he attacked the checkout lady with it when she took things out of it to scan!

This morning didn’t start well, he had woken up a couple of times through the night (as usual *sigh*) and was in a tired/grumpy mood. He started his day by screaming and shouting for me, then had a “moment” regarding his breakfast and then his clothes. So the thought of going to the shopping centre with him was filling me with dread!

Finally ready to go after several exchanges over the toilet and shoes, he grabbed his trolley and had a brief run around on the drive with it before we left, (better to get some of that energy out before we got to the shops).

When we arrived at the shops we parked in our “usual” car park, (J always insists on parking on the roof), and off we went, my heart racing as fast as his trolley wheels! I wanted to go to the supermarket first, just in case we didn’t make it everywhere that we needed to, at least this way I would have the essentials………………… however J had other ideas. I thought I had been so clever giving him his own shopping list but what I had failed to put on the list was “Mummy’s shopping” and I had forgotten to put the items on his list in the order that I wanted to collect them. First on J’s list was Pokemon figures and so in order to avoid a meltdown (he got that look in his eye) we tottled off to the game shop first and then the Donut stand, (second on his list).

Then came the big test, the dreaded supermarket!! I’m sooooo proud of little man today. Not only did he “cope” with a sensory overloaded supermarket with only a few very minor “moments” and minimal touching and smelling of everything but he also managed to get his trolley around the supermarket and through the checkout with seriously injuring anyone………………. minor ankle bumps don’t count LOL :)

 

We decided to get the lift back to the car park and off we                                                    went…………………..             We had made it!

Well Done Little Man, I promise no more shopping for you this week :)

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We’ve had 2 meetings this week both of which have created a mixed bag of emotions.

The first meeting was with a new OT, The OT and Speechy that we were seeing at the end of last year was a complete waste of time. Alot of our funding was used up and no progress was made, no sensory diet created………nothing. We were under the impression that this was one of the only places in our area to go, that accepted the funding, however at the beginning of this year we found a wonderful new Speech Therapist who in a short space of time has already helped a great deal and J responded well to her. It was her that gave us the details for J’s new OT, yes we will be seeing her again!

The OT that we met with was very switched on and (we felt) knew exactly what she was talking about and within 10 minutes of observing J whilst talking to us she had already picked up on a couple of J’s quirks/issues.  (very impressed)  During our hour with her she discussed the possibility hat J may have some ear problems that we should look into, he gets alot of ear infections and that along with a few of his “issues” could mean that there is a problem. This raised alarm bells with us because as a baby J was admitted to hospital overnight because he was unwell, when the Doctor “did his rounds” the next morning we were told that J had a narrow ear canal but because he was so small it would “sort itself out”, so ofcourse we are now asking ourselves if we should have pushed to investigate it further and if it is related to some of his ear issues now. The same Doctor also did some tests on J’s gut (that was the reason he was admitted overnight) and we were told that his bowel was slightly twisted but again because he was so small “it would sort itself out”. The OT that we met with this week feels that J could also have some gut problems, and so again we are wondering if we should have pushed to have it investigated further at the time…….. I guess when the experts tell you it will be ok you believe (or want to) that they know what they’re talking about and so leave it at that. *sigh*   Anyhow she has recommended that we see our GP and get a referral to a Dietician/Nutritionist, an Allergist and to get his ears sorted. Unfortunately we don’t have the best GP and so before we can sort all of the above out I have to search out a new GP……………..asap!  On the upside we were very impressed with the new OT and despite it being abit of a drive to see her we will definitely be going back to her :)

Our second meeting this week was not so great………………………. you’ve guessed it …………. the school!

It started badly when it was assumed Hubby would be outside playing with J and not part of the meeting…………….. he became a little cross at this suggestion and let rip at the Psychologist who went outside to chat to him. I should point out at this point that this was Psychologist who had been invited to the meeting despite the fact that she had never met any of us before and as nice as she was, she didn’t know any of us or anything about our situation. Also attending the meeting was the Principal, who had also never met any of us before, (I guess in a school so big it would be hard to know every pupil but since they get extra funding because J attends you would think they might make an effort to know who the special kids are that they are getting the extra funding for).

Anyhow once Hubby and everyone else was inside the meeting began. We tried to explain some of the issues we had been having and some of the things that J had told us but yet again felt like we had wasted 90 minutes. We told them that J had informed us that *Billy* had been mean to him and was bullying him, the response we got was smiles and nods……………. if they know it’s happening why haven’t they addressed this issue?!?!?!   We went through various issues with them and basically got the general feeling that we weren’t being listened to at all. We felt like we were going around in circles…………………… To wrap the meeting up the Principal asked if they were to work on the food thing and if that was what they should be doing………………….. I responded with “Well just getting him to school should be first!”        Do you see why we felt we weren’t listened to at all, how on earth did she get that his food issues were something to be worked on first when we had been explaining some of J’s issues with school and just how much he doesn’t want to go school and some of the behaviour we receive as a result of him not wanting to go to school?!?!?

Anyhow, we’re now counting down the days until we go to see the Surgeon about Hubby’s back and hoping for good news, (although the way this year is going so far, maybe we’re hoping for too much). After we have seen the Surgeon and we know what’s going on with Hubby’s back we will be making some important decisions about our future. If we get the good news that we are hoping for J may be ending his time at that school sooner rather than later and when we are searching for his new school we will be taking with us a list of questions to ask the school and a tick sheet of requirements, (smaller class sizes will be top of the list, as this is one of J’s biggest issues with his Prep class). Until then we just carry on as we are and wait and see……………………….

Oh and J is off school again today, because when you’ve been up most of the night and you feel the way that Hubby and I are feeling about the school, when you have your child screaming, crying (real tears, not the temper tantrum type) and physically begging you not to make him go to school, you’re just too tired and heartbroken to fight………….. what would you do?…………………………….. maybe I should ask his teachers that next week!

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Brief rain storm outside tonight…………….. meanwhile inside, HUGE “storm” at bedtime!  Can’t we tell it’s school tomorrow……………..

After getting some advice from various people about J’s issues with school, we decided to keep him home today. I was told several times by his teachers that if I kept him off before we had a meeting about homeschooling one day a week he would be marked as absent……………………… ah well guess he was absent today!

We have our meeting tomorrow after school, gee just for once I hope J is in his usual foul mood after school ………… just once I would like for them (the teachers) to see exactly what I’ve been trying to explain to them. So I guess we’ll just see how that goes, at the end of the day he’s only in Prep, which is not compulsory, so if they don’t agree he’ll just have to be absent every Wednesday………….. I’m getting too tired to fight anymore so if keeping him home one day a week means one (or 10) less arguments then so be it!

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It’s raining again today but it pretty much sums up how we’re all feeling at the moment.

This morning, as usual on his Prep days, J started the day with “I don’t want to go school!”  However what was different about today was, once I’d finally got him strapped in the car………… for the second time, (escaped the first time!), he started crying………………..real tears. J often has tears when he’s having a meltdown or a moment but they’re usually tears of anger and just pure uncontrollable emotion but he rarely has “real sadness tears”. Today they were very much real tears. It broke my heart to leave him at school this morning knowing how upset he had been in the car. When I left him, he begged me to first take him home and then to stay with him. Today I very nearly did bring him home………………………

He told me whilst crying and begging that school is too hard. I asked him what was hard and he replied “Miss C said we have to be good and it’s too hard, I can’t be good all day and I have to ‘cus I’ll get told off otherwise”. I told him that he should tell his teacher this and that if he really couldn’t “be good” (whatever their idea of good is!) then he could have a silly and that everyone has a silly at some point and that it was ok. I told him it wasn’t naughty, unless he hurt someone because that wasn’t very nice and that it was just what he had to do sometimes but maybe we could try to think of some other things he could do if he thought he was going to have a silly. And I told him I thought he’d done a fantastic job at “being good” at school so far and promised him he could have a day off soon ……………. What else could I say? Bless him this is obviously something that has been eating him up inside and possibly the cause of some of his anxieties.

To be honest we prefer to use the words nice and silly or not nice rather than good or bad …………… everyone’s idea of a well-behaved child is different but for us if J has tried his best at everything, then what else can you ask for. There really isn’t any point in putting unreasonable demands on a child when it’s simply going to cause more stress than necessary.

Anyhow I hope a big cuddle from Mummy tonight helps him and reminds him of what a “good boy” and what a special boy he is to Mummy and Daddy.

I’m really not looking forward to tomorrow……………………….

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