It's day 3 of back to school or should I say, starting new schools. The transition has not exactly been a day at the beach. I was surprisingly optimistic after meeting with the Special Education staff at the high school. They really seemed to have their sh*t together, which is more than I can say for either middle school my son attended. The program he was in was more like glorified babysitting than making sure he got the absolute best education in the least restrictive setting.
The high school's goal is to get my son in regular classes as much as possible to ensure that he gets the best education so that he can go on to make a positive contribution to society. We are hoping that he can use his interest in video editing, film and art to have a career in that arena. His options are diminished if he doesn't finish high school. They are diminished if he doesn't develop coping and social skills to deal with people. High school is the obstacle course he has to make it through, in order to move forward with his life, and most importantly...to get out of my house!
He has come home complaining every single day about how he HATES high school!
"No one talks to me! I feel lonely!"
"Only the weird people talk to me!"
"The bus driver can't drive! He almost flipped the freakin bus over and the assistant acts like she's drunk!"
I think this is code for...the driver and his assistant seem a little weird. They are a couple -husband and wife. I will admit, they are not exactly the most warm and fuzzy people I've ever met. They're not exactly friendly and I know they have no "special needs" training. They don't appear to be very educated...period.
This morning he flat out refused to get on the bus to go to school. They did show up early as he was still eating his eggs. He had not brushed his teeth or put on his shoes. How dare they show up early knowing full well that I don't feel like going! Of course, he had taken his sweet time waking up and getting his breakfast. He also had to take time out to call his brother a few names.
How can I keep doing this for the next four years?! He's twice my size. Iit's really getting past the point where I can make him do anything. His father who is more intimidating in stature and demeanor, is traveling half of the time for work. If I am forceful and take away privileges, he melts down -yelling and screaming and wreaking havoc on the entire house. Homeschooling is not an option for me. I would loose what is left of my sanity -not to mention, he needs to develop social skills and he can't do that at home in his room. If I travel down the road of taking him everyday, instead of riding the bus, I then own the battle of getting him to school on time. Why should he rush to be ready for me? He doesn't rush do anything else I ask him. It will be just one more thing for us to fight about.
I'm reading this new book called, "The Explosive Child!" written by Ross Green, Ph.D. Basically he tells you to collaborate with your child to solve problems. Don't simply impose your will upon them. Come up with solutions together, so that he feels like his voice is being heard. That all sounds great in theory, but what the hell do you do when his voice is saying, "I am not going to school! I want to be home-schooled!" And let me add, at a very high octave.
His best friend is homeschooled, so he thinks that's the magic answer. He isn't in the same place as his friend. He is "high-functioning" with Aspergers, not bi-bolar with ADHD. He has a specific skill set and a high degree of intelligence, that will be developed further by being in school.
After 10 minutes of refusing to get on the bus, I finally told them to leave. I called the school and talked to his Special Education BASE teacher to tell her what I was dealing with. He asked to speak to her and suddenly had a reasonable tone of voice. He quietly voiced his concerns to her. She told him to come on in and they would come up with a viable game plan. He agreed -brushed his teeth, put on his shoes and I took him to school.
They say God doesn't give you more than you can bare. All I can say is he must think I'm awfully strong in order to handle these children. I guess he's right. I haven't gone to the looney bin yet.