Wednesday, March 2, 2011

God is With Me...Who Can be Against Me?

I'm a lover not a fighter.  I hate confrontation.  I don't like making people feel bad, or calling them out. (Of course my husband would totally disagree with this statement.)  I don't like being angry and out of sorts.  I don't like that heart-racing, palpitating rush that I feel when I'm upset.

But every day isn't coming up Roses, and everyone doesn't always do what they are supposed to do.  They don't always do what's best for your special needs kid.  Sometimes they do the best they can.  Sometimes they do what's convenient or easy.  Sometimes they do what's in the best interest of other students.  Sometimes, the school system of things for Special Education just stinks!  So although I don't like to fight...I HAVE TO ADVOCATE for my child.  If not me than who?

This was too funny not to use! 
8:15 a.m. The phone rings, "I know you are rushing to get Red to school on time for TAKS testing, but I have a quick question for you," says the school Psychologist. 

Actually, I wasn't rushing.  Actually, I had no idea testing was today.  I have been to busy dealing with his explosive, angry behavior since the events that took place at school a week ago.  I've been an absolute, stark raving lunatic! I've been too busy trying to get his emotions under control.  I've been totally preoccupied with  preparing for my upcoming emergency ARD meeting.  

He did make it to school for testing.  However, he was late. (What else is new?)

The latest in this drama -Red comes home from school on Monday and blasts me with a rant,"You don't love me! You're the worst parents ever!"  You know the regular drill.  It reaches it's climax...just as we're getting ready to sit down for dinner.  I put dinner on the table for everyone else.  I coerce him to his room where I get him to calm down.  We talk. When he gets to the point of being rational we can actually have an insightful conversation.

"Can you tell me why you're so angry?"
"I'm just so depressed because of everything that's been happening at school.  You know how 6th grade was a really rough year for me?  Well...this year is kind of like that."

Hmm...two transitional years -lots of changes, adjustments, getting to know new students, teachers and administrators.  Change is not easy for a kid on the autism spectrum.  This is a rare moment of clarity from him.  It's amazing how much better he can actually think when he is calm and rational.

"I've been taking it out on my family, but I know that you guys love me.  I take things out on Blue because I hate that he's so smart and I'm not."

"You are smart.  How can a person that's not smart get commended on a TAKS test?  You're capable of making A's and B's.  You're not failing anything (besides Art at the moment).  You just learn differently and work slowly.  That doesn't mean you're not smart."

"Well I'm just upset about everything that's been happening to me at school.  Today, they changed my schedule around for two of my classes."

They did what!?  How could that be?  I wasn't notified or consulted! Jesus! When does it end? He's been screaming and blowing up with me because they changed his schedule!  Note the key word CHANGE! CHANGE IS DIFFICULT for kids on the autism spectrum.

"Now I won't know anybody.  I'm gonna miss the friends I have in those classes.  And my health class is a whole new teacher, in a different room and it's LOUD in there."

The whole reason he's been depressed and acting out is because he is sad, lonely -feeling like he doesn't have any friends.  They changed his class so that he wouldn't be in class with a boy he's had an issue with.  They told me they were just going to move his seat and have aid present.  I am not happy!

But that's o.k. because the stars are aligning.  I can't be more specific until after I have my actual meeting.  (Who knows who is reading this? They may have secret spies reading my blog.  I certainly hope so!)  Let's just say -everything is coming together.  I will be well prepared going into this friendly meeting with the powers that be.

Through this experience I am learning.  Through my pain, anger, heart-racing and palpitating, stomach gurgling, sleepless nights and tears, my son will be helped. I will make things better for him. Subsequently, I will be able to help someone else. 

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