Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Still on Earth

I got one of those phone calls from the school.  If you're an autism parent you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Actually, the first call was from Red.  Seeing his name on the caller i.d. is almost as bad as seeing the high school's number during the day.  The last thing I want is a call from either of them.

"Mom.  I need you to come get me.  I'm really pissed off.  I just left the AP's office..."
The strange thing is -his tone was not belligerent.  His language was very lucid.  Everything he was saying made perfectly good sense.  He wasn't happy about the situation but he wasn't over the top either.  Less than a year ago, this very same phone call would have had me running over to the school because he was threatening to harm himself.  Any encounter with a police officer, if not self-initiated sends him over the moon.  And this was a substitute campus officer -not the one he knows and is actually pretty fond of.

 Today, he was still on earth -not happy, but not totally losing it either.

I however, was pissed!  I had to play the roll of cool, calm, and collected, so that he would remain in control.  But I could have kicked that Assistant Principal right in the ass if I had been close enough. He called Red in and had the campus police officer there to "explain" how certain things work out in the "real world."
The A.P. is also a little wimp and was probably afraid of the big bad, black teenager with autism.  Red might lose it, so he better have the officer there to intimidate him.  Red has lost it before.  Violence? No. That is not in his character.

A student filed a complaint that Red was making him feel uncomfortable, because he kept going up to him saying, "You need to stay away from my friends." Said student wants Red to "stay away from him."

Does this student have that right? Absolutely.
Does Red fully comprehend that?  I can't tell you that for sure.
Can Red control how he feels, this jealousy and envy for this other student? No.  He can not.
Can Red control his impulse to go up and talk to this boy every time he sees him?  So far...the answer is  No.
This behavior has been an ongoing problem, stemming from Red's insecurity, low self-esteem, unhappiness, and feelings of being disliked and unaccepted in the high school culture.   These are  common feelings for students in high school with Aspergers. Blue has only been there a few weeks and he already feels like an outcast.

As the mom ...I have to teach Red the ways of the world.  Although, he would like the world to operate according to his rules -that is not going to happen.
I tell him, that although he can not control his feelings, he has to control his actions.  People who can not control their actions, end up losing some of their freedoms.

In the adult world, Aspergers is not an excuse.  It may be a defense, but not an excuse.  In other words, in the real world you can be arrested, and have a trial for your actions.  Your attorney can argue, that your compulsive behavior is a result of your autism -that autism and A.D.H.D. makes you have difficulty with impulse control.  Will that excuse your behavior? Probably not.  There will be some consequence.  After all, he is black ...and this is America.  He already has a strike against him.  Autism just compounds the problem.
There is already the consequence of an arrest and paying for an attorney for your defense.  So, do we really want to go there? Absolutely not!

I pray that he is learning these lessons in the relatively safe environment of the high school.  And I do mean relatively.  Who knows how much mental damage this freaking school is causing him everyday.  It is safe in that what happens there, unless completely illegal, does not land you with such consequences.

Now...why was I pissed?  Because the asshole A.P. called me after the fact, of calling Red into his office and having a police officer there to intimidate him.  He knows damn well, he should have called me beforehand.  We've been through this before.  I've laid him out before.

When he called me and asked me, "How are you doing today?" How do you think I'm doing? I'm pissed! Red has already called me and said, he wants to drop out of school ...you asswipe! 

Granted -Red is 18 years-old now.  He is supposed to be legally responsible for himself.  Is he mature enough to know what that means?  Not really.
No -I did not file for guardianship.  I want to give him the opportunity to take care of his own life. We did however have him sign a Power of Attorney, so that I can help him with legal, medical and financial matters, if he is unable to do so himself.  This includes, if he doesn't fully understand what is being asked of him.

We just signed the Power of Attorney last week and it is not on file with the school yet.  You can bet your ass -it will be put on file today!  Yes ...I let the AP know that I would be getting a copy of it electronically from my attorney, so that I can put it on file today.  And yes, if you know what's best for you, you will call me before you call my son into your office the next time.  Otherwise, you may be getting a visit directly from my attorney!

Meanwhile, I had to make my 3rd trip over to the high school for that day, to bring Blue some medicine for the nebulizer.  I decided to have a chat with the campus officer, to find out exactly what kind of chat he had with my son.  He explained, that the definition, of harassment/bullying has recently been expanded to include, annoying another student.  HA!!  Annoying is the very definition of Aspergers!  You expect a child with Aspergers not to annoy another student.  That's rich!

He basically told Red, that these kind of issues can lead to real problems in a public location other than the school.  In other words, this is a behavior that we need to break, before it causes him any real problems. I get that.  I'm totally with that.  In fact, in a sad way, I am glad these kinds of issues are being addressed now, so that we hopefully never encounter them after we walk out of the doors of that freakin' high school.

The really exceptional news is that Red processed through all of this extremely well with his therapist yesterday afternoon.  He actually accepted responsibility for his actions.  He was calm, cool, and very mature about the whole thing.  This.is.a.miracle.  Maybe he really is growing up.  Maybe he is starting to get it.

The real kicker was later that day,  we picked his friend up.  When he got in the car Red told him, "Man let's not talk about so and so anymore.  It's a real trigger for me.  If I bring him up again, I want you to slap me!" he said as he laughed.  "And if you bring him up, I'll slap you!"

Editorial Note:

This is something I had to write about instead of talk about on my YouTube Vlog .  Have you checked it out by the way?  You really should!