Autism Watch: 2007

Stressed out from…school?

Posted on: August 28, 2008

I think I mentioned earlier this week that I was worried about another year of fighting to get ds to go to school…to get up and leave the house on time, fully dressed (which means shoes)…and listening to him each night as he shares stories of how he is wronged at school or what frustrates him or who takes up too much of his desk space or who is a ‘brat.’ (And ‘brat’ is someone that continually upsets him in a way that appears intentional — he’s actually pretty discriminate about who gets that label.)

So if I didn’t mention it earlier this week, I am now.

This morning was the worst yet…out of three whole days, it’s not a major contest yet. Day one he was excited, day two he was hesitant because he was sure I hadn’t signed all the required paperwork, and day three…it seemed to go so well when I woke him up at 7:30. He slept through his alarm (he was up later last night because it was his behavioral therapy program night) and he didn’t want to get up initially until he remembered that he was hungry and wanted pancakes. And I was so proud, I’d already prepared them, leaving me to just lead him to the kitchen since he normally wakes up and hops out of bed almost immediately. Fast forward to the kitchen a minute later, and he’s mad. I’d made the ultimate mistake in the world of pancakes. I’d…wait for it….poured the maple syrup on them before he sat at the table. This wasn’t the first time, yet somehow this really aggravated him.

I did get him out the door on time, but he refused any sort of food, even a completely new stack of homemade pancakes. (For you new blog-readers, I make almost all of his food from scratch, including the pancakes he eats daily for breakfast, day in, day out.) He did brush his teeth, but only with a lot of slamming and banging of the toothbrush and toothpaste container. If he could have slammed the faucet on/off, he would have. He stomped onto the stool. Shut the door loudly. (You can’t really slam that particular bathroom door, which is a blessed thing.) “There! Happy now?” Stomp stomp stomp to his shoes, shoves his feet in them even though he’d told me earlier he wasn’t going to wear socks or shoes. (“I don’t care if people stare!”) Time to get in the car. “You know what? I’m going to get suspended. You hear me? Then I won’t have to go anymore.” Sigh. SIGH.

At school, we found the classroom door open, and I had a chance to speak with the teacher. I like her. She’s got a big smile and seems to already have picked up on some of ds’s nuances. We talked for a minute, she assured him that I had signed the paperwork, and gave him some tips to handle the teasing he’d experienced on Tuesday. You could see him visibly relax when he realized he didn’t have to worry about the paperwork, and that someone knew about the teasing. And the aide? She’s on it, too, and she’s going to be sure things on the playground go well.

How’d pick-up go? It went great. We chose a different gate, on the teacher’s suggestion, as the other gate is less crowded. He didn’t have to wade through so many people, and he didn’t mind the walk to the car either, though going against traffic with a rolling backpack that drags behind you a bit posed a bit of a challenge because so many were in one-way traffic mode.

But, once home from school, the meltdowns are already worse. He’s been angrily, violently mad quite a bit in the last few days, and it requires so much calm on everyone else’s part to keep him from exploding…though we’re still working equally hard on ensuring he doesn’t get his way every time and that the rest of the house isn’t jumping to give into him, especially if his demands are unrealistic. So we’re wondering — is it from being back in school? The stress of behaving all day so he lets loose at night? It’s too early to tell, but I suspect it’s a combination of that and no regular routine. And to make matters worse (at least for him) is that it’s Nascar week here in town. The festivities begin this evening (though we did drag him around a bit last night to see the haulers parked in various places and to his favorite restaurant after, despite him whining the whole drive about how he’s carsick and it’s not fair that he’s stuck in a car for something we want to do, not him) and don’t end until the fireworks after the race late Sunday night. Thank God, we’ve got respite help during all of this, but I think Monday, the holiday, could be crazy. Two weekends like this a year, and maybe it’s selfish, but we look forward to them all the rest of the year. I do wish ds would find a way to deal even for a short period of time, but forcing him doesn’t help him or change the situation at all, so maybe as he gets older? Again, too early to tell. (And, because I can, go Jamie McMurray, #26!!!)

And this morning? You can bet I didn’t pour the syrup on the pancakes until after he sat down.

2 Responses to "Stressed out from…school?"

Holy, cow! That description of the morning at your house sounds like it could be MY house. All except for the sleeping in and not wanting to get up part. I WISH Little Man would sleep in a little…

Sorry it’s been so rough. It’s hard to remember the good stuff when they’re putting us through the wringer, isn’t it? I hope it gets better!

Oh, and how great that you like his teacher and she seems like a good fit for him. That’s wonderful!

sounds like my house totally! except the part of the pancakes – Little Man eats breakfast at school. Thank Heaven for that because once he is dressed, he goes into my room and crawls back into bed with dad until it is time to go (well 5 minutes before it is time to go when he takes his asthma meds). Otherwise, your som sounds just like my Little Man. I hate having to wake him up @ 6am though, it’s till dark outside and that frustrates him the most!

Good luck for better days!

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