Monday, October 22, 2007

Dear Noah...

It was sprinkling rain when I went to pick you up from school. As I came around the corner the principal came out to meet me. She wanted to call me earlier in the day but never had time. She knew she would see me coming to pick you up so she decided to wait and grab me aside then.

Apparently there was an "incident" today at lunch recess. Apparently another little boy from your class kicked your lunch bag up to the wall of the school building but then picked it up to set it on the wall so it would not "get run over." This is what you told me. The principal said you totally misread the situation and she never mentioned that the boy kicked your lunch bag....only that he picked it up and put it on the wall so it would not get run over. BY WHAT I have no clue. Neither did you when I asked. SO we have conflicting stories and since the principal is not outside on the playground when you are.......I pretty much imagine what you said happened happened. The kid probably did kick it aside and then picked it up and placed it on the wall. WHY you did not know and neither do I. The principal said he was actually trying to do a good thing......trying to HELP you......PROTECT your bag......but it is not like cars run up and down the playground and ALL THE OTHER kids' lunch bags were also sitting outside in line-up for when you went back inside class. WHY this child only picked out your lunch bag to MOVE is still unknown on my part.

SO.....you apparently thought this child was being mean......and then going to steal your lunch bag.....so you went up and tried to bite his arm......and then you did successfully pinch his arm. You did not draw blood or even break the skin. In fact it sounds like the attempt at biting was unsuccessful. BUT......you got called on for it....which you should have.........but I really hope the situation was clear to the teachers on the playground at the time and it sounds like the entire incident was very fuzzy. I do hope the old trend of you being the last one being seen doing anything and then you being the only one getting into trouble is not going to repeat itself all over again. You usually only react if provoked. I have seen the so-called MONITORS on the playground and I have to say they do not always do a great job in MONITORING what is actually going on all the time. You apologized to the boy.....he accepted your apology....all was fine.

You now will be spending your time with a DUTY MONITOR all the time when out on recess which is something I requested a long time ago. I requested that your parapro be with you at ALL TIMES.....even on playground/recess. I guess she has to have a lunch break and other times away too though I do not understand why she cannot be on the same schedule as you. Anyway.......someone now will be with you at all times and they are to watch you at all times to hopefully help redirect you and make sure you stay on track. NOT sure how effectively this can happen if they do not really know your situation.

I emailed the principal and homeroom teacher to let them know we did talk about it. We went over what was wrong with what you did and what you should have done or do the next time.

I will probably email the principal again asking why your parapro cannot be the one outside with you on recess. I don't know....maybe she has to help other kids besides you?

Anyway.........when the story came out today my stomach instinctively knotted up again like it used to every day when I picked you up from preschool because every day that is all we heard....about all the things you did "wrong." I am thankful you have made such tremendous progress and your parapro went on and on today when I picked you up about how great a mom I was and the staff always says Noah has the best mom and how great a job I have done working with you and how they wish all moms were like me. While that made me feel a bit better.......I realized I am only doing what a mom should do and we still have a lot of work ahead of us.

BUT they all reportedly love you....and are amazed at how bright you are.....such good eye contact (seems to be so important to neurotypicals).

Anyway......we will keep plugging away. For any moms out there with children newly diagnosed with autism......this is why the earlier you can begin working with your child the better. It is much easier to try to teach these things to your child as soon as possible because it can take YEARS for the child to master and understand them. You do not want to have to wait until they are almost a teenager to have them start learning these social skills. Then they could have an unfortunate incident where they instinctively act out or react inappropriately in a social situation and get themselves into a lot more trouble......because they are older and bigger.

Enough said. It is raining....very fall-like outside. I have candles lit throughout the house.......Opie is sleeping on the cushion beside me.......and you are playing in your room. You have already done your homework and had a snack.

And all is right in the world again.

I love you Noah...

mommy
XOXOXOX

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just FYI....I know the feeling. BUT...one thing we moms tend to forget is that EVERY kid will make mistakes and misread situations at one time or another. We just tend to take it harder because, well because of everything. We hear about it because our kids are under a microscope all of the time. Other kids do crazy things too. They (those that are with him) need to use EVERY episode like that as a teaching/communicating moment. Has his teacher ever had "the talk" with his classmates? What was said? I find that that really helps.

Melinda said...

Yes you are correct. ALL the other kids have their moments too....and I do hear that reinforced when I pick Noah up. His parapro always tells me he is not the only one who cannot keep his hands to himself.....etc. They are all learning.

No "talk" has been done with Noah's classmates. His issues are not that obvious nor do that occur with such frequency that any talk is necessary to try to explain things. In fact he likely has no more episodes these days than any other child does.....it is just sometimes he does not always react appropriately. AND to be honest....it is no one else's business but our own.....and the staff at the school.

I try really hard to just treat Noah like I would any other child......and not point out any differences to others. I would not do that with anyone else who had any disability.

I do understand what you are trying to say......but in this case....it really seems totally unnecessary. In most ways....most cannot even tell Noah has any specific issues he is dealing with these days. I have personally never tried to attach any specific labels to Noah.......to Noah himself.

Noah has never even asked questions about any of his issues......and if he ever does.....I will just explain to him that he just processes information differently than other people do. It is really as simple as that.

I think in these situations it is definitely situation specific. Sometimes a disability can so severely affect everyone around that an explanation is needed. Sometimes not. Sometimes no one really needs to be told much of anything at all....ever.

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Drama Mama said...

No matter what the details, it always leaves my stomach ooky too.

You are an amazing mom. He is an amazing kid. You are doing all the right things.

If it helps, sending love to you both!

Melinda said...

aw thanks! SENDING SOME LOVE BACK! ;)

Mom/Grandma said...

Were all the bags sitting up on the wall, the way I read it they weren't, so why didn't the other child set it along with the others. By getting run over, she probably meant if the kids were running around, they could have kicked it more, or fallen over it, but then who knows.

But that's nice he will have a Duty Monitar, don't see a thing wrong with that. This way they can also see if that other kid tries to start something.

I know even if a child doesn't have a few little issues, it's still hard on the parent when the child tells you things that have happened at school to them, as you can only imagine with us having five kids. But the years go by very quickly. Looks like it's going to be pretty much a rainy week. So the kids will be playing indoors I guess. Have a good day, Love you both, Mom

Anonymous said...

I agree about the label thing. but he does have a parapro and kids do pick up on those that are different. the whole "processing information differently" is perfect. that is it to a tee. if you do not feel that the other kids are noticing and it is not a problem-then that is great. The teacher can gage that. We have not had to have "the talk" this year-my son is in second grade. I hope that we do not have too but I am also thankful that in kinrgarten when we did it was so well received. people really embraced him then and it changed the whole tone of the classroom. the children became more accepting and caring and new friendships opened up. to this day those that were in that class with him remember and always look out for him when he is in need. there will always be bullies (dont even get me started about the bus!) and it is nice to have an understanding friend by your side in hard times.