Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dear Noah...

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When I picked you up from school yesterday you walked out with your paraprofessional with a strange expression on your face. I instantly recognized it though I have not seen it for awhile. I call it the "walking zombie" look. This usually occurs after you have had a period of stimulation and then you "zone out" and recuperate. I do not see this look often these days, but the last time I did, it lasted for three days.

When I first noticed you having these spells of zoning out years ago it did not take long to connect them to the periods of over simulation that occurred prior. I soon realized it was all part of how you "work" and you "must" have these periods of zoning out afterwards in order to cope.

Every year about this time of year you become a lot busier than usual with all the holidays and special events and I guess it does tend to act as a trigger for these episodes. In the past this has been when school time in the public classroom setting spiraled downward. I am very optimistic this year you will do very well regardless though I have to admit my stomach and body fills with dread when I see this look on your face coming out of the school. I know this usually means you have had a pretty "active" day, with at the very least some "behavioral issues."

This held true yesterday. Again when you were in the bathroom another little boy came in and you tried to pinch him. I am not sure why. I don't believe you even know why. When the little boy was telling you "No!" you apparently then tried to bite him. So this meant you had to move your tag from the green "good" zone to the yellow "warning" zone at school.

I believe this is the third time so far this year you have attempted to bite someone. This is such a regression of how far you have come. You have never gotten close enough to actually bite anyone or even touch them with your mouth but still, it is the point behind it all. I have to wonder if the school is implementing the "social skills sessions" they were going to begin according to your IEP. I cannot emphasize how important this is for a child such as yourself. In fact I believe all children could use some training in social skills and what is or is not acceptable behavior for specific situations. We will continue to work on this at home as well as we have always done.

Needless to say you acted like you were drugged by the time you got home. We had planned on going to the grocery store and doing some shopping with the highlight for you being taking your camera to film the toilets flushing, but you did not even want to do that. You started to cry and said you were "not in the mood" to go to the store OR film their toilets. You wanted to go see your grandma, but really only ti film her fans turning upstairs as you discovered some fans plugged in up there the last time you were there and you wanted to record the blades spinning around.

I allowed you some down time and then slowly coaxed you into going regardless of how you felt because it was my day off and the only day we could really go grocery shopping as we needed some things we could not wait on for the next day. I told you if you had no energy to walk in the store you could ride in the shopping cart. Suddenly I was transported back in time by at least 3-4 years as it flooded my mind with all the memories of how things used to be for you on a regular basis, of times when I could never even make it to the store. Where one adult would have to stay home with you while the other ran all the errands. Of being cooped up inside the house 24/7 never venturing outside for any reason.

You sat in the cart as I tried to cram the groceries in all around you. You decided to play with the canned cat food, stacking them and saying they were "poop" and falling into the toilet. Times like these are when I know you think a little differently than most and that difference is striking. Your obsession with toilets and flushing of toilets is at an all-time high. If you could go into public bathrooms or the school restrooms and stand there and flush the urinals over and over again it would be what you would call "my best day ever!" I realize you need to do these things as it soothes you and calms you. I do take you places to film toilets most days when we can to satisfy this. The other night at the local drugstore I could be found waiting outside the men's restroom listening to you flushing the toilets and squealing "WOW!" over and over again. When you came out your face was beaming.

Tonight we are to go trick-or-treating at nighttime at my parents' town. I think it will go well and I am thankful you have an early release on Friday as I think you will likely need it after such a busy past few days. Meanwhile I will work harder to give you what you need and plenty of "quiet time" afterwards to recover and cope.

I love you Noah. Here's to your success!



Drama Mama said...

I feel melancholy today, and I sense a bit of the same tone in your post. It's hard to see all the progress sometimes, isn't it? I feel like you have such an understanding of your boy - one that I sometimes don't have for my own daughter.

You are doing such a good job by him.

KC's Blog said...

I have seen that look, the zombie look in K.C. many times. I too think it's from being over stimulated. Hope everything is o.k. at school for Noah.

Anonymous said...

I just had to say that Halloween is THE worst holiday for us. I plan on keeping my little guy home from school the day after trick or treat and the school party every year. it really helps. so much overstimulation and CRAP to eat and chaos. it worked out great this year-he is back in school and ready to go...BUT...the day of the party and after school trick or treat...UGLY. Spaced out-irritable-annoying.