Friday, October 17, 2008

Dear Noah.......you stayed home from school again today.....


and did not even wake up until 10:30 a.m. which is NOT like you. I am going to call and see if we can get you in to see the doctor as you have just not felt like yourself for awhile now....and I want him to check you out to make sure nothing physically is going on with you. You have been complaining about your right ear and neck so maybe you have more than a clogged ear.....and you have looked so pale and zombie-like but that can also be the way you appear when you have been sensory overloaded for too long and eventually "zone out." I let you sleep in my bed last night as my room is much cooler than yours and well...you felt crappy.


The changes made at school have been working well for you so far. They have allowed a lot of sensory activities for you during recess time and you seem to really be enjoying that and do not miss going outside at recess with a bunch of other kids all the time at all you said! The first day they let you swing on the OT swing in the gym however you also SPUN around too much on it and for the first time you said you got dizzy and a headache and felt sick to your stomach. SO the next day I told you to NOT swing in circles so much but just back and forth.

The inclusive teacher walked you out yesterday to tell me at the end of the day while sitting on the carpet with the other kids waiting to be dismissed for the day (I have NO idea what carpet or even where this would be located as the classrooms do not have carpet that I am aware of ) there were a couple of girls making hand gestures and saying some saying out loud which you do NOT like. This really bothers you. I have been telling you to USE YOUR WORDS when something bothers you at school instead of reacting with a hit or shove..and you are really trying to do this. Yesterday you told the girls " Stop doing that it makes me angry!" to which another BOY responded by joining in and saying/doing the same thing which only made you angrier. The inclusive teacher came up and I think tried to talk you through this telling you that it was okay for someone else to sometimes do things you may not like......etc.....but she told me at the end of the day we needed to come up with a way to get you over this as you really did not like this stuff and it really bothered you a lot. This is the same thing that got you into trouble on the playground one day when you HIT someone over it instead of using your words.

SO on the way home I decided to drive you around. I got you something to eat. We parked for a bit. I asked about the movements the girls were doing and what they were saying.....and I tried to imitate it in the car. I tried to make up some silly stupid saying also ....and did it in front of you. I could see you "tense" up immediately and tell me to STOP IT and hold your hands over your ears. SO I asked HOW it made you feel inside.....and you told me angry.....tense...etc.

I decided to try to teach you to focus on something else....anything else other than these hand actions and verbal sayings. Over and over I would make those hand gestures and sayings. I told you any time they started this in school...the next time to close your eyes or focus on a specific spot in the classroom...AWAY from the action bothering you.....and start thinking about things you DO like. Count to 100.......think of toilets flushing.......think about playing a favorite game.....start singing a song you like inside your own head......take a trip inside your mind......

I would then start moving my hands and sing out some silly phrases to go along with the hand movement......slowly but surely you began to instinctively turn your head away from my actions.....close your eyes and focus on other things. I saw you clench your fists....I saw you counting on your hands. ....finally you just sat there and could close your eyes and do nothing but I know your mind was busy. At unannounced times I would suddenly stop and begin the process all over again. You would suddenly stop whatever you were doing and turn away, grow quiet and look elsewhere or close your eyes. You were in another world. Soon you were able to LAUGH when I did the movements and sayings with my hands. Soon you were laughing a lot and out loud......soon my hand movements and sayings did not bother you at all!

I told you that I bet the next time you saw and heard this at school it would no longer bother you.....that you would immediately remember what to do......as we set up a triggered positive response for you to have with this action. I will inform your teachers of this and have them test it out .....

I can see you being successful with this method......or you will try too hard to block out the visuals and sounds....that others may take notice and think it is all bothering you so much....that as the one boy did the other day...they may try to say things even LOUDER or move MORE to upset you more. I would hope the teacher would then step in to quiet them down but you never know. Sometimes what seems okay for them is "not" okay for you. I KNOW if YOU were the only one making movements with your hands over and over and saying a phrase over and over.....just by yourself....while waiting to be dismissed at the end of the day ...it would in all their eyes be a "NO NO" and not acceptable behavior at all. Somehow they do not see the double standard. I would get told of your "inappropriate" behavior. It would be considered a disruption.

This is where I get ticked off. Because of the so-called SOCIAL standards we have set up for all the boys and girls to follow in the public classrooms like playing a game of Simon Says........step outside the NORM without permission or with everyone else also stepping outside the norm.....and you are OUT. No 3 strikes either. Yet these girls are allowed to interact together over and over each day.....making movements within a group who is otherwise most likely sitting quietly....making sounds within the same group.......but if it were only you......it would be considered a "problem."

I hope you feel better Noah. I really do. I know I have had a hard time getting my own work done here at home lately. I am way behind again today. I don' t feel all that great myself. So maybe we are just in a slump.

I love you!

Mommy
XOXOX

9 comments:

kristi said...

I hope Noah feels better soon!

Old Lady Lincoln said...

Dear Noah,
I hope your ear and neck feel better soon. And remember what Mommy said, always try to look away and do something in your head that you like to do. Even sing a little song quietly to yourself. Anything except watching the other kids that are doing the same things over and over again that seem to upset you.

We're watching Mack today, tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, Becky and Margaret should be home Monday evening.

Grandma C said she was making some no bake cookies and if you and Mommy stop, she's going to make some pop corn and have the no bake cookies, that to me taste like candy, along with the popcorn. I like the two together myself. But usually I'm too lazy to make the cookies and I use Microwave pop corn, see, I said I'm lazy.

Love you little fella. Listen to Mommy and her advice and you'll do just fine. Love you and Mommy to the moon and back. Grandma L

Jack and Joann said...

You are very very wise in your interactions with all the big and little folks at school. In my opinion girls can be the biggest problems socially in school in grades 4-6 because they can be so sweet and innocent looking but so very clever about being sneaky and cruel to students they think are outsiders so therefore are ripe targets for bullying. Don't allow it to happen. Bullying is not suppose to be allowed in school period. Make sure the powers that be know your child's rights when it comes to bullying.
Have a good restful weekend. Peace.

Wanda said...

You continue in my thoughts and prayers.

You know I think this blog journaling is such a priceless thing, not just for you to be able to express yourself, but for us, that may not have a clue about the things you are sharing with us.

Thanks for your honestly and letting me into your life.

Love and Hugs to you and Noah
Wanda

Betsy said...

My first thought is that Noah did use his words and tell the girls to stop it and that it made him angry. So, when the teacher came over, why did she side with the girls? Why didn't she tell the girls to stop it since Noah asked them to and that it bothered him? That's the way I think the situation should have played out.

Our boys have a sensory swing at school, too. Alex especially uses it to unwind during the day!

Melinda said...

Betsy I agree. BUT the teachers want Noah to realize there will be things sometimes going on around him he may not like but those things may be allowed to continue on....and he will have to learn to deal with it.

I guess the girls are allowed to do this if they want...it just bugs Noah a lot...but since they are allowed to do this and apparently not really disturbing anyone else (though it bugs Noah)...they are not told to stop it.....because it bothers Noah. Noah is told to deal with it.....learn to accept it and everyone can get along.....etc.

I understand it ...but it is hard for Noah. BUT he has made huge improvement in the last couple of days practicing this at home....so hopefully next week in school he will do well whenever this comes up again.

Betsy said...

I understand their point, but once Noah asked them to stop and the boy joined in, then it was teasing...and no longer innocent.... and you would think that wouldn't be exceptable. If Noah was doing something and the girls asked him to stop, I bet the teacher would have come over and asked Noah to stop... instead of telling the girls to deal with it.
There just always seems to be a double standard and I am amazed that there usually is a knee jerk reaction to side with the non-special-ed kids. I see it at our school, too.

Anyway, it is great that Noah seemed to be able to learn to block out the irritating behavior when you were trying to teach him that. I hope he can do that at school, too. Can't believe he slept so late! Hope he feels better, too.

Melinda said...

Betsy.....I TOTALLY agree and yes....it does not seem to work out that way!!

Osh said...

Betsy made a wonderful point...could you follow up on that with the teacher? You can't allow the double standard, to me that is bullying and Noah shouldn't have to deal with that at all.

I can imagine Noah is overloaded...Even at 14, Evan will come home from school and say "mom, I just need to get in your bed and have you rub my head and no talking." Our kids work twice as hard as the NT kids, can you imagine how tired they must be when we say we are tired? LOL

As always, hugs and prayers!