Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dear Noah.....your last group meeting for this quarter.....

was last night. Since it was the END of the group they usually do special things...change the normal I was already apprehensive about what was going to be planned and if you would handle it well.

We walked in and the room was all dark...lights out. The Zone leader was also there and I asked her what was planned with the Zone after group...and she said the Zone and the Group were flip-flopping locations and that the Zone kids were going to be watching a movie....and the group would be held over in the Zone building. But it was more confusing the way she said it because I misunderstood her to mean all the kids were going to be COMBINED into ONE BIG group and you were all going to be watching a movie together and then the ZONE would be closed after the movie...but you would all probably go outside.

I became a bit alarmed. "OUTSIDE?" I asked. Like WHERE? I mean this is downtown area..all parking lots and grassy areas. She said you would all take chalk outside and that there were buildings on 2 sides of the lot...and only one way in or out. BUT the one way in and out was also an alley where cars sometimes drive too quickly on to get to the other side! I asked her if they would make sure to WATCH you so you did not take off ....and 2 of the women said "oh it would be impossible for him to run off." to which I just told them nothing was impossible with you and you had taken off before in situations like this. NO ONE however actually committed to making sure to keep an eye on you 100%.....

SO I turned to you and asked you if you even wanted to stay as the group meeting was going to be different and there would be no regular ZONE time after the movie. You were thinking you would get to go outside so you wanted to stay.

I did not want to leave you. I had a bad nagging feeling about the whole thing. I just had a funny feeling you would not handle the changes very well. I drove home...really having to force myself to not turn around and go back and get you or check out the parking lots you would be playing in later. BUT I drove home.

My original plan was to sleep while you were gone since I get up at 3:45 every morning to start work by 4:00...and am sometimes tired later in the day. BUT there was NO WAY I knew I would be able to sleep as I was too anxious about you. I knew I would get a phone call....with either the message you were crying and upset and needed picked up or you had an accident of some kind. SO I paced around here at home and I said a lot of prayers! Your dad called while you were gone. I hung up pretty quick with him.

Then sure enough.....I saw that it was going to rain outside and I knew there would be NO WAY you kids were going to go outside to do anything. This made me feel better, but not completely relieved. I was afraid now that once you found out you would not get to go outside, you would take off......get upset......go away.....any number of things.

SURE enough..I get a phone call about 5:25 p.m......telling me you were crying....very upset. You did not want to see the movie with the Zone kids...and when you found out you would not be going did take off. The group leader thought you had gone outside....she had no clue where you were. You told me you had gone next door to the usual group meeting area where the Zone kids were watching the movie. She found you....and took you back to the Zone to be with her while she called me because you had already told her you did not want to see the movie. BUT you also did not really want me coming to pick you up.....etc. You were a mess by the time I got there.

THEN when I got there I realized I had misunderstood the entire day's events.....and the Zone time would actually be watching the rest of a movie (already an hour into the movie) with the other Zone who would want to do that anyway, missing half the movie or more? PLUS it was a movie I doubt I would have you watch or you would want to there are a few scary parts (Pirates of the Caribbean). I was a bit upset they had not let us all know about all this up front and again I do not feel 100% CONFIDENT that any time in the future they will really watch you and keep track of you....or even know how to comfort you. The leader still tries to comfort you in ways you would any other child...and that just does not work with you.


This summer your group sometimes walks to the library. I DO NOT feel confident about you walking anywhere with the group. I wish I did but I don't and I am going to have to trust my instincts and probably have you pass on those days they walk to the library. I will no doubt let you do the Zone instead as long as I can make sure you will be where you are supposed to be.

SO I had a very stress-filled afternoon early evening. I am thankful it passed quickly. AND we still had school to do when you got home. I wish I knew of one other person out there who GOT YOU and could do for you what I do so I could feel confident in leaving you with them so you could experience playing in other settings with other kids....etc. BUT right now I really don't. Your grandma C gets you I believe.....but she is older and I think she would have a very difficult time keeping up with you if you ever let's say "lost it." Otherwise.....maybe your dad....but he sometimes has no patience for you and he is in Colorado anyway.

So it is me and you Noah.......

I love you!



kristi said...

Rarely do people just "get it". I got so frustrated with my mother in law this week for the very same reason!

Anonymous said...

Always trust your gut feeling. If it don't feel right it probably isn't. People don't get it. They just don't. They have the "oh he'll be fine attitude." It's hard. On one hand you want to try and give him the experience and on the other hand your are just not sure. I feel like that so much Melinda. I totally relate. You are an awesome mama and Noah is so lucky to have you. Are there other Autistic kids in the group?

P.S. this is K.C.'s Mama. Blogger wouldn't let me log in for some weird reason.

Melinda said...

As far as I know Noah is the only autistic child in the group...the rest have various behavioral issues..usually stemming from a bad home life. The leader of the group said this was her first child with autism when Noah signed up. At least she did do some research and I gave her some as well on the she could understand Noah better. So she is willing at least...but is not around him enough to really learn about him and how he know?

Hey there Kristi!

Patty said...

I'm glad he didn't run off, but sorry it was such a stressful time for the two of you. Hopefully just going to the Zone will help and not upset him. I think you said in the past he liked going to the Zone. Shame his Father doesn't live a little closer and could give you a break now and then. Noah's come a long way and you have been a patience understanding Mother with him.

Time to start dinner/supper. Melissa will be home a little later, after her exam. This is her last night, she'll have a weeks break and then starts again but it will be Mon and Wed. evenings.

Love you guys.

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

Changes like that are so hard for our kids. I'm glad that Noah is okay.

Wanda said...

Hi Noah ~~ Haven't been by for a while.... but think of you and your mom often.


KC's Blog said...

It's great that she is willing to learn. Just wish there was more awareness for our kids.