Skip to main content
Taken Down by Godzilla

I'm quite convinced that #3 is a manifestation of the Katy Perry song, Hot n cold. That may be the very definition of Oppositional Defiance disorder(ODD). You tell them to do something and they do the opposite. It's like you have to go back to your days as an eight year old and adopt that mentality. I'm sure we all recall games that we used to play with our siblings, like the opposite game. I find myself back to that place. I feel like I have to say, "punch your  sister in the face" to get him to decide not to. "Make a mess of your room and don't clean up" with the hope that it will work better than everything else I have tried. Clean your room or I will take all your toys and light them on fire. It works, but don't try that at home.

The truth be told, he is the hard one. Because he has so many moments of Neuro-typical-ness,  he easily blends with the masses, that is, until he flips out about something. When he gets upset, the words just evaporate and a very pissed off Godzilla takes his place. Glad he can't spit fire. When his words go, the only thing that is still working are his arms and feet, so he becomes a screaming, hitting machine. 

The challenge with having a kid with PDD/NOS, ODD and sensory issues is how to approach. There may be a thousand triggers for an outburst and only one way to guide him out. Sometimes, deep pressure hugs is all it takes, sometimes, redirection via his monkey collection, sometimes, time-out, and sometimes, nothing works and we have to let him scream it out, either in timeout or his room. He is a Rubik cube to the thousandth power: complex, hard to solve and fun to play with until you get stuck.

Transitions are especially difficult for him. Even when we go to hockey every Saturday from November to April, it is still hard to get him out the door in the morning. So I guess for those that know about his transition issues, the schedule changes made for the Maryland State Assessments (MSA) were going to impact him immensely. 

For the last week and part of this week, thanks to the "snow" day, the school schedules have been altered including days and times that his teacher was not in his class. His daily behavior log has been far from the 17 smiley faces required to earn reward as a result. Yesterday was the pinnacle, the dreaded "yellow sheet" or office referral form was sent home. 

According to the form, #3 "shoved people so hard in line that several fell. When I asked if he did it, he said 'yes' and turned to shove in the other direction. He said 'I will keep shoving and hurting people until June. Then I will be dead."  Nothing like reading that to make you feel that your parenting skills have slipped to "destined to be on Jerry Springer" material.  The form also said he knocked down two classmates and kicked his friend in the chest. Ouch. My kid is not a martial artist. The kid was sitting on the floor when Godzilla got him.

At his last IEP meeting, we requested that he have an aide. But we learned that in Baltimore county, if you didn't move here with an aide in your IEP, it is really hard to get one added. There is an entire series of evaluations that need to be made, and if Murphy's law is up and running, of course, your child behaves well, perhaps the best ever, on the day of observation. When that happens, the report comes back praising the "great behavior" of your kid regardless of the fact that as soon as the evaluator left the room, the kid took the class like Godzilla on crack. So, our request was denied. We requested again, because next year he enters first grade and the demands are higher. The children switch classes for subjects and that alone is gonna mess him up. We were still denied. 

One of our IEP arguments is that you need to make provisions in an IEP for their worst day and frankly, a report like yesterday, that lists behavior that one would equate with a future serial killer, is a clear picture of his worst day. Did the school deal with it well? Yes. The teacher is amazing and so are the administrators. I am sure that in any other school, the principal would have tried to suspend him. Could we make better provisions in his IEP to deal with Godzilla? Yes we can. Give him an aide and take some of the burden off his teacher who has to manage 22 other kids.  It is unfortunate that days like those have to happen in order to reopen a dialogue that wasn't received previously.

He stayed in his funk for the rest of the day. Godzilla ate dinner and wound up going to be early. We made him accountable for his behavior and took away all of his toys that mattered to him. I told him he needed to apologize to his class and have a good day or he would lose his play-date with his classmate, scheduled for the next day.  When he woke up this morning, I made his sock monkey, Aquis, the catalyst for reminding him that he needed to apologize to his classmates and have a good day. I even told him that Aquis would go to school with him to help him with the apologies. He seemed very happy to take Aquis with him and seemed intent on his promises of apologizing. But, we won't know if he did until I see his teacher this afternoon. 

Will Godzilla complete the task? I guess we'll have to wait until 3:20 to find out. Let's hope he can do the dance. Go Godzilla, you can rock it.


Popular posts from this blog

Diary of a music mom

Since fifth grade, both #1 and #2 have been playing instruments; #1, the saxophone and #2, the trombone. #1, Autism classic, plays the very same saxophone that I started on in fifth grade. I  teach him daily and we go once a week to our new sax teacher and they work on jazz. #2, the aspy is a lot more autonomous and he doesn't require my attention when he practices and gets by with his weekly skype lessons from grandpa and his private teacher.

Every year, our school district hosts a solo and ensemble festival. The kids have roughly eight weeks to choose a listed piece and then perform it with an accompaniment. Every year, I make the boys participate even though it means I need to spend more time with #1 to make sure he doesn't sound like a moose in the wild and more like a saxophone player.

It always turns out like this:
I choose the new piece and we trudge through it slowly and painfully.
I second guess my choice because I think it's too much, too hard, too intricate for …

My Heart Will Go On

At the end of the school year, the teachers usually host an event to give thanks to the many parents who helped out during the school year. When I went to #1's school, they had an elaborate spread and the highlight was when the sign language club performed a few songs.  #2 & #3's school, had their volunteer appreciation breakfast last week, and I was happy that I was able to bring the twins with me.

Everything was great. There was food, coffee, juice and some awesome moms. But, then the music teacher brought in the fourth grade class and they were all holding their recorders. Great. One kid practicing the recorder at home is painful enough.  Forty kids playing recorder in a quasi-controlled group is just one way the music teacher can express her feelings about not getting any holiday presents or special accolades during teacher appreciation week. F-U people, I teach your talentless kids and it is a thankless and painful job.  I'm going to let you know how much I apprec…

World Autism Awareness Month: A Time To Focus On Our Similarities.

Tomorrow, April 2, is World Autism Awareness day. I thought about all the things I could say about awareness and then I realized that the people who read this blog know all this stuff. With the latest release from the CDC about the number of children diagnosed with Autism now at 1:68, there will be a day that everyone will know or be related to someone with Autism. And unfortunately,  It is only when something affects everyone is when things will change.

I decided to re-share excerpts from my post: We're More alike than you think. The post was inspired by Willman Stillman and my self-observations. Everyday I look at my children and realize I have more Autistic qualities that I realized. I have also realized that it not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe melting and throwing myself on the ground if I can't find my keys may be over-doing it a bit, but many things are really a core part of me; like my ability to memorize information. It comes in handy on Black Friday for sure.