My apologies for not posting lately. Things have been busy (work, home, kid's school) and I just haven't had the feeling that I had anything of any importance to say lately. I don't really have anything that important to say today, for that matter, but felt more like posting.
Overall, this has been a good year in school. So good for Buddy Boy that I haven't really talked about it, for fear of jinxing him. His second grade teacher is the best teacher in the school (at least that's what parents who have had kids in her class say, and I tend to agree). Mrs. J loves Buddy Boy, sees the positives, is great at motivating him, and is great at including him. Did I mention that he is included in the main gen ed classroom for the whole day, with the exception of some pull out time for OT? He has an aide, and has gone from less than half time in the gen ed classroom last year to full time this year. Buddy Boy has had a few rough spots, but his teacher took them in stride, never threatened that we "needed to do something about him", and kept pushing on, expecting him to succeed. And he has.
Buddy Boy still has problems completing his work in school, but his teacher allows for some modifications, and we complete some of it with him at home. He's doing fine academically, and really excels in spelling. He loves his class.
Sweet Pea is a bit of a pistol, but has settled in fairly well to Kindergarten. She firmly believes that the world revolves around her, that she is a true princess, and that she always deserves to be first, best, etc., etc. She is a social butterfly, and has a lot of friends. She also has some enemies at school (ironically, most seem to be girls amazingly like her, who also think that they are the best and only ones). But mostly she's done just fine.
I really shouldn't (and can't) complain. Especially when I read some other blogs, and see that some of my cyber acquaintances (I'd call y'all cyber friends, but you'd probably think I was a bit creepy) like Niksmom and Marla are going thru right now. I truly have nothing to complain about.
And yet I've been down a bit lately, because Buddy Boy has been struggling a bit more (getting into more arguments with his teacher at school, refusing to do homework, etc.) over the last few weeks. About 5 weeks ago he trashed our kitchen, including breaking up a wooden chair. It seemed to be an isolated incident at the time. I've asked him if he's unhappy in school, but he says he's not. I think he feels pressure, but he also desperately wants to stay in the gen ed room. This week has been especially bad at school (compared to how the rest of this year has been).
This week Buddy Boy's class has a student teacher (without the regular teacher in the room), and his aide has been out sick (and has not been replaced). They are covering the solar system in his class, and it is being presented as a "Space Adventure". The solar system is one of Buddy Boy's favorite things. He can name the planets (in order) tell me which ones are gas planets, was sad when Pluto lost its planetary designation, etc.
Whether it's been having the student teacher, not having his aide, or just one of those things, for the first three days this week he had to be removed from science class. As soon as the teacher started talking about the solar system he started interrupting, saying "It's not a space adventure!" He wouldn't (or couldn't) say what exactly he thought it should be, but something was truly upsetting about the way this was being presented, and he basically decompensated. When Buddy Boy decompensates, he gets less verbal, starts verbal ticks (grunts, clearing his throat, barking) and then starts getting physical (throwing things and/or tearing at his clothes). No one got hurt, and the school hasn't threatened to do anything, but it's been kind of disappointing. Once he was out of the classroom, he stayed out for the rest of the day. Things were going so good. We've tried talking to him about it the last few days, but he can't really say what's been setting him off, and each day has been pretty much the same. Liz called his teacher yesterday, and politely but firmly said that he absolutely needed to have an aide, as he was clearly having problems. His teacher agreed.
Today he got thru Science class! Maybe it was getting an aide back, maybe it was a fluke, or maybe he's accommodated to the changed teacher and unorthodox method of presenting the material. But for whatever reason, he made it thru today, which was good.
Meanwhile, down the hall in Kindergarten Sweet Pea was getting herself in a bit of trouble. Earlier this year the school called us because one of the parents complained that Sweet Pea was weaseling food from her daughter. Not exactly stealing it, but going up to this other girl and saying things like "That sure looks good. I sure would like some of that. Can I have some of your food?" This other girl didn't seem able to just say no, but always felt bad, and would go home and cry about this. The school also has a strict "No Food Sharing" rule, to prevent kids with allergies from getting the wrong food, as well as for general decorum. We talked about it when we found out, and thought she had stopped it.
Well last week we found out that Sweet Pea has been up to her old tricks again (and with the same girl). I guess she figures if there are no teachers directly around her at lunch time that she can get away with it. While I worry that my son will get bullied at school, his little sister is practicing her own bullying skills (this year treats from another's lunch, next year the lunch money?). So this time we've grounded her three favorite stuffed animals (all cats) and have threatened that if it happens again, her birthday party at the end of next month will be canceled. I'm hoping that will do it. But I fear that even if this battle is won, there will be many bigger ones with her in the future.
I'm crossing my fingers that Buddy Boy gets thru tomorrow OK, so he can finish the week on an up note, and that Sweet Pea doesn't forfeit the party. Because she has been planning this party since last year, and I know she's really looking forward to it.
Like I said, nothing earth shattering, or really all that interesting.
Springs coming, I know it is. And I can't wait for the clocks to change.
Me- Joe, husband of a great wife, and dad to two great kids, who were both adopted at birth.
Liz- My ever understanding wife, who manages to wear many hats (mom, advocate, therapist, teacher) for our kids.
Buddy Boy- Born in 2000. Funny, intelligent, inventive, and autistic. Loves machines.
Sweet Pea- Born in 2002. Typical little sister. Competitive, outgoing, and smart. Loves anything pink.