Friday, April 08, 2011

School woo's

During the past few weeks school has gotten difficult for JJ.  Not the actual school work, but the social aspects of it.  He is being bullied at school and nothing is being done when that happens.  Because of that he has gotten into trouble for doing back to the kids what they are doing to him.  What a viscous circle.  

Last week almost every day he came home telling me that such and such had hit him or kicked him or pushed him down and this last time it really hurt his butt.  I asked if he reported this to the "on duty" yard teacher at the time, he said yes, but it never got back to the office... nothing was done.  Three weeks ago I got a call from the vice principle that JJ had held a boy while another boy hit the boy JJ was holding. I was horrified.  JJ had never gotten in trouble at all before!  He was grounded from the school recess and lunch time play for a week and had to write a letter to apologize to the boy, who as it turns out has Aspergers/Autism.  JJ says the boy has been picking on him by coming up behind him and yelling in his ear then running away.  Loud noise drives JJ crazy.  Its just one of those quirky traits of Aspergers. So when the known school bully offered to hit him for JJ, he went along with it, not thinking of the consequences.  When he got home from school he was grounded from the computer (his fav thing to do) and his DS was taken away as well for a week.  I talked to him about how its wrong to put his hands on anyone, and he was just as guilty of hurting the boy as the boy who actually did the hitting.  I thought I had gotten thru to him.

Yesterday the vice principle called to say JJ had hit a girl, it started by the girls chasing the boys around the yard, then they were bantering back and forth verbally and next thing he knew JJ had hit the girl in the chest with his hand.  When the vprinciple had asked JJ why he hit her, he replied that the girl said he "couldn't" hit her, and that she doubted him.. so he showed her that he "could" hit her. 

That is called Aspie logic.  They have to prove themselves, or feel internalize that they do.  It wasn't her logic that "you can't hit girls" it was his logic that "you can't tell me I can't do something when I know I can do it".   I tried to explain that you don't hit,kick,touch people no way, no how. And he just keeps repeating "but she doubted me, I had to show her I could".  I grounded him from the computer and DS again, I have talked to him about how the school has a "no hands/no touch" policy and he has to abide by it.  I have promised him  that when he comes home and tells me he has been picked on again, I will immediately call the school and check to see if the "on duty" teacher reported it to the office.  The vprinciple asked me if he had Aspergers, that he has noticed some things that lead him to believe that he has it.  I told him yes, and that I thought the other kids were also "picking up" on the quirks and notice he is different and thats why they are picking on him.  He suggested that for the week detention JJ will have to do, he will talk to him and go over different scenarios with him and what his reaction would be.  He will also try to check with him daily to see if he has reported any bullying and if it has been dealt with.

At his old school, they had a 10 min assembly every morning to go over the school rules on bullying, this school doesn't.  I told the vprinciple I wasn't very pleased with the schools handling of this type of behaviour and hoped it would get better because so far JJ hasn't had a very good experience there this year.  He finally makes an effort to try to be social, to have some friends and he is picking the wrong kids to hand out with and is getting picked on himself.  He also is missing the social cues he needs and the judgement to know when someone says or does something that he might think is cool, when it really isn't appropriate.

I am hoping that I can get thru to him on what is good behavior and what isn't and that he keeps his hands to himself... its a constant struggle on some level every day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

School break update

JJ is on his second week back to school and so far so good.  He mentioned this morning that he is having a problem with a 5th grader being a bully to him on the play ground (all over who's snow hill it is) he says he has reported it to the teachers and nothing has been done. I guess I will have to go see the principle and get that worked out.  I find he has told me a couple of times that kids telling him they don't like him lately. I know how controlling he can be with friends, how he wants to play something "his" way all the time and when he is playing with kids his own age or a yr older, that type of control just doesn't work.  

I guess thats why most aspie kids tend to gravitate towards younger children to socialize with.  Writing this just made me think of our last two trips to Chrystal Palace during the summer holidays.  Both times he picked kids to ride the roller coaster with, they would get off and run for the front of the line to go again for 2 hours straight.  We watched, along with the other boys parents, we got talking about how well they were getting along.. turns out last yr and the yr before the child he picked to spend the day going on rides with.. both had ASD of one type or another.  One was autistic and not very verbal, the other had aspergers like JJ and more verbal.  I found it fascinating that out of all the kids there, he picked these two boys, was it just a coincidence or did he somehow feel by watching them, that they were similar to him?

Over this past Christmas holiday 2wk break it couldn't have gone better.  If you hear a note of surprise in my voice, your right.  Usually breaks and summer holidays are a nightmare for us, and I have been known to totally dread the words "snow day".  I have in the past had to use a schedule to get us through it because aspie kids need strict structure.  For some reason, he was calm, happy and content with out a schedule.  He played, read, and played his club penguin and roblox games on the computer.  I even said it out loud to my hubby that its been a month or more since it was daily meltdowns of some sort.  I was afraid to jinx it by saying it out loud, but I only said it to hubby not to JJ.  The last time I said to JJ something to the effect that he had been controlling himself very well, it all went to hell in a hand basket, so I've learned not to.  Instead to give him positive reinforcement I will hug him and tell him I love him more than usual which will get me an "oh Nannie" lol  and if I have the extra $20 as a special treat, I will buy him a game for the wii or ds, but since money is tight..that doesn't happen very often.  Since the household has been calm and meltdown free lately I feel less stress so that is a bonus for sure.

This past weekend they had an "elementary school" hockey night with the university team, that ment sections of the Arena was reserved for students from all the south side elementary schools and their parents.  We went and he had so much fun. Usually he will take his ds and play it while N and I watch the game.  This time he saw the boy from next door sitting behind us and we let him go sit with him and 3 other boys from his school.  He got to go to the canteen alone with them and was just smiling ear to ear all night long.  It felt good to see him having fun with kids his own age.  

I have found that each year he matures a little and is getting to manage himself better. I just hope it continues!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mundane Monday

Gosh its been a long time since I blogged. In all honesty I had to do some soul searching and reading back over them realized that I was getting really depressed and it became too much to continue.  The break was much needed and although I can't say that I'm totally out from under the dark cloud, I am feeling a bit better, less stressed and aware of what the later part of 2010 was for me emotionally.

Having to look after a special needs child can be depressing in itself on good days. Add to that all the daily things that can consume us, well it really can be overwhelming.  Since I have stopped blogging I have been sick and on antibiotics 3 different times.  Two lung infections that JJ brought home from school as simple colds turned on me like an elephant sitting on my chest.  Then I got a bladder infection and had to go on two rounds of antibiotics for that also.  I must say that the bladder infection for two weeks was the most painful thing, worse than labour.  The first 10days of antibiotics didn't work so I had to be perscribed something else for another 10 days. By the second week I got to the point where I stop drinking any fluids because I was afraid to have to go pee, it is beyond describing pain wise.  Living with an autoimmune disease really does suck.  I have been off antibiotics for almost two weeks and I am so hoping that when JJ goes back to school tomorrow he doesn't drag in some new virus for me to catch.

Winter so far has been mild, so mild we didn't have any snow on Christmas day at all.  Since then the coldest day has been around -14 with the wind chill and we now have around a foot of snow on the ground but all the roads are clear and the days are still mild. I have to say this is really unusual for the east coast of Canada and since I'm not a winter fan, I have enjoyed it so far.

Our Christmas was pretty good, but they aren't "family gatherings" anymore because there are people who are important in my life missing from the festivities. I put my tree up early, decorated the house and really made an effort to get some holiday cheer going. JJ doesn't really get excited until Christmas eve and Christmas day and I fear this year may have been the last for believing in "Santa".  But there was something missing I just couldn't deny. I miss my youngest daughter and two youngest gr.children so much this year it just isn't amusing any more.  I think this is the main vein to my depressed feelings.  I am missing out on all the little things, the day to day things that a gr.parent treasures with all their heart.  When I see little ones around the same age as D and E at the store or mall, I still, 6 months later, find my eyes welling up with tears.  I was looking forward to them coming home for a visit this coming September but now find out that isn't going to happen.  All I could do was cry.  My brother and sister-in-law went away again this Christmas on a cruise so they were missing too.  It just seems like since my parents have passed away, no one makes a real effort to stay together for the holidays. 

When I was raising my two girls I wanted to move back out west, I had fallen in love with the water and mountains and this didn't feel like home anymore.  I only stayed here because I couldn't take my children away from my parents, I couldn't deny them the right to see their gr.children grow up.  I knew that they wouldn't be around forever and it was important that they shared my childrens lives.  It was important that my girls knew who their gr.parents were, that they felt loved and surrounded by others who would make them feel valued and special and a part of a larger family unit than just me. It was important that they could take them for drives on Sundays, take them out to dinner or help them put up their Christmas tree, or go ring their door bell on Halloween. 

I know it was very important to my parents, I know that they appreciated that I put my life on hold so they could share the lives of their gr.children.  Somehow I missed instilling some of those feelings and values to my daughters and I'm not getting to enjoy the gr.children like I so long to and my heart aches.  Its the younger years that really matter, when they get older I will be nothing more than an old lady who smells funny and can't remember their names.  Past the age of 10 they will have their activities, their friends and I won't be as important to spend time with. As it is now, they won't have any good memories of me except that of a woman on the other end of the phone who says "I love you" choking back tears.  They won't feel my arms around them in a warm hug, they won't be able to go for an imprompt to car rid and grab an ice cream cone at the local DQ, or have sleep overs. Do I sound selfish, probably to some, do I apologize for that, no,,not at all.. we all have things that are important to us. To me its my gr.children, so don't tell me to get over it.

My daughters are young they have their whole lives ahead of them.  Everytime I get sick I know that its another notch out of my time line, and makes me very aware of what I am missing.  I personally don't think that wanting to share my lives for the first 8-10 yrs is too much to ask for, one day my daughters will understand that..I hope... in the mean time I plug through the days, I try not to think about them so the sadness doesn't consume me. I try not to think about what they are doing, what they are experiencing, what they are learning , how their looks are changing and most of all that I am missing it all.