Sunday, June 10, 2012

Leaving school

At least temporarily. Kiddo's last day for the summer was Friday. Tomorrow a nanny will start. She's getting her degree in occupational therapy, she's interned at his OT facility, she's home for the summer and she seems good with kids. Kiddette even took right to her, and kiddette takes right to nobody. Normally she studies unknown people, poker-faced, until she's decided the person meets with her approval, but this time she was practically climbing into the girl's lap.

The nanny said she could work with kiddo on physical things and suggested she could check in with her sister (a teacher) on classwork to use. But mainly what I want is for kiddo to get a break. Because I'm sick of this scene:

ME: OK, kiddo, time to get up.

KIDDO: Where are we going?

ME: School.

KIDDO: Nooooooooo! I don't want to!!!! Can we go somewhere else first? Can I stay home?

It's a nice enough school, where he's been going. If kiddo were, as they say, "neurotypical," I think things would be fine. (Kiddette, in fact, is doing perfectly well there and will keep attending.) But he's not. And they just flat out don't know what to do with him. And when I make suggestions, they either don't have the staff to do it, need approval from corporate or don't do it consistently, across the board, and then it doesn't work.

For instance, the star chart, which someone there threw out after a week because they didn't think it was working. And never told us (or the director, apparently). So we spent most of the next week reminding kiddo to get more stars on his chart, and he kept telling us it had been thrown in the garbage, and we didn't believe him.

Eventually, we brought in our own dry-erase chart for him. But even still I don't know that it was being used properly, or consistently. What makes me think that? A couple weeks ago, kiddo was being spoken to about the chart, and he went up to it and erased the whole thing.

We started giving him an extra blankie to bring to school as sort of a comfort item, so he could have it when he needed to calm down. After he had some sort of spectacular meltdown at school one day, he explained to us that he'd asked the teacher for his blankie and the teacher said no. Could he have made that up? Sure. But we'd also been sending small toys and books in his backpack to use if he got enough stars that day; it's plausible that someone might have mistaken the blankie for just another prize, instead of something he could have whenever he wanted.

He was hitting teachers. Pulling their hair. Kicking them. Running around the classroom, not listening. Refusing to do classwork. All this while we were seeing improved behavior at home, in public, around relatives -- basically everywhere else except school.

And here's the bottom line: As I say, it's a nice school. They really made the extra effort to teach him to write, and he more or less can now, and I appreciate that. But what we really need for him is day care. Because we both work. I'd almost rather blow off the "school" portion and just focus on the day care. Otherwise, he's going to enter kindergarten in September already hating school and hating classwork and refusing to do things and hitting people, and we can't have that. I've read online other parents' accounts of their ADHD kids having school troubles, and a lot of what they describe seems eerily similar to what we've been dealing with, and these other kids are way older than 5.

 What everyone involved needs is a break. Before kiddo actually becomes the bad kid he's probably being seen as.

We did reserve his spot there for September, because kindergarten is half-day, and they do aftercare. I'm hoping by then we'll have made some sort of progress, and the break will have made a difference.

Because he shouldn't be flipping out this much about going to school when he's 5. Just no.

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