Monday, February 20, 2006

Monday, Monday . . .

Phooey . . . another Monday.

I'm not feeling well and I had a crappy day. The one bright spot to my day was that I had a meeting with a college student who is doing some counseling at my son's school. They offer free counseling services and my son's teacher thought that Dustin would be a prime candidate. I signed him up basically so we could have someone in the classroom observing his behavior.

Anyway, in this meeting the psych student said that basically what she had seen so far and what I had told her about Dustin seemed perfectly normal for children who have been diagnosed with Aspergers. She said that she wasn't going to be able to drastically change any behavior because these behaviors are typical for Asperger Syndrome. I wanted to jump up and down and scream "That's what I have been telling them!" She said she had that very discussion with the teacher.

It's not that my son's teacher isn't willing, I think she is. It is simply that she's never dealt with a child like Dustin before. Not many people have. I hope this allows the teacher to understand which behaviors are typical, which behaviors can be changed, and which cannot be changed. I want her to be able to identify which behaviors are purposeful and which ones are a symptom for the disorder. She is a fabulous MoMh teacher, she just needs to grasp what it is that Dustin's all about.

The biggest component of Dustin's spectrum of Asperger's is that he had poor peer relations. He cannot understand when he is annoying someone. He cannot keep his hands to himself, he picks, pokes and annoys. He doesn't get facial cues and body language. I get daily reports that his hallway behavior is bad. He's blowing on someone's neck or touching a friend, or lifting up a peer's skirt. HELLO! Put him in the back of the line. He will NOT learn that this isn't acceptable. To him this is completely ok. It is interacting the best he knows how. Deal with it, limit the possibilities for the behavior to occur and move on. If there isn't anyone in front of him, he can't blow on their neck - it's not that hard.

On another note:

I saw on Claudia's blog a post last week about object permanence. That is SO Dustin. What it boils down to is one learning stage of children 0-2 is when they learn Object Permanence - the awareness that parents, toys and other objects exist even when they are out of their sight. Kids that are damaged by abuse/neglect or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome miss this learning step. Dustin thinks that if we cannot see him do something that there is NO WAY ever that we could know. For instance, the pudding that was under the tv stand in his room. He stole it when we weren't looking, took it to his room (where he's not suppose to have food) and ate it with a straw. You'd think that if he was sneaky enough to steal it that he would dispose of it properly. Nope. If we didn't see him do it, there's no reason to hide it. To him the deed is done and over with.

As I type he is sitting next to me in time out. His hands are supposed to be on his head since he kept touching something. I have great peripheral vision, I can see every time he takes his hands off his head. He cannot understand how I can see him if I'm not looking directly at him.

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