Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What an eye opener . . .

It was definitely an eye-opening day! I got a call at 8:15 this morning from Dustin's school. His behavior was out of control and they wanted t know if I would talk to him and try to settle him down. He had hit a student in the chest in the breakfast room and in the process had spilled his yogurt all over his pants. He then went to class and began running and hiding from the teacher. When she told him she was calling me he ran out of the room and locked himself in the staff bathroom.

I was appalled at his behavior and said, "Give me 10 minutes, I'll be right there." I have had enough of this kind of behavior at school. I am so tired of hearing bad reports just as much as they are tired of giving them. This child is able to function better than he does on a daily basis at school. I have mentioned in several different conferences that I would like to come and sit with him for a day at school. He doesn't think that I have an authority there because I have been in the classroom with him. This is how his brain functions. He thinks if I can;t see him do it, it never happened.

For instance . . . Dustin will sneak and steal a chocolate pudding. He will go through all the trouble to hide it in his pants and take it upstairs, but he will not dispose of it. He will stick the pudding top to the handrail of the stairs and leave the empty pudding cup on the floor and the spoon on the step and think I will never know he did it. Why? Because I didn't see him eat that. I will inevitably see it and say, "Dustin you stole pudding!" You know what he says? "How did you know?" He is totally shocked that I could figure out that he stole pudding.

Today I decided that I was going to push the issue and stay in school with him until lunch and make him understand that I do know what goes on in school and it is not acceptable. My secondary reason was that I wanted the school to see that he can be a wonderful and obedient child with the right guidance and direction. It worked! The teachers were completely shocked with the amount of work he was able to complete and with the behaviors that were totally in control. Why? Because I WAS his control. FASD kids have no control mechanism. They have total impulsivity. They rely on others to provide external control because they can't. They all kept commenting on how this was a totally different child. I left at noon, the remainder of today was positive and he came home happy and cheerful. At least we had some success.

Will it follow through and work for tomorrow? Who knows. Probably not. Tomorrow I am meeting the bus at school and I am going to sit in on breakfast. He will not act this way at school. I am determined. It was interesting to see the vast array of disabilities that were present in Dustin's Moderately Mentally Handicapped (MoMH) class. There were so many different disabilities and so many functional levels. Each child was different. Interestingly enough the first thing that struck me was that Dustin is the only child who does not outwardly LOOK disabled. I have said this so many times about FASD kids . . . they may not appear disabled, but they are just as disabled as any other MoMH child. They have an inward disability which causes people to expect more because they *look* "normal". That is the most frustrating thing!


FAScinated said...

Does Dustin have a 1:1 aide at school? It would be nice if they could have some training on FASD so that he could have that "external brain" with him all day.

I'm glad they got to see what a good kid he can be. You are a great mom and advocate, Sheri. ~Kari

Patty said...

God bless your efforts on Dustin's behalf, and keep following your insticts as to what is best for him. You're doing a great job!

Sheri said...

Not yet Kari. We are fighting for that, our school system uses that as a last resort unfortunately. We have a meeting next week, and I'm ready to fight!