Today I have a stomach ache. I had to write a letter to Dustin's school about an issue I have with his 1:1 paraprofessional. She is causing problems at home with the discussions she and Dustin are having at school. I know it is not intentional, but she just doesn't understand.
You have to understand that Dustin is a completely different child at school than he is at home. The issues he has at school are completely different from home, they always have been. He compartmentalizes his life. He is by no means perfect, he is just different. They don't see the child I do. He even talks differently. He does however triangulate. He likes to tell false stories to us about the staff and vice versa. He makes stuff up. He will tell them about trips to a store that we have never been to. He will tell them I don't let him do certain things that they are asking him to do. He tells us that Ms. M (his aide) tells him we shouldn't ask him to do certain chores.
Lately it has been getting worse. He keeps using the phrase, "I am not a child. I am too big to do that." I knew that was something he was hearing because it is always said the same way and that is not typical for Dustin. His speech and processing disorder causes him to jumble phrases unless it is specifically said to him over and over and over. So I know this is being said to him. The phrase in itself is fine. I am certain they are reinforcing to him that he is growing up and the childish things need to stop. The problem is that somewhere along the line he has generalized that to what his parents are asking him to do.
Last night we had a very big blow out with him. It was close to bed time and I asked him to get himself ready. He said, "Ms. M said I should sleep downstairs on the couch." That is not going to happen. He sleeps behind alarmed doors. He is not safe to be unsupervised at waking times, let alone times when we are all asleep. He will hurt the animals, the other kids, or play outside at 2:00 in the morning. He will burn my house down playing with matches, or take the van for a spin. I asked when he had this conversation and it took my about a half and hour to get some information from him since he kept saying I am not supposed to tell you. It was a private conversation. (another phrase he would never use) He said, "She says I am old enough to shoose where to sleep."
Turns out, he and Ms. M have been discussing his dreams daily. This is a major issue with his schizophrenia because we have learned he will stay in reality more if we do not talk about his dreams. We usually say, "I am sorry you had that nightmare, remember it is not real" and move the conversation along. If we discuss them he obsesses over them and reverts to a non-reality state. He tells me that yesterday they talked about a dream that involved a sexual reference. ( so not appropriate conversation for school for my 4 year old minded /15 year old son) Turns out she suggested that he sleep somewhere differently to change things up. Not a choice!
My issue is, this not only is NOT her business, but not something he can process. Now he is pissed at me because I have said no. I know she did not intentionally try to cause issues, but she really should know better than to discuss these things with him. While I appreciate the kindness and concern she shows him, a child such as Dustin can really confuse parental authority if he is receiving mixed signals. She has no idea what happens in our house and she should keep her nose out of it. In my opinion school is for school and you should not be discussing MY HOME at school. Apparently this has been happening fro some time and it explains his angry responses and non-compliance as of late.
I wanted all this is writing so I wrote his teacher of record a letter today outlining my concerns. I tried to be complimentary, but firm in my expectations. I know there are only 15 days left of school, but this needs to be dealt with. I hope it is received in the manner it was intended.
Am I over reacting? Should I have let it go?
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