Steps in the Right Direction in Aspie Life


I received a call from the case manager this weekend to discuss the events on Friday.  The only thing better then a call from the school is a call from the school on a weekend.  On the bright side I am glad the case manager cares enough to call on a weekend.

I was glad he called because I wasn’t entirely clear what happened other than it involved band.  I had already been told that it involved each grade playing a piece of music for the other grades to hear the difference in how their talent has grown.  To me this sounds like trouble but I guess I get the idea.  Apparently each grade laughed at the other grades as they played.  My son felt himself get upset but apparently he didn’t understand that he could leave to see the case manager during band.

My son eventually became so upset that he told the teacher to go to hell.  Somehow my son went to the clinic from the band room. The case manager said that when he went to the clinic my son was curled up in a fetal position crying.  As I posted Friday my son tried to call to get picked up but the case manager intervened.  The case manager told me that he was glad that my son decided to stay at school and he was rewarded for that.  The case manager explained he was clear with my son that he was not being rewarded for the behavior in band.  Wow a teacher that believes in positive reinforcement.  Such a new concept for a teacher, I LIKE!

We talked about how he needs to behave a certain way in band with the option of leaving when he gets upset.  The problem on Friday is he didn’t leave when he should have.  The case manager and I discussed that the three of them will sit down and discuss the supports currently in place and explore any new supports that are needed.  He offered for me to come in but I don’t want my schedule to hold them up.  I have never trusted a teacher before but this year him and my son have discussed and agreed to things quite satisfactorily so I am okay with it.  The case manager seems to really work on putting appropriate consequences and rewards in place to get appropriate behaviors from the kids.  He has told me more then once that he has worked with kids with much worse behaviors than my son.  The case manager tells me all the time that my son will be just fine and we will work on baby steps to get him to the appropriate behavior.

I then went to discuss the incident with my son.  He said he didn’t understand he could leave band but now he understands that he can leave when he gets upset.   When I started to discuss what he said to the teacher he started to get upset with himself.  My son wasn’t upset with the teacher, he was upset with the other kids and just lashed out at the teacher.

Clearly this is not appropriate behavior for a high school student in regular education.   We can focus on the negative but that will not get us anywhere.  We need to be aiming for appropriate behavior while realizing it will not happen overnight.  Although we are not working on career planning this is actually a very key part of transition planning.

The long term goal for my son is for him to attend college and get a good job.  He will need supports in college and he has asked that he be allowed to attend a college close by so he can live at home.  We have some time to decide this but luckily we are within driving distance of multiple good quality colleges so this is a feasible option.  During that time we can continue to work on independent living skills but since he already cooks more than I do I think he might be okay.  It is important for us to keep this goal in mind but know we will be taking small steps a long the way to get us there.  And we need to celebrate each step and acknowledge the hard work he had to do in order to take each step.

Another parent, not living the aspie life, would probably think telling the teacher to go to hell is horrible and would ground the kid forever. My kid has said worse to teachers in the past and has knocked chairs and desks over while storming out of the room.  It didn’t sound like he did any of that.  I have not heard how he made it from band to the clinic so hopefully that was uneventful.  That transition is usually the worst because he is upset and so usually it involves the principal and my son screaming the whole way.  Since none of this happened it sounds like we took a step in the right direction.  He usually takes a long time to calm down because once he loses control he is very remorseful for his actions.  He doesn’t want to lose control like that and usually no one can console him except for me.   When the case manager approached him he was sobbing and told the case manager to go away.  The case manager hung out for a few minutes until my son was ready to talk.  After a few minutes they talked about what happened and he agreed to stay at school.  This sounds like a step in the right direction.

It could have been better and we will continue to work on making it better through consequences and positive reinforcements.  It isn’t about lowering the bar of expectations because my son has Asperger’s.  (Thank you Temple Grandin for helping me to understand that!)  It is about trying to understand why he does certain things and providing supports to help him reach his potential.   He just needs more help in getting there and it may take longer to get there but that is okay.  I will be there every step of the way.

This post is part of a bloghop being hosted by At Home Mum.  The theme this week was Small Successes.  Please stop by over there and check out the other blogs to help make this a success!  http://www.athomemum.com/blog/2011/09/30/life-on-the-spectrum-small-successes-edition/

Advertisements

Comments

  1. You just inspired a blog post for me about my younger son and those horribly behaved kids in his Science class!

    I love your son’s case manager. Glad he has that support.

  2. Thanks for all the great info here. I will be back to read some more soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: