Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

peer power

So, over the weekend I spent part of my Saturday night blogging (just some of) the latest challenges along our fx journey. In this example it's mainly any activity in the (loud, over-stimulating, sensory-escalating) all-purpose room which is proving to be just too much for H. This would include gym, lunch, & recess (indoors due to the season).

At that point in time though, over the weekend, things were really looking upp . Based on the last few days we were finally having success with H's new treatment regimen & I was almost anxious for this school week to begin.

But Monday morning arrived & Hayden did not finish his breakfast & therefore he did not have both meds in him that day. When I pulled the parent-teacher journal out of his backpack after school, the Monday entry had notes such as, "lots of screaming" ... "very agitated doing work" ... "constant yelling & banging on desk" ... "didn't want to eat snack or lunch" ... "bad language" ... & even one person in particular, who is used to seeing him pretty calm because he enjoys working with her so much, commented how their session was so unusual for him. She even added, "hope everything is OK".

As if that wasn't enough to break my heart, when I calmly asked Hayden why he had such a tough time at school, he answered something along the lines of, "It's OK, I'm home now."

(I can barely type that without my eyes welling up.)

Thank the Lord on Tuesday (yesterday), he finished almost all of his breakfast. He didn't want to at first, but I encouraged him by playfully suggesting that if he goes to school with an empty belly again he is going to be cranky. (He can not know there is anything in his eggs or he would never eat them.

So basically he did go to school with one med in him & then as per regular routine the nurse gave him the second one when he got there. That's good, right?


I received a phone call because he was so upset during gym that he was making himself gag. I think the only reason I did not fly out of work & race up to the school at that moment, was because I was too overwhelmed to move. The nurse called again minutes later & reassured me that he had calmed down. I tried to control my breathing & get on with my day.

Fast-forward to after school on Tuesday, & the highlight of H's past week was that his Pop Z drove out for a surprise visit. So while he was occupied with his superhero, I went in the other room to pull the journal out of his backpack. The note said his day was actually "awesome" up until the gym incident. Furthermore, she said after he was finally calm, he actually had a great rest of the day including raising his hand to answer a question during Science.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief but grew equally panicked over the thought of him not eating his breakfast the next day. Which brings us to this morning.

So he ate most of his eggs but did not finish them... or maybe it was about half. Regardless, I warmed up what was left & packed them to take to school. The nurse would have to be present when he finished them, but I figured that was doable. Except for the fact that there happened to be a substitute nurse today-- which typically would not be an issue believe it or not, because usually if there's a sub it's our neighbor. Except the one who was there today was someone that Hayden did not know, so he did not want to finish his breakfast with her.

I did not know any of this until after school when I read the journal. But then I got to the part about lunch. The entry said, "H did awesome in lunch. Sat at a new table with his friend E. He ate, was quiet, & did great!"

(Cue the eyes welling up again)

A little while later I texted E's mom. I needed to let her know that for the first time in a long time, H had a good lunch period & I told her why. Nine minutes later she texted back & part of her message said, "Hayden was getting dropped off & E was very excited to see him & they walked in (to school) together chatting away :) E really does like H & I'm so happy E has a bud at school"

One of the many, many reasons why we are working so hard to improve H's experience during gym, lunch, or recess is because those are some of the periods when he is with his mainstream peers. There are other settings as well, but 2 out of 3 periods in that room are a daily part of his schedule. Furthermore, alongside any of his peers, Hayden is sort of somewhere in the middle... physically, mentally, & especially socially, he is on a different level than his special ed peers. Likewise, physically & mentally he is also on a very different level than his gen ed peers.

I also know that although E is a "mainstream" student he, like any kid, has his own strengths as well as his own challenges. So yes it is beyond awesome that my kid is someone E enjoys to be around & maybe even helps him with his own confidence... & it is equally awesome that E's mom is so extremely kind & accepting & encouraging... 

But I tell ya, from this mom's perspective... when I hear that H did awesome during lunch... heck, they could have told me that he had some sort of academic breakthrough today & I honestly could not have been happier.


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