Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Incident Reports

Snow days galore broke our rhythm and I've been struggling to get C.S. into a comfortable routine since. We've had some sort of incident at least once, often twice a week for over a month or more it seems.

On Monday, C.S. "refused to participate," a phrase that is unfortunately familiar. He explained that it happened in Science. But he loves Science They were working on owls. But he's been so very involved with birds lately, he loves them. And he wouldn't participate.

I had to figure out what happened on this one. Why would he refuse to participate in an activity he so clearly enjoyed. So I gently gave him a loving inquisition. Turns out, they were looking at owl pellets. They were looking through the pellets to discover bones and more about the owls' diets. And...they were wearing gloves. It was the gloves. He "hated the way they felt" and didn't want to wear them.

Considering his sensory needs, it makes complete sense that he'd become frustrated. But also considering his sensory needs, I'm becoming more and more frustrated that such issues continue to be so difficult for his team to recognize.

Granted, he didn't tell them that he didn't want to wear the gloves. But this concerns me too. He told me fairly easily. Why wouldn't he feel comfortable telling his teachers or the para in the room? How are these situations being handled at school?

Well, apparently something happened again today. And today, he's "refusing to participate" with me. He's keeping mum about it whatever it was.

I have few clues to follow here: His "behavior chart" consists of smiley faces, frowny faces, grouchies, stars and — what I really relish — the occasional marginal notes. If he's good, he gets a smiley face. If he has "unexpected behavior" but is able to cope or recover, he receives a star next to his smiley face. If he does not recover, he receives a grouchie. When he receives a grouchie, I usually get an email from the teacher — that is something I treasure like the relative gold mine of information that it is. Every blue moon or so, I get a call and to be absolutely honest, those always send my heart lurching into my throat or plummeting into my stomach, but they too are rare jewels.

Today, he received a most unusual combination of frowny face with a star. C.S. was the one who pointed it out to me. He was perplexed. (Hmmm. So was I, did something happen or not?) But it seemed he'd caught on perfectly that no one will contact me unless it's a grouchie. And so absolutely he has decided to take advantage of the situation by politely saying "I really don't want to talk about it."

And so, I'm in the dark — a frowny face beneath a dim star.

Silver Lining: Well, I may have little more than emoticons to explain what is going on at school, but I guess I should be thankful for what few clues I do have. After all, if I hadn't gotten him back to receiving services, he'd have no team, no sensory breaks and no pages of smiley, winking clues to bring home to me. Without these services, it'd be like it was before, the teachers would simply sum him up as a "bad kid," the school snub us and he'd receive no support at all — he'd be made a prime target for bullying, which he was but thankfully is no more.

Even still, sometimes I feel like I just can't break through the school's wall of smiley faces that they place before me.

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