On the 2nd of January, while at an indoor rock climbing/play space, I was challenged by my niece, my son and my daughter to jump into a foam pit. A pit of foam? What could go wrong? So I did it. In the process, I hyper extended the knee, leaving bone chips and a torn ACL. This took me out of commission for a while and left me on crutches with an immobilized knee. This proved to add an additional challenge as a single parent with a two story house, plus a basement (where the laundry room is) who couldn’t drive. Thankfully, my Dad had retired in October and he was able to come get Minnie and Mickey off to school and I could work from home. Mickey and Minnie were very helpful and while his behavior at home wasn’t great, it certainly wasn’t what they were seeing at school.
By February we were working on our 4th suspension – in a program that was geared for kids with behavior issues. Daycare was starting to be fed up too. Perhaps one of the biggest struggles with Mickey is that during his good days, he has proven that he can control his emotions. And on a good day, he can. I am 100% consistent with consequences, but they don’t matter to him in the moment. His outbursts are not ok, nor excusable because “he has Autism”. I will continue to set the bar high for him, because I believe he can reach it. But, he is still an Autistic kid with an alphabet of other diagnosis and not all days are his good days. His good days though set people up to think that he should always have that control. That is what we were seeing in 2014. In October we had decided he was ready to move back to his home school from the behavior program. Now he was being suspended for infractions more minor than we had seen when he was sent to the program. But, when he was sent there, he didn’t really have the skills to control himself and now he did.
In February, after losing my work from home days at work for having to be out of the office so frequently to deal with Mickey, I had it out with the school. We had never liked this school, mainly because the administrators gave the distinct impression that they wished this program for “problem kids” was housed in a different school in the county. Mickey maintained that he hated it because “nobody there cares about me”. He wasn’t entirely right, his teachers did, but outside of that classroom he knew nobody, talked to nobody and had been there 6 months before he even met the principal, which coincided with the same time I met her. Not a single member of the administration had attended so much as and IEP meeting. But, the bigger concern was that Mickey was getting worse. At the end of my rope, I called for help from a psychiatric facility. I was hoping some intensive therapy could get us back on track. They took him into an outpatient 4 hour a day program that would last 6 weeks. But, we couldn’t start until April.
That felt like a very long way away….