Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rough Week

I'm struggling this week.  I've been in a bit of a slump and can't seem to pull myself out of it.  Christmas is so close.  It's really hitting me hard.
To top it all off the boys are a mess.

I will start with Jace.  He's continuing to have problems sensing when he's losing control of his temper and stopping the explosion.  Yesterday at school he was asked by the teacher to sit down and he refused.  He was asked again and was verbally aggressive with his refusal.  The teacher said sit, or I call the principal.  Jace apparently sat down very angrily and began muttering very mean things under his breath.  The assistant principal talked to me this morning, letting me know that he would be pulling Jace out to have a long talk and that Jace would be punished.

Benjamin.  Oh my little Benjamin.  I don't even know where to begin.  Our school in Overland Park didn't hold Ben accountable to the same standards as the other kids.  He didn't have to do his work, he was allowed to be up and moving and to roam around.  They simply didn't push him to keep life with Benjamin easier.  Our school here will not allow that and expects Ben to do his work, be with the group, and be respectful and safe.  We are beyond thrilled that this is what they expect of Benjamin.  Problem is Ben isn't thrilled.  He's struggling.  We have now had 3 IEP mtgs since moving here.  Each of his day reports this last week or so have showed major issues.  Benjamin is hitting, pushing, stealing, arguing, yelling, and refusing to do work.  Yesterday sheet came home showing that he had hit and/or pushed 3 students as well as his para.  The IEP meeting today discussed alot of these changes with Ben.  

The decision has been made to regress back to a full visual TEACH schedule.  We will use pictures and words and they will be mapping out every aspect of his school day.  This used to work well for Benjamin and with the big struggle they feel that it is worth a try again.

Secondly they are going to start scheduling sensory breaks and see if they can find a schedule to have him going BEFORE he actually needs the break.  Once Ben hits his limit, he hits it hard and fast and it's hard to back track.  So hoping to get ahead of it and keep sensory breaks often enough.

PT met with Ben, and evaluated him for the concerns with stairs.  Currently the hope is that Benjamin simply needs more practice going down stairs.  We will begin working more on stairs and see if that helps him get comfortable with it.

OT also has done some further evaluations.  She spent a bit of time watching Ben use a pencil and going over writing samples.  It doesn't appear like the issue is specifically with his hands, although he is a bit awkward holding the pencil.  He does have issues writing and forming letter and number shapes.  He does all of his writing from the bottom up and this causes some problems.  It is also hard for him to focus long enough on his writing so it gets very slanted and sloppy.  They have decided to keep working with him on writing but starting to push him towards keyboarding.  They will begin having him practice more, and the long term hope is he will pick it up and be able to do a larger bulk of his work by typing on a computer screen instead of having to use pencil and paper.  Currently Benjamin isn't interested in typing either, as he just wants to play games on the computer.  It will be a slow process.

Next Benjamin is struggling on the bus.  This last week the assistant principal even had to get on the bus to deal with him.  It has been decided that Ben is struggling to much on the bus for that length of time without any direct adult supervision.  The school has decided that they will be changing Benjamin's busing and putting him on a special needs bus with para supports.  They are hoping to have this start tomorrow morning.

Not even 2 hours after I left the school, my cell phone rang.  It was the school's principal.  Benjamin was in his office.  Ben's para had taken Ben for sensory break and had a list of 3 activities he was to do.  Benjamin didn't want to, he only wanted to play with the ball.  She told him no.  He threw it at her and took off running.  As she chased him thru the school he yelled at her to "fuck off".  He was finally captured and taken to the principals office.  He informed the principal he learned this from Minecraft videos.  (We have known for some time about the minecraft addiction.  Ben is literally addicted to it and goes thru full withdrawals when it is taken away, even if only for 30 minutes.  We are in the process of slowly weaning off of it but it's not an overnight thing)

The school had the principal, social worker, counselor, and assistant principal in there dealing with Benjamin.  It was decided to keep him in the conference room for lunch and recess and attempt to get some things organized and such before trying him back in the classroom this afternoon.  We are running out of options for Benjamin, and I know the conversations that lie ahead.

The above is just the boys.
To top it all off one of our dear family friends has found out her cancer is back and is having surgery on Friday.  I will be there with them at the hospital.
I'm dealing with some depression and tons of grief as I struggle to make it thru the holiday.
The girls are busy as heck with it being the last week of school.  We have concerts and lessons and practice and parties and so many other events we are trying to keep up with.

I'm trying to stay focused, but it's slipping.
I miss my baby.  I miss one of my best friends.  I miss what life used to be.  I miss being happy.  I miss the smile on his face and the old soul look in his eyes.  I miss the medical community that was my family.  I miss feeling alive inside.  I miss me.

So here I sit waiting for my boys to come home in 45 minutes, unsure exactly how I will deal with them.  Bob and I have decided that they will be told their grounding begin immediately and until he and I have a chance to sit down and talk we do not know how long it will go and what may be added to the electronic grounding.  I'm terrified to be the one to tell them this as I know it will send Benjamin into a tailspin.  Last night he lost his ipad time (30 minutes) and he screamed for over 2 hrs.  It's going to be a long night, and the cherry on top is Emily has her Christmas orchestra concert tonight!

Cheers to the holidays.  Get it done, get it over with, and get the heck out of here till next year; because I am sooo done!

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