Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Running out of Options

Benjamin has been struggling.  A lot.  He is finally in a school environment where he is expected to behave appropriately and complete his work.  This has been a big struggle.  When you combine that with some other things going on with him, it's been volatile.

I am on a first name basis with the principal, as Benjamin has been struggling so much.  We have already had to have repeated IEP and team meetings and plans are constantly changing.
Everything came to a head yesterday.

Benjamin slapped a girl 3 times across the face.  The teacher tried to get benjamin out of the classroom and into a safe place.  Ben resisted and because verbally aggressive.  The vice principal came down to attempt to remove Ben from the classroom.  Ben again refused.  He put up hand on ben's arm and tried to lead him out.  Ben absolutely flipped out and tried to run away.  He got Ben down a side hallway that didn't have classrooms and at this point Ben was in full blown meltdown mode.  Ben kicked his shoes off, threw himself around on the cement floor, bouncing off the cement walls.  He was screaming, yelling, name calling, kicking, hitting, everything.  The principal was called as nothing was working to keep benjamin safe.  Benjamin saw an exit and took off running in socks thru the school hallways.  They split up chasing him.  He was finally located back in his classroom hiding at his desk.
This is not the 1st time that this has occurred.  It's getting worse and worse.

These are not the only behaviors that are occurring either.  He now refuses to do any writing.  All of his work is scribed for him by his para.  He hasn't picked up a pencil in weeks.  Writing has always been a struggle for him, but it's never been to this point.  The goal is to get all of his work switched over to the Ipad but this isn't something the school has ever had to deal with, so they aren't sure how to go about doing that with the full curriculum.  So currently Benjamin runs in circles yelling out answers while his para scribes it all for him.

He's no longer able to handle any rotations or transitions at school.  He is now pulled out of his classroom and he and his para do separate work in the IR room alone.  He can't handle indoor recess, assemblies, or any of those events either as he is no longer dealing with the smaller spaces and lots of people and noise.
He's not making it thru recess, or lunch, or music or pe.  He will require complete 1 on 1 support for those activities as well.

The weighted vest is no longer effective.  They have had him in a short sleeve compression top, but the OT feels he needs more.  They will be transitioning him to a long sleeve compression top and full length compression pants.  They are having to make changes on his sensory schedule and the sensory room to better meet his needs.

It is clear that Benjamin needs a safe space to go to.  He needs to also be trained to go there on his own as he can't handle any touch or redirection.  There is an office right across the hall from his classroom.  They are going to be creating a table and turning it into a tent with origami paper and other calming activities for him.  The goal is when he panics that he runs there instead of away.

He is also being given a fleece blanket at all times that he can keep wrapped around him while he is trying to sit.  His chair will again be changed over to a special trampoline type chair.  They are going to be trying out pineapple gum to see if the constant chewing may give him some sensory input that he so desperately needs.

There are a lot of concerns about the path we are going down with Benjamin, but at this point nobody is sure how to stop the ball from rolling.  Safety is currently a huge concern, for him and for the people around him.

His teacher is so frustrated and was darned near in tears talking about the classroom concerns.  The entire team said they have never experienced a child that can go from 0-70 in 3 seconds with no warning and no idea what even caused it.  He has ZERO currency, as in nothing motivates him, and nothing punishes him.

He doesn't communicate.  It's all about what he wants and that is the only thing he will speak of.  He doesn't understand.  He feels no shame, he has no regrets, he doesn't care what others see or think.  He is verbally abusive and has become very physically abusive at school.  He is destructive.  He puts himself in harms way.  His obsessions and anxieties are running rampant.

The team hasn't given up but we are definitely running out of options.  We are flying down a slippery slope at 90 miles an hr and nobody knows how to turn it around or put the brakes on it.
Currently Benjamin is on at home suspension and the goal is to have him resume school tomorrow.  The accommodation list on his IEP has grown to 23 pages long, and they are hoping to get a large bit of the new changes in place before his return tomorrow.

I'm exhausted.  I'm at the end of my rope.  The school is too.

Currently he is curled up in a ball on his chair, in a meltdown because he has 7 math problems to do.  The options for me are limited.  I pick up the pencil and scribe for him, or the work doesn't get done.

I wish I could reach thru all of this and get to the inner benjamin, but I can't.  The autism, and OCD, and anxiety, and sensory issues have become all consuming, they have taken over and we can't seem to figure out how to reach thru to Ben.  My heart breaks watching him struggle, and I don't know how to help him.

1 comment:

Stefani said...

Oh honey, my heart just breaks for you. So much for one little boy...so much for one tough mama, so much for one loving family to endure. I wish I could help, could ease your pain, could just run across the miles and give you a HUGE embrace and just squeeze away all of the problems for you. I know that I can't....BUT, I can be there to listen, to pray, to offer support in whatever way you need.
I know it must be so hard to take it one step at a time....but just keep breathing.....and we'll keep praying. HUGS and LOVE....Stefani