Little man has done his first week at school.
So how did it go?
Up until today, S was eager to go to school. He was tired when I picked him up but that’s to be expected of most children regardless of sensory issues.
Mrs C is keeping a record of what he does at school so that we can see how he is progressing on a daily basis. She knows he likes Fireman Sam so she is using stickers to highlight when S meets his little goals such as sharing with another child or sitting for a story etc. It’s a positive book and it gives us a good idea of what he’s been doing in the morning because I can’t get anything out of S when I pick him up aside “UH” and “I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU!”.
So far so good.
I knew today was going to be ‘one of those days’ from the onset as little man was exceedingly grumpy and for the first time this week he said “DON’T WANT to go to school!” We had a difficult morning with him but we managed to get him to school on time. When Mrs C greeted us at the door I warned her that he wasn’t in a particularly receptive mood. However, she said that she was going to take him into the hall for a few minutes at dinnertime so that it wasn’t a total surprise to him on Monday when he will have to go in with the others to eat his packed lunch.
I’d only been home about 20 minutes when Mrs C phoned. I nearly choked on my decaf when I saw the schools number on my phone. I answered with trepidation but she just said,
“Nothing to worry about.. just taking on board what you said about S having a bad morning so I think it’s best if we give the hall a miss if you’re in agreement?”
Reading between the lines I gathered that little man’s difficult behaviour was continuing in school..
I picked him up at the usual time and sat in the small foyer with the other mothers. This wasn’t an easy task for me. I don’t cope well in small crowded spaces but his needs come before my discomfort. Mrs C brought him to the door and one look at his face told me that I was in for it. I jumped up and held my arms out (as always). Little man backed away from me and in front of all the mothers shouted “I DON’T LOVE YOU MUMMY!”
I’ve had the “I DON’T LIKE YOU MUMMY!” a few times but never this.
With a massive lump in my throat, and tears threatening to spill, I tried again and got told the same but with an added “GO AWAY!” for good measure. Each attempt to do his coat up failed miserably and at one point he swung his bag at me. At this point I pretty much wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. For this to happen was bad enough. For this to happen in front of an audience, (most of which do not know that S is being assessed for autism), was humiliating. Mrs C was trying to calm him down but he wasn’t listening. I asked how he’d been, (though I had a damn good idea), and she said he’s struggled a bit and was tired but she told me not to worry.
I basically had to manhandle him out of the door where he continued to fight me while I did up his coat as it was teeming with rain. This continued until I said the magic word ‘Numberjacks’ – then he shut up.
We got back home and I gave him his jam sandwiches and read the book. The words ‘struggled’ and ‘was tricky’ and ‘tired’ stood out but not unsurprisingly so. On the positive side, despite the struggle, he was still able to tolerate tasks which is great.
I waited until Mick Flick came in and then I did what I always do when it gets too much…I went to sleep.
Next week will be even more of a challenge for my little boy, (and me), because he has to stay for his dinner. More stimuli for him to deal with. I expect that next week will see more of today’s behaviour but there is a meeting for parents on Thursday so maybe we can assess things then to see if we are doing what is right for his needs. He’s taking a packed lunch because there is no way that he would cope with school dinners. He is so limited in what he will eat, he would have a full meltdown at the sight of a pea, potentially trashing the gaff.
The positive to all this is that it’s all being recorded for the assessment.
So that’s it. That has been the first week. Some highs and some lows. Today was a low for me. It takes a lot of mental energy to cope with S and his issues, aside with coping with my own. I simply ran out of energy today on the one day that I really needed it. I know S didn’t mean what he actually said. He doesn’t know what love means. They are just words to him and he doesn’t know how much they hurt me to hear them. But I’m more emotional than I am rational and even though I know it means nothing…it still cuts deep.
Today I felt alone and I cried to a mother who is no longer here. I know that I need to find a group of mothers who understand. I need to be able to get all this stuff out even if it’s once a month. I like to deal with life’s challenges by using humour but today the laughs just wouldn’t come.
“Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day.” Markus Zusak ~ The Book Thief