Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Bit of Trauma, but First...

On the birth of your beautiful baby girl!!!!!
(Seriously, she is gorgeous! Go check her out on The Great Fitness Experiment. I'll wait.
Cute, huh?)

OK, back to ME!
I also, as you know, have a couple of gorgeous kids. Unfortunately, right now, one of them , the female, is giving us a whole lotta trouble. Yes, fresh off of her month-long, no-sleep scream fest, she is now pulling hair, pinching, scratching, and trying to bite. Her parents, her teachers, her therapists, her fellow students, her bus driver, and even her poor brother, who, even though he is older and bigger, refuses to retaliate. (He is one of the truly sweetest boys in the history of the universe, in my unbiased opinion.)
We had a meeting at her school on Friday, and we have some theories. For one thing, she is at a new school for the 3rd time in 3 years, which wasn't supposed to happen. She was SUPPOSED to stay in preschool an extra year, but then the county decided she was too old and put her in kindergarten. She had a REALLY hard time adjusting to BOTH schools, and it took about 4 months of crying before she got used to the routine. Once she did get used to it, she loved it. But at the end of last year, the district which owned the county classroom she was in booted them out. She was supposed to stay in that class for AT LEAST 2-3 years, with the same teacher, but the district, which is NOTORIOUSLY TERRIBLE to special needs kids and their families (yes, Burlingame California, I'm talking to YOU!) basically told the county "Too bad, so sad, we need the room for our rich white kids who DON'T have special needs. Goodbye and good luck."
So she was transferred to a school in San Carlos, which is a lot closer. She's also in a "mobile classroom" (read: trailer) which is owned by the county, rather than the district, so it's a lot harder to kick them out. But, it is YET another new school, with another set of new teachers (who, BTW, are terrific!), and she is the youngest one in the class.
She also doesn't speak, which is a source of great frustration to her (and to us, especially when she's shrieking at 3 AM and we don't know why). So it's basically a perfect storm of events culminating in some really negative and difficult behaviors.
And they didn't start until VERY recently.
See, I've been so relieved to have kids who, while they have Autism, didn't have any of the self-destructive or acting out behaviors you often see. Until now. I'm REALLY hoping it's just a phase. She's been drawing blood on her teachers' arms, and that's not good! I also figure that, developmentally, she's about 2 years old, so maybe this is part of her terrible twos? Just another part of that perfect storm.
It's also completely unpredictable: one minute she is laughing and happy and literally the next she's got a fistfull of her brother's hair and is screaming. Her pediatrician can't find anything wrong. I'm starting to wonder if we need to find a doctor who is a bit more versed is ASD. The one we have is a great doc, he just doesn't have many special needs patients.
In the meantime, her therapist will spend 3 hours a week with her at school. I REALLY hope we can (forgive the pun) nip this behavior in the bud. 'Cause she's already REALLY strong, and she ain't gettin' any smaller or weaker as time goes on!
Oh, and she'll be wearing gloves at school.
Wish us luck!!!!!


Crabby McSlacker said...

Oh, so sorry to hear she's going through such a difficult time! That must be so hard for the whole family.

Love that you have such a patient and loving attitude even with some challenging behaviors. Sounds like you are an amazing parent!

azusmom said...

Thanks, Crabby!

I don't know that I'm such a great parent. I just love her and am a little scared for her right now.