These weeks past.

The past few weeks have been exhausting. Boy Child has been testing his boundaries with us and because of that Diva thinks that she should act up to vie for attention. It becomes emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting for Husband and me. Some nights Husband and I are in bed by 9:30pm just so we can end the day already.

It is becoming more apparent to us that he will not be ready for Kindergarten this Fall. We have tried so many avenues to help him over the last 2 years: behavioral therapy, wrap-around services, child psychologists, occupational therapy, sensory diets, neuro-developmental pediatrician and the school district’s DART program. He continues to have disregard for safety, is defiant, impulsive, taunts us, tantrums, hits, throws, etc. but then on the other end of the spectrum is comical, charismatic, sweet, loving, helping, inquisitive, intellectual, and joyful. You spend the day either wondering what he is doing or destroying or who he is hurting, disciplining, hugging/kissing, or cleaning up/fixing his messes. Yeah, that sounds like any healthy 5 year old, except take all of these to the extreme and add extreme strength and anger to it. Also, mind you we are dealing with a gifted child intellectually. We have to keep explaining to Diva that she really needs to be on board with us, since it will take the entire family practicing the same principles in order for anything we do to make any headway. She is 9, it is not so easy for her to understand that her brother is not normal and that when he hits her or screams at her that she is not to hit or scream back.

We’ve brought back the chore chart / reward system. This past week Diva has received enough stickers to get her reward and allowance (no surprise there – she is a good girl). Boy Child has not (not a surprise either). He had a meltdown when we explained yet again that the week starts over on Monday and the old stickers do not count. It remains to be seen if it will or will not do any good for him.

We are going to advocate for him to be enrolled in The Pace School so we can eliminate the whole notion of a regular classroom. I fear him even being on a regular school bus that will not harness his butt into the seat. I really don’t want to have a repeat of everything we have already been enduring the last 2 years with him in yet another school classroom. We have to make it our mission to get this through to the school district right from the start – they will think that they know best and that they can handle him, but we and a long list of professionals know differently. I’d like to save the school, the parents, the pupils and the teachers a whole lot of work and possible litigation. If any of you are locals and know anything about Pace or anyone who attended it, please leave me a comment or email me. We’ve been told a mixed bag of reviews on the school. All of them from people who either haven’t even stepped foot in the school or know anyone personally that has had dealings with it – other than administrators. We have gone to the school and seen for ourselves what it has to offer and unless you have lived in our world for the last few years, I can see where it may seem over the top. It seemed like a dream come true for us. One person even said to us – “You do know that they have a padded room there, right?” Heck yes we do, and man when Boy Child is in full-blown balls to the wall tantrum mode, you would be begging for a padded room to keep him and you safe too! For us it is most likely our last resort for Boy Child to receive the advanced educational stimulation he will need (he is certainly well above the Kindergarten level) coupled with the emotional support he needs to stay on task and not escape or destroy the school. You see, we are very against medicating his mind at this age. I’ve been following some other sites where they have support groups for kids like Boy Child and it seems that those who are medicated are constantly changing, altering, and adjusting medications. Then adding medications to treat the side-effects of the current medications and then changing, altering, and adjusting those medications as well. Only to still have struggles. So we are not convinced that medicating his still developing mind at this point is the best solution. We need to honestly say that we’ve exhausted every other avenue and therapy out there before we do that. He also is not 24/7 uncontrollable or unable to sit still.

We’ve even thought of home-schooling, but that won’t help him with his social issues. Besides, he is so eager to be around other kids. He really misses the pre-K program he was in before Christmas.

When I look at him, my heart just hurts for him and all the fun 5 year old things he is missing out on.

2 comments:

The Mad White Woman said...

Oh wow hon, I feel for you. He is such an angel to look at. Jonathan has ADHD and we have him on a low dose of Adderral which seems to be working fine for him. He takes it once a day and it lasts just long enough for him to make it through his school day without any major incidents. I do understand your desire to not medicate your son. I went through that as well, and in the end we found his pediatrician to be a strong supporter and she talked with us for hours on the ups and downs of all avenues and didn't push either way. She left the decision up to us. He still has his moments, but they are few and far between. He is learning anger management and social skills, so I'm hopeful about that. My heart goes out to your entire family. Unless you've "been there done that" it's really hard to understand that this isn't a parenting problem. I used to be one of those snots that thought, "God, can't you control your child?" So I can totally sympathize with what you're going through.

Big hugs to you all. Just hang in there.

Burgh Baby said...

Good luck with Pace. It sucks that you have to fight so hard for something that obviously is the right thing to do.