This is a very hard update to write. And it’s written by a mama at her wits end.
I knew when Jack had to change schools that it was going to cause enormous stress for him- that he would have difficulty coping, that he would have a burst of behavioral issues similar to what we saw at home over the summer and this fall. I guess I didn’t realize how bad it would get. It does not help that one of his ABA practitioners left literally 3 days before we had to tell him that he was changing schools, that the replacement person fell through and he has been without anyone 3 out of 5 days for almost a month. That doesn’t help at all.
It doesn’t help that the people surrounding Jack in all areas of his day are strangers, people that don’t know his anxiety, people who don’t understand him or know his history. People who don’t know how to work with him. I want to scream. I want to throw something and have a behavioral outburst. I want a turn.
I don’t get one. Instead, I am expected to remain calm when I want to tell people to get their heads screwed on straight and help my son. To smile and act normal as I explain to them that this is week TWO and by definition the period when he is going to have the hardest time, as he comes to realize that this is indeed permanent- that he will not be at school with his friends anymore, that he won’t see the aides and teacher who knew, and nurtured him for the past 4 yrs. anymore. I am expected to deal with a bus driver who wants to sit him at the back of the bus by himself because of two verbal outbursts, when what she doesn’t realize is that this is only going to make it worse. I am expected to be dandy with the school calling me and asking me to get him on board with doing his work this morning- to talk to him in the middle of a meltdown and “fix it”. To deal with them telling me they are going to give him “a good month”, before we have to meet. This in my view means, they want him out. Already.
I am expected to smile through him coming home from school crying many days, telling me that the principal told him to “cry all he wants”, and him sobbing that he never wants to go back to school again.
And I can’t handle it. I can’t. Because this fall was already traumatic for all of us. And the people surrounding him now don’t seem to be giving him a chance. And I can’t make them do it.
I wish I could put him in a private school. I wish I could find people to work with him who love him. I wish I could make his ABA be consistent, I wish that asking for someone to come 2 hrs. a day 5 days a week and do an effective job wasn’t asking for the moon. But apparently it is.
I am scared to keep him home, I am afraid to put him on the bus. I am afraid to make a work call for fear the school will call. I am afraid they won’t call when something really serious is going on.
There are days lately that I just don’t feel like I can do this anymore. I don’t know who in this universe thought I was strong enough to do this for two kids, but I feel like they were wrong. I am tired and I am scared. I don't know how to advocate for him at this point, and I don't know what to advocate for.