So a few weeks ago I wrote about attempting to enroll Mayor Bee in a mainstream extracirrcular class (uh, The Little Gym) and going through a couple of trial classes to test the waters.
And my review is…meh.
We received some mixed signals from the place. We attended two trial classes (Husband did one solo; I did one solo) and none of the coaches came to us with any major issues. Besides, of course, typical preschool wandering/pushing behavior.
So I was a little surprised to get a call from the Gym Director – who mentioned at least one biting incident. Uh, que? And of course out of all the things that are frowned upon, biting has to be right up there. Now, he never witnessed him in classes – so the coaches must have told him. But not us. Well alrighty dighty then.
The biting is not a surprise – we have dealt with that for almost all of his life. It’s an automatic reaction for him to bite out of frustration. I get that. We have been working diligently on it with all his teachers and therapists. Actually, it’s rare to see him attempt to or sucessfully bite someone. Being more aware of his triggers and warning signs we jump right in to alleviate the issue as soon as we can.
Anyway, I said, “well let’s have you observe him and give me your take.” He agreed, and we set the day to be last night’s (Monday) class. He can take a look and see how he behaves in the group setting (which supposedly is registered at 8 kids). And yes, he knows B is on the spectrum and I was extremely specific with my issues.
Believe me after some of our issues with daycares and the sort, I have learned to be upfront.
Wanna guess how many were there last night? More than 8, I can tell you. A lot of kids were there for a makeup class which made the class bigger than normal. It didn’t distract B per se; he had fun and one meltdown which last about 30 seconds before getting back into it. There was one incident that he knocked heads with another girl; he didn’t provoke it (he was pushed into before pulling his head back as a reflex) but he did kinda push the girl afterwards (again, spacial issues).
At the end of class, I chatted first with the Gym Director and then one of the coaches joined our conversation. And again, the mixed signals. Everyone LOVES B – the exuberance he emits is totally infectious. He truly has fun. But on the other hand, some of the social issues (and inappropriate behaviors) are a big red flag, especially to the safety of the other kids. A lot of hemming and hawing…they want to take him…they’re not sure…what if something happens…argh.
The suggestion he made was to find a smaller class during the week. But between our work schedules, plus B’s ECSE program…scratch that off the list. Hell I have that problem with pretty much ANY activity I want to enroll him in.
One of my biggest struggles is balancing getting him the support he needs and making sure he practices what he learns “in the typical world”. That’s our crux with these type of classes…there are other kids there that don’t understand, that don’t mean to get into his space, or really, some are pretty rough with their play. And B tries so.very.hard to fit in. But it’s a fine line to tread between cute little B and “Chompy Pisssed Off McGrumpyPants McGuillicutty B”.
And technically, he already has one (or two, depending on view) strikes – I guess one more and that would be it. That’s not a lot of leeway if something does happen.
The proverbial “chicken and egg” issue: how can I get him to work on behaving in a socially acceptable way when I can’t even get him into a class with other kids?
And it hurts because he knew EXACTLY where he was going. He hollered out “LITTLE GYM!!!” when we pulled into the parking lot. He knew to remove his shoes and socks before going into the room. He remembered the coaches and was very affectionate.
But, after talking to Husband…it just may not work. I don’t want to have him come in on a pitcher’s count and always be at risk to be tossed. So I guess I will look into other types of classes – back to the same ole song and dance.