B’s school was on break last week, and instead of keeping him at home like in the past, we enrolled him at Mayita’s daycare. For his age at daycare, they have a weekly “summer camp” where they do activities and even field trips.
Not only that, this is the same place that he will go “After-Kindergarten” so having him there would help orient him to the schedule.
On Monday I dropped off B, excited but a little hesitant. After all, we’ve been through the ringer of mainstream centers in the past. There are definitely more kids in the camps. Plus, the teacher he bonded with over Spring Break left the school. We all know how that can trigger an emotional reaction. 😦
But then an awesome thing happened. I met the new teacher, who was young and extremely nice. I wanted to make sure she was up to speed on B, but she stopped me in mid-sentence and said,
“I have a brother who is autistic and has ADHD.”
I almost burst out in tears, or song, at her statement. Even if the week was going to be bumpy I knew that they weren’t going to be blindsided.
And B did pretty well, overall. B went on two field trips: one to a local water park and then to Chuck E Cheese. Both times I was told he did well. After the water park, though, he did get a bit out of sorts. Combine the heat, activity and you get a hot mess!
Obviously, the teachers are all, um, “familiar” with B. He comes with me every morning when I drop Mayita off. And me being Type-A overthinking/hyper-reactive/must plan for a rainy day mom, I tried to prep them with almost everything imaginable. I think they did a good job – and helped him immerse with the other kids.
Friday brought me down a smidgen, though. I got a call from the Director.
*Cue ominous music*
Apparently, it was “Water Play Day” for his class. As an aside, I didn’t know his class had “Water Play” day (though I know Mayita does it once a week) – so I didn’t dress him up for it. But the Director acknowledged that about half the parents either forgot or like me didn’t realize it. The school worked around it by bringing in extra towels and swimsuits so everyone did get dressed. So that set the tone for what happened next.
Outside, a little girl kept spraying him with water. He clearly was annoyed at her not only being in “his space” but then not listening to him. Finally when he reached his tipping point, he lashed out and bit her. On the arm. Ugh. The bite barely grazed her and she is ok.
But of course I was upset. I mean, he hasn’t bitten a classmate in months. We had been working with him to try and “use your words” to say stop.
But then I heard the key part: he kept saying to her, “Stop it”. He communicated a clear command to her. I mean, this is BIG (capital letters intentional). Instead of immediately lashing out, he tried to get her to stop. He may have squealed or screamed it, but I was assured by the teacher that he did try. I guess either she continued.
He was beyond upset for doing it, from what I’ve been told. Again, this is BIG because he understood that right from wrong in this case. He knows he did something “bad”.
I cannot get mad at him. In fact, I’m proud of him for trying really hard to solve the problem without biting. I can easily imagine his thought process, going from frustration to anger to despair within a few moments.
I don’t know if she was constantly aiming it at him, or she was just “playing” and he didn’t like her style. Regardless, it might have been something his teacher was going to have to see – the good, the bad, and the