Tuesday, October 28, 2008

At the moment...

Hi there. Remember me?
I'm back- at least for the moment.
Things with Jaysen seem to be status quo- which is erratic at best lately.

We have an appointment with his psychiatrist today though. she'll probably want to tweak his meds, which I have been opposed to in the past, but maybe that's not such a bad thing at the moment. I've been apprehensive about it in the past because with an increase in meds, comes an increase in tics. Although the tics are "harmless" in and of themselves, they bother Jaysen, and attract attention. People either think he's doing them on purpose, or think he's weird. Weirder than usual. Which causes his anxiety to raise, and well... let's just say it's just not on our top ten list of party games.

I still haven't been able to figure out what's going on with him. I know one issue he has is with his Nintendo DS. Blasted thing. The boy loves to play his DS, but because he's a perfectionist (when he hyperfocuses), when something doesn't go according to his plan in a game, he loses it. His frustration hits so fast and so furiously, that he's taken to self harming, and that's difficult for any parent to watch. It's easier for me to explain that he needs that proprioceptive feedback to help him regulate, but honestly, I'm not sure that's it. I had similar experiences as a kid myself. He needs help replacing those negative behaviors with more appropriate ones, and needs a lot of help learning how to regulate, but he's just not receptive to anything we've tried.

He's also been mean. Just plain 'ol mean. You can't talk to him without him screaming in your face, calling names and slamming things around. "Get me this" "You're stoopid!" "I SAID..." "Get away from me now!" are just a few of the gems that are repeated at liberty. He's also taken to breaking things. Mostly his things, but then he gets upset later when they're broken.

In school, they can't get him to focus on anything. As soon as they present anything academic to him, no matter how "fun" it is, he's Houdini-ing out of it. If he's in Gen.Ed and it's time to do a task, he says "I'm outta here" and walks down to the Resource Room. In the Resource Room, they present him with the same task (to show him he can't just get out of it by leaving the room), and he says "I'm going back to class", and walks back to his room. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The most enticing reward is no match for The Will of my child. Riiiiiing! Oh? The school bell? School's over for the day and all he did was walk the halls? Again? Fantabulous.

Specials are no better. He liked P.E. last year (awesome teacher), hates it this year. Won't even go in the gym. Always hated music- understandable, and a lot of his classmates don't like it either. Art? If he goes in the room at all, he'll only stay long enough to do his project, then bolt.

The Team has been wonderful- they're in constant contact with me, and always ask my input. So much so, I am officially out. of. ideas. Totally. The creativity well is dry. Behavior plans haven't worked for him because it's so difficult to find a motivator. And, that baited hook is only good for one catch. What was motivating yesterday is not motivating today. That goes for home as well as school. Having an "on deck" motivator is one answer, however, there are so few things that Jaysen finds enticing enough to actually cooperate, that it's practically impossible to remain one step ahead.

He says things are "hard" or "boring", but he's using those words to simply say "I don't want to". Pairing him with a buddy hasn't helped- he's in a program called LINKS (non-disabled peer volunteers are buddied up with students for support in any area they need). Jaysen's Link program is to help foster relationships (remember, he's the new kid in school too), so every day Jaysen has a different Link that will approach him at recess, and ask him if he will play with them. Sometimes it's yes, sometimes it's no. The Link will always ask though. It's a really cool program.

My point is, this school is doing their job in trying to ensure that Jaysen will have a positive experience at school. I was able to go on a field trip last week (that's awesome itself since this was the first time Jaysen has "allowed" me to be at a school function). Since I was attending the field trip, they assigned his para to another child. The para approached me and said she was kinda bummed they didn't leave her with Jaysen because she really was hoping to take the day and observe how I interacted with him. I thought that was really cool. Here is a lady who gets mollywhopped by my son on a daily basis- and she hasn't given up on him.

The past two days have been on the better side. I'm hoping some of you are right and this is just a rough patch we're going through.

Thank you all for the support-
My readers RAWK.


kristi said...

I am so sorry. TC does the same thing, he has broken a lot of his toys. Then he wants me to buy new ones...which I refuse to do. Hope things get better for you. (HUGS)

Barbara said...

Thank goodness the school is supportive.

Self-injury is not just an extreme sensory need. Seeing the physician looks like the right thing from here.

Thinking good thoughts for you both.

Marla said...

Yes, there has always been many rough patches here. M will go through periods from one extreme to the next. It is so challenging when you are in the midst of it.

Breathe. Take some time to step back from everything and have some fun. In those times you will be surprised what ideas or answers may come to mind.


Bobbi said...

That's really great! It sounds like you have a great team working with him! So much better than the last school, right?!

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

It's definitely good that the team is positive. Our children's behavior can be so mystifying sometimes. I've felt that way too - totally out of ideas. When that happens I guess you have to just ride it out. I hope it gets better for you soon.

Casdok said...

As you knopw all behaviours happen for a reason, we just have to try and figure out what they are!
Good to hear the swchool is doing its job.

Wendy said...

I found your blog in a round-about way (from Cardiogirl to SquarePegGuy). I don't have an autistic child, but I have worked in the past as a para with several autistic/special needs kids. I was thrilled to read about the link program (that sounds awesome) and glad to hear you have a good para working with your son. Best of luck to you and Jaysen.