Friday, September 12, 2008

Is This Really What's Best for Him?

All was going well this week since school has started (although I did have to call in sick for him on Monday because he had this cold/pukey thing happening, hey it happens!) He started his regular ed time on Wednesday and it went great.

But yesterday, I got a lengthy note home from his teacher telling a sad tale. I knew something was going on when he stepped off the bus and told me right away that he had had an "outburst". After much questioning with no responses given, I rifled through his backpack and found her note. She explained that when he went down to science, he started speaking out very loudly that he didn't like science and that it was too much reading! When his para started to take him out of the room, he let out a curse word (we're not sure which one). Great. Anyway, he came back to his special ed room and calmed down. His teacher made him go back for the last minutes of the regular class, just so he would realize that screaming was not going to get him out of going (I like her way of thinking). I guess he was good from that point on, but had also been threatened with losing his rights to going on a little local field trip they were going on later that day.

This really is a sad tale to me, not because of his behavior so much, that's not surprising. He has a lot of trouble being good and quiet in situations that entail nothing of interest to him. It's more that the "typical" kids saw him behave like that, and that just made him that much more different from them, disconnected from them. Some of them probably even laughed when they heard him cuss. All these thoughts really break my heart. It breaks my heart because all this goes back to things not being done right in these school systems to begin with, which places kids in situations just set up to make them fail.

We, his parents are the ones who push for him to be in regular ed part of the day. We decided it was good for him to see how "typical" kids act in class, and hopefully model that. We don't think he could hang out all day in regular ed the way it's set up right now. At the same time I have to ask myself if we, Bill and I, are setting him up for failure by breaking up his day as such, ripping him out of the comfort of a room with 3 other students only to be thrown in to a room full of kids talking and interacting, not with him, forcing him to try to pay attention to subject matter that probably doesn't really make much sense to him to begin with, and expect him to get something out of all this? Are we the ones making the mistake, doing things wrong?

And so having said all this, it makes it very difficult for me to punish him for his behavior. It's almost equivalent I think to a baby crying, trying to get it's mom's attention the only way it knows how, trying to tell her that something is wrong. Maybe Casey is acting out in an unconscious effort to do the same. Maybe this situation isn't right for him.

I guess I need to give it some time. We'll see how it goes, but something tells me we may need to rethink our ideas about what's good for him, and try to figure moreso, what he wants to be good in!