Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Total Meltdown and A Regret

Every day is an escalation.

Today, his mum was in talking to the Principal while we tried to deal with him. I had walked back into the room to find him twirling a metre ruler over his head and when I asked him to give it to me,
"Hey Slugger (smile, cheerful), may I have my ruler back please?"
he threw it at me. Luckily there was no harm done but he was in a foul frame of mind. As his Minder started to try and move him towards his work table, I ducked out to see another pupil in another class. On my way back in, Mum was leaving the Principal's office and approaching the classroom. I could see that Slugger was settling to work and I feared seeing Mum would break his concentration so I suggested she just go, without calling into the room.

He saw her out of the corner of his eye and he saw her leave without saying goodbye.

The destruction was truly spectacular to see. This 6 year old child up-ended large wooden tables (the type that seat 6!), kicked things around the room, swung chairs, threw things at the ceiling fans and topped it all off by locating the only two pairs of non safety scissors in the room and hurling them in our direction.

Through all this I kept saying to him "You're feeling angry, this is not a safe way to be angry..."
and he bellowed back through tears "I want MY MUUUUUM!!!! Where IS SHE????????"
"Shall I phone her to come?" I asked.
"NAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWW" (more tears and throwing things)
"Well how can we get her to come if we don't ring her?"
"NAAAAAAWWWWWWW (throw, swear) DON"T YOU PHONE HER!!!!!!!!!"

Now, this may seem illogical, to those not 'in the know', but 'phoning his mum' is a threat we have been using for some time. In the early days our line was 'if he's violent, he goes home'. Foolishly, the Principal bowed to parental pressure when the mother eventually got sick of coming to pick him up. Additionally, I guess there was the issue of actually giving him practice at following the rules and accepting the consequences here. Not that it seems to have helped.
So, even though he desperately wanted his mum, he did NOT want us to phone her as that would mean he was in trouble and would have to go home.

The violence continued.

Eventually he bellowed from the depths of such heaving sobs it would break your heart:
"She went home (sob) and she forgot (sob) to say (sob) goodbye to me..."

I felt like such a heel.

All the kid had wanted was for Mum to say goodbye to him. He probably would have cuddled her and got back to what he had been doing (errrr.......which was throwing a metre ruler at my head...). Here is where we come unstuck. We keep looking at things through adult's eyes. Why should Mum not saying goodbye matter so much?

But it does. It matters a LOT. Because for Autistic children the world is so unpredictable, there have to be some things you can rely on. And when THOSE things fail you, it is akin to the end of the world. I should have known better.

But I apologised to him and then we made him help clean up the room. And all the time he kept asking, in typical Autistic fashion, with no idea of the impact he had had,
"Why hasn't my teacher come down to see me?"

Tomorrow it is my day off and I am actually going to take it. I have an important wake to attend. As a result, Slugger's minder has decided he doesn't feel safe, coming in for the day and who can blame him. It is definitely a two person job. Slugger will be kept at home tomorrow.

image credit


Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

:-( Even for not autistic children, it's always better when mom or dad says goodbye. If there's any question in my mind, I ask mom or dad if the child knows they're leaving. :-( :-( Sorry it was a hard time. :-(

carrie said...

oh, boy. i'm just getting caught up. how frustrating (and a little bit dangerous!) for you. i hope he gets the help he needs and i'm sending good thoughts for you, too. xoxo