Friday, September 16, 2011

Good old fashioned butt kickin'

Ok, right now Autism is flat out kicking my butt. But not just mine, but Caleb's, his teachers, our family's...just punching people in the face.

Right now I am so frustrated that I could punch an infant in the face. I kid, I kid....partly.

Here is the super awesome, Cliff's Notes version of my life in a nutshell...nut-farm, nut house.

Caleb has been on the up and up for a year or so. Each year seems to be getting a little better, with us using less and less of our tried and true sensory modifications. Well at the beginning of this year, Caleb's class got dissolved due to low numbers in the 3rd grade and he had to transition to a new teacher. And not just one new teacher, but three. They shifted the entire 3rd grade so that each of the three teachers will be teaching two subjects to each group of students.

The school did a great job of preparing him, sending home a new schedule, and placing him in a home room with a teacher he was already familiar with. He was doing ok. Not perfect, but comfortable. Then I got a job.

I thought that it would be perfect, me working only a few hours during the day while he was at school but apparently, Caleb thought otherwise. Two days after beginning my new job, I got a call from the teacher. Then he started having major anxiety, lots of frustration, lots of acting out, and difficulty controlling his outbursts. Yesterday, I came home from work to emails, texts, and phone calls saying he had a meltdown over the fire drill. I spoke with someone from the school who really helped him work through it and put in place some new strategies for him for the future. I feel comforted and confident in their ability to help Caleb function and feel safe.

Part of me was awesomely glad that it happened, because the staff was able to see it and have to work through it. The other part of me was heartbroken to hear he was screaming out for me, wanting to call me, and wanting to go home. Of course I would not have taken him home, but had I known...I would have been up there.

I am his safe person. I am the one that he trusts to completely fall apart....and if he wants me, I want to be there. There will come a time when he will not want to be in the same room with me, but while he does, I need to be available to fill that part of his heart.

Today, he is definitely still anxious, agitated, combative, restless, and just unregulated. We are going on two full weeks of this daily behavior, and if it is wearing thin on me I can't imagine how he must be feeling.

We are getting very little sleep. We are tired and frustrated. I can't help but feel defeated and to blame. I am sure I will be making some major changes within the next two weeks. For now, I leave you with an example of Caleb's complete exhaustion.

This is him, at 11 pm, finally asleep on the floor of his bathroom. Note the flannel pj's and the socks. That is a sensory need...and he does not feel heat even though his body is insulated and it is 100 degrees outside.


  1. Oh man! I feel so sorry for the little guy, and for you. I completely understand the need to be there for him while he wants you there because one day he won't. I hope things get better soon.

  2. sorry to read that your son is going through a difficult time. i hope things are better for you guys now. take care.