Saturday, March 20, 2010

Update on the Boys

I guess I have really fallen down on the job here. I guess Facebook really dampens the blogging, at least for me.

The boys are doing pretty well. Thane isn’t having the best of times in Kindergarten. He is ahead academically, but socially he is having some issues. I also think he is learning some lousy habits and we’re not having much luck getting them corrected.

For some unknown reason, MSAD 40 is the only one in the area that doesn’t using Discovering Kids for behavioral therapy. They use Woodford’s Family Services. Unfortunately I was told confidentially by a teacher I trusted that Woodford’s was a bad fit for Thane as they use aversives and I am totally against using negative stimulus for a child like Thane. I have always been all about positive discipline.

Thane’s main problem in school is all the transitions. It has taken a long time for the staff to realize they needed to reduce the number of changes he has in his day, and that seemed to help for a short time. But basically he keeps hitting, pushing or getting in people’s faces. They are calling it “aggressive behaviors” at school, but it is really the wrong word. He isn’t doing it out of anger or to be mean, he really does not understand why he can’t shove someone out of his path.

Dare I say that this might be a typical manifestation of Asperger’s Syndrome where he simply doesn’t really see other people as people. And it is very normal for a child with ASD to decide the shortest distance between A and B is a straight line, no matter what is in between. I want the staff to prepare him for success better than they do.

I really like the ed tech who spends the most time with Thane, but I am really unconvinced that the staff, as a whole tries to be consistent with him. I have tried to explain that it adds to his security, but I think there is also a belief that he needs to learn to adjust. I look at him and I think he is still just so little. It is too much to expect of him. Keep him happy. Happy matters. Don’t suck the joy out of my little smiley boy.

So far most of what he seems to be getting is that people don’t want him to push or hit. So far that isn’t quite enough. But I guess we will just keep plugging along. I have been using some of the social stories at http://www.sandbox-learning.com – you can customize them, which is perfect for Thane. I recommend checking them out for anyone who uses social stories with their child.

Braeden has been having a fairly typical school year – nothing is really out of the ordinary for him. That, though, is a great step forward from last winter. He keeps himself busy and as he is getting older is he finding that he doesn’t want to be quite as busy . . . but he still wants to keep his theater projects up. He just appeared in “Willy Wonka” at The Waldo, and is now working on “A Hairy Tale” there as well. He also is dong “A Twist of the Tongue” at Riley, and then some as yet unannounced Shakespeare play. Then he has 2-3 weeks off in June before he goes to the intensive drama camp with Heartwood. I think all he plans for the summer is three weeks with Heartwood and then a week at Boy Scout camp. I can’t believe he is almost 12!

2 comments:

Melissa R said...

Bec, as an adult I too sometimes wonder why I can't just push people out of my way. Maybe Thane is simply living in the wrong society for his needs. Let's make Thane a king of an island and all live by his makes-sense-to-me rules. Long live King Thane! :)

Heather said...

The kindergarten transition is a hard one, isn't it? We've been struggling as well. It's such a change from developmental preschools that understand autism and *get* it- to a public school where everyone needs to be doing the same things. The most important thing is that school stays a happy place, as you said, so our kids will LOVE school and LOVE learning. I hope things change for you!

Oh, and want to hear a real kicker. B has been having some tantruming behaviors at school and they wanted to do a FBA so I asked for Discovering Kids, of course. Well they are contracted with the district but not Rockland- so pretty much just Thomaston. Yet they consolidated last year so wouldn't that mean he should be able to do his job at all schools under the district. Been finding with the superintendents office on this one. Wish me luck lol.