14 March 2008

I do NOT Understand This.

I don't understand much about autism and why things are the way they are. Casdok was kind enough to leave a link for me in my comments section and I want to share it with you:

http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org/

Like her, I'm finding the website helpful to see a little more clearly how to interpret "problem behaviours." Interestingly, Amanda Baggs (the author) talks about how she does in fact react to people in her environment. Just maybe not how you'd want her to!!

Reading the various entries about her schooling makes me more convinced than ever that we're doing the right things by home-educating Elf. My goodness, the things we've probably saved him from!! At home, he doesn't have any demonstrable "problems."

But at church, the classrooms were all changed, the teachers changed and all the classes COMBINED. We literally found this out at the last minute as I was dropping Elf off. I thought he would be ok. He was NOT OK in this class. I feel embarrassed and ashamed for him and our family. No doubt everyone will talk about it. The pastor apologized and said they REALLY didn't think about how it would be a problem. I believe him. It's not something you think about unless you deal with it every day. I know he is on my side.

Everyone else, though...

I wish I could just hide under a rock and keep Elf with me there. Things can just be so hard.

What puzzles me greatly is how things can seem JUST FINE for a while. Then you learn that things are not fine and it's a rude slap in the face. My children have autism, but it's mild enough that every now and then, you can fool yourself into thinking that your kids are just like everyone else's. You get comments from others about how "normal" your kids behave, how they look "just like any other kid."

Right before your kid has a meltdown.

9 comments:

  1. Glad you found the link useful.
    It is very hard at times.
    Our children become over loaded with all the information they have to process and so melt down.
    But they need this information to grow and learn how to cope in the world.

    C finds change really difficult, but i still expose him to small changes (i have longed for that rock to hide under too) and over the years he has taught himself better ways to cope.

    So dont feel embarrassed or ashamed its all a useful learning curve for everyone.
    Many things do get easier. (H)

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  2. I am not sure where you live but in my area they offer schools for children with autism. they have teachers that are trained or have experience working with the children.

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  3. Jenn, in our district they started solving the problem by LOCKING the Elf in a closet after he had meltdowns rather than getting him an aide or any real help. They call it a "safe room."

    I'm really glad he's home now, and bet you the district is glad they're saving money. The jerks.

    I have mixed feelings about sending kids with autism "away," although I do understand past a certain point perhaps it might be necessary. Mayyybe. But Elf is nowhere near there. He's just like any other kid in very small groups. Big groups = big trouble though!

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  4. I seem to remember reading on a blog somewhere some parents are trying to get this safe room stopped.
    Hope they do.

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  5. If you find it, I'd like a linky!

    I have very mixed feelings about "safe rooms." It seems to me they're used instead after all poopyland has broken loose rather than giving the child help he needs to prevent their necessity.

    On the other hand, I'd way have my kid locked in a safe room than "restrained" by staff. There is so much potential for abuse there it's not funny.

    G actually uses the "safe room" in middle school, but they leave the door open. To me, there's a *BIG* difference to asking a small-adult-sized child to go into the room for a bit to calm down as opposed to locking a tiny six-year-old in an enclosure.

    It also helps that I feel they're doing more for G in school than they ever did Elf. But G has reading and comprehension problems, and so I think they somehow are more forgiving of behaviour problems in those kids than in the ones they think are manipulating the situation.

    As if Elf wakes up and plots all this b/c he's so smart... mmm-hmm...

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  6. "Elf"? Interesting as Amanda Baggs used to occasional claim to BE an Elf from "Lord of the Rings".

    Yes, in terms of attempting to preserve your children's dignity home schooling arrangements are usually best.

    On the other hand, it's a foregone conclusion that it's a "social world" out there. Althuogh I would tend to agree with Temple Grandin that the best bet is to go for some sort of occupation that requires more work with things and concepts rather than people.

    I made the mistake of thinking I could find something that is a blend of the two and, at least in my opinion, it hasn't worked out too well.

    However, what does give me a bit of a chuckle is your rightful concern about your children being put in a "safe room" when they are having "meltdowns" and I've actually gotten PROMOTED after a few of mine.

    I don't know how that worked out either ... :)

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  7. Hello and welcome, Axinar!

    Elf is, of course, his nickname in real life and on my blog. He likes to think that he's one of the cute little Keebler elves and works at the factory when he's sleeping at night. Ernie is his boss LOL!

    Elf is actually just fine in small groups. It's hard to tell he has autism there, except for his flapping his arms when he's excited. I'm hoping somehow we can incorporate more "social situations" into his schooling as he ages and figure out more about what sort of jobs would be appropriate then. As a seven-year-old, it's kind of borrowing trouble at this point because so much can change.

    Thanks for the comment. It's encouraging to see other people deal with these situations and know I'm not alone. I mean... I knew it before, but seeing real people come say "hi" helps me a lot. :]

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  8. Oh my heart goes out to you and elf. I cant beleive they locked him a closet! Safe room! Bah! How would they like to be locked in a ssafe room? Thank God ELF has a mommy to stand in for him!

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