March 1, 2011 by Marj Hatzell
In the past week, since Bugaboo stopped eating apples, drinking apple juice and stopped eating most everything else suspected of giving him allergy issues, he has been nothing short of amazing. Everyday he comes home from school and I check his communication log (A MUST WITH NON VERBAL KIDS, you know, since they can’t talk and stuff?) to see how his day went. At one time his log noted 30-60 Self-injurious behaviors (he bites the heck out of himself) a day. A few times it was as high as 96 or more. Yeah, that’s bad.
Last week? 2. 3. 1. Whoa.
And this weekend? Perfect. He was happy. He didn’t have meltdowns. And although he did wake up hungry (we’re working on getting him to eat more during the day instead of drinking all of his calories) a few nights, he is still happy and pleasant. We even went to see my mother in the nursing home where she is rehabbing (after her E Coli stint) and he was amazing and calm and mostly controlled, except for a little hopping and clapping in the dining room because he found THE SINK which is amazing because SINKS HAVE WATER. And if you know anything about Bugaboo? WATER IS THE ANSWER TO LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING. No, it’s not 42. So there’s that. And then there’s this:
Well, except for his dental clinic visit yesterday. That was the usual nightmare. Like, he had to be held in the chair, screamed the whole time they cleaned his teeth and he kicked and spit. At the hygienists. Oh yes, he did. Anyways, I’m still sore from it.
But yesterday I dropped him off at school after the appointment. And? Guess what? I checked his communication book when he got home. And his behaviors?
ZERO. ZIP. ZILCH. NADA. NOTHING. EMPTY SET.
He had a perfect day. Dry pants. Happy as a clam. Playful. Compliant. Snuggly and happy. Just like his weekend. Life with Bugaboo just keeps getting better and better.
And then there’s Bug Boy.
Now, he’s been MOSTLY happy. And I’m quite proud of him, because he has gotten great about doing his homework with very little prompting, doing it on his own AND following the routine without a fight (mostly). When we visit my mom, he’s really sweet and gets her walker for her, gets her portable oxygen machine and helps her walk down the hall to the visiting room. They sit and play board games and he smiles and tells her about his day. He has been super sweet. And, I might add, his medicine change apparently worked. Ahem.
But school. Ah, school.
He is doing well. I mean, his report card was quite good. He aced math, had a perfect score in the standardized testing and generally is very happy at school. Two areas I’m frustrated with? Enrichment and accommodations.
See, Bug Boy uses computers for nearly every assignment. They have these little word processor thingies in the classroom for certain students to use on written assignments. And Bug Boy does all written homework on the computer. His projects and writing assignments, even. And he does well, because it levels the playing field and he needs that accommodation because he writes worse than a kindy student. I wish I were joking. His ideas, grammar, spelling and sentence structure are fine. His actual mechanical writing? The stuff he does with his hands? NOT SO FINE. He has dyslexia and dysgraphia. Without the computer he is unorganized and panics and gets frustrated and he gets NOTHING done. And the teachers have been great about it.
The students? Not so much.
Other students are constantly accusing him of cheating. And he doesn’t cheat. The boy can’t even lie yet (though, he will leave out pertinent information). The boy knows his stuff. The boy more than knows his stuff. He’s WHOA talented and whatnot. But the other kids, they just won’t leave him alone about it. They constantly accuse him of cheating, using spell checker, being lazy, etc. And he tries to explain. But they won’t listen.
So guess who is going into the classroom next week to talk about differences and disabilities and whatnot? That’s right. This Momma.
And the enrichment? Let’s just say there is a major lack of communication from the enrichment teacher about stuff. And I see things come home once in a while (like, worksheets) but I really, really wish they were doing more. It’s INDIVIDUALIZED Education Plan, folks. Like, individual goals. Not a class of 30 kids and give ’em all the same stuff. I know time is limited, but for crying out loud, I find out about stuff too late, my kid misses opportunities and it’s frustrating. The good news is that Middle School is supposed to be leagues better with this stuff. The bad news is we still have one more year of mediocre enrichment. I’m not just saying this to be a spoiled brat, but my kid is entitled to more. Sigh. Funny, never though I’d be fighting to get more ENRICHMENT and be fine with his other goals.