When Teddy was a little guy we had lots of pediatrician appointments. They were almost always stressful. To read my post, Adventures in the Pediatrician’s Office click here.
To try to make the appointments easier, I wrote Teddy Updates. By doing so I was able to compose my thoughts prior to the visit, when I was calm, and my thinking was clear. I also felt freer writing about Teddy, rather than talking about him while he was sitting with us.
Each update was copied, with one copy for Kate, our nurse practitioner, and one copy for me. We then would read together and discuss the issues, referring to the paper, rather than Teddy.
After the visit, my copy of the Teddy Update was put away, to be stored, along with his artwork and school work, as an artifact of his childhood. When I began this blog, more than a decade later, I went looking for that big cardboard box, and the file of updates. I sat down and reread my son’s childhood.
They have become like photographs, capturing a moment in time. They have helped me piece together our early challenges with Aspergers.
This Update was written June 6, 1999. Ted was seven. Meg was three.
When we relocated in July 1997 we soon discovered our new state allowed only psychiatrists to prescribe medication for Aspergers, and our experience with psychiatrists, was, well, miserable. So Teddy and I made the 10-hour round trip back to our former home every four months for med checks. It was just easier. This was written for one of those trips.
Teddy has been homeschooled since January 22, 1999. I removed him from school when it was clear they had no idea how to manage his behavior. His anxiety was off the scale and so was mine. When school called to tell me he had just strangled someone for the second time in one week… well that was the moment I decided no more school since their idea of placement in a self-contained Emotionally Conflicted classroom was unacceptable to me.
It is exciting to watch Teddy learn. He catches on to so many things, such as multiplication tables, so quickly. He has most of them memorized. I can just see his mind figuring out the problems and it is fascinating. He also has a wonderful imagination and comes up with very unique ways to solve problems.
He is swimming 2x a week on the Special Olympics swim team and continues with therapeutic horseback riding.
Since mid-May Teddy has started having bladder accidents at least once a day, sometimes as much as three times a day. He has admitted that he doesn’t want to stop what he is doing and tries to hold it in. But three times a day! He also continues to wet the bed, now almost every night. Yesterday, while playing in his room, he peed on the sheets that were sitting folded on his bed. I had just washed them from the night before. I hadn’t even made his bed yet and they got wet BEFORE bedtime!
He yells all the time
His voice is loud and he says mean, rude and inappropriate things. I also worry that his bullyness will quickly escalate and he will turn physical. As I am writing this I was interrupted. Meg called me because Teddy just bit her! I asked him why and he replied, “There is no logical reason.”
I have put Meg in preschool three mornings a week so she can experience normal play with children. I worry about her modeling inappropriate behavior. Additionally, we have started weekly counseling sessions. The first behavior we are working on Is not hitting Meg. So far he has not been able to go a week without doing so.
Teddy began our tenure at homeschooling very relieved to not be going to school anymore. He expressed his feelings about this very clearly. At first he did his work without complaint. Since the beginning of March however he hasn’t been cooperative. I am wondering if attending school is a distant memory and he no longer feels the same sense of relief.
I am concerned about getting him back into school. I struggle because I question how he will be successful with these behaviors. I am convinced he needs an aide to keep him focused and support him through so many problematic situations. I do not believe he can be successful in school any other way. He needs to be in a school setting amongst his peers, yet he collapses without support, and yes, I will admit it will do me good too because unfortunately I am beginning to collapse being the one who supports him all day, every day.
We still have not resolved next year’s school placement. I cancelled a meeting for this Wednesday, June 9, to do an IEP for the self-contained Emotionally Conflicted class. Perhaps I am being a psycho mom, but I just haven’t felt right about this setting. I am meeting with special education’s central office on Tuesday to discuss this matter further. I have considered taking an apartment in Jenison, Michigan so he could go to school with Carol Gray!!! At least there he would be with someone who understands his disability. Gee, what a refreshing change!
I remain my usual stressed self. I guess it is reassuring to know some things don’t change. His behavior really concerns me because he just isn’t showing me he is “getting it” and it’s taking a toll on me.
A few weeks ago I caused a traffic accident. Yes. It was totally my fault. Luckily it was minor and no one was hurt, but I was tired and distracted and while turning left I drifted out of my lane and hit a car in the other left turn lane. I can’t cope and this must change.
Oh, also I am going to the counselor’s office tomorrow to sign release forms for her to help set up an appointment with a local psychiatrist for Teddy’s meds. I have heard mixed comments about this doctor. Maybe with the counselor’s help this one will go well.
I remain convinced that working outside the house would be soooo much easier!