The Reluctant Mermaid

one woman unwilling to swim in the same direction as the others

5/21/07

When your heartstrings speak to you about your child

Sage is my "emo boy"... he has always been on the cusp of a breakdown. Don't get me wrong, he has his completely delightful days full of vim and vigor... but you have to tread carefully around this one- he snaps, bites, twists your heart and eventually exhausts you.
And it is our duty as his parents to do whatever it takes, no matter how many times we get stung or burned or lashed out on, to help this poor little child just GET THROUGH life. It's been an emotional time for all of us lately... and he has brought to light many things. The one we're struggling with now, the one that makes me tear up just thinking of it- is accepting and not making any more excuses for the fact that he IS who he IS... be it difficult or age- innapropriate. He is not on par emotionally and socially with other kids his age... and he is not a classroom learner. We are trying to find ways that homeschooling would work but with both of us working full time, it's hard to imagine.
I just wrote this letter to his teacher this morning... it sums up pretty much where we've been in this struggle with Sage:

Ms. _________,
I would like to request a meeting with the school
psychologist. I can't begin to explain the
complexity of what we feel for Sage's emotional and
social development, it's just that we have been going
around in circles with "how do we help this child"
since he was three.
His natural abilities for learning and
intelligence are there, he is a bright boy. But
because he is progressing academically, he doesn't fit
the criteria for a child needing aide or a CORE
evaluation from the public school system. It's
frustrating to us to see that he can read beyond his
age range, yet can't follow a two step direction
consistently and is very obviously acting out (with us
anyways) in completely immature and defiant ways.
We know that he does well in that small group he
goes to... but the fact that it IS a small group, not
a large classroom, makes all the difference.
Alex and I feel confused and torn as to what to
do for Sage. There is a strong part of us that
recognizes that he needs a specific learning
environment. Then there is the feeling we both have
that he just HAS to get through this and adapt to what
he is given. It's been a very emotional time for us
at home, observing Sage and really coming to the
conclusion in our own observations that he IS
emotionally and socially immature.
We have been to Fransiscans Childrens Hopsital
for a two day psych evaluation. when he was almost 4,
we have treated him for his diagnosed Celiac Disease,
we have given him the choice of activities to get
involved in to help foster his social growth and we
have tried to stay consistent at home with the
positive discipline and reinforcement yet we sit here
with a sinking feeling in our hearts that none of
these things are exactly what he needs, and the more
time goes on, the worse he seems to get in his
breakdowns, baby talk and lack of attention.
Can you pass our number on to anyone who may be
able to sit down with us and help? We're just not
sure where to go from here...

Thank you for taking the time to listen and for all
the accommodations that you've tried in the classroom
to help Sage.

6 comments:

Bohemian Mom said...

Oh you are such a great mom!
I feel for you.
I don't know anything about Celiac disease, but Sage sounds like a great kid!
An exhausting kid, but a great kid.
My friend has 2 boys with ADHD & mild tourette's and she ended up taking them out of school and home-schooling them.
Exhausting for her, but her boys have thrived being out of the classroom environment.
The letter you wrote is perfect and I hope the school came help you find some clarity as far as your next step with Sage.
(I LOVE his name!!)

Jennifer said...

Hello, As Bohemian mom says, I homeschool my two special needs boys. They aren't adhd though. They're 13-disability in hands, Central Auditory Processing (i can so relate to your 2 step instructions with this child) and mild tourette-
7-gifted, also Central Auditory Processing, and mild tourette, both have high anxiety and 'melt downs'
My eldest was in school and the meltdowns were more common when he was in school, now he has one about every 4 to 6 months. Not weekly anymore...
Working full time and homeschooling can be done! We have a few moms on my site who do that!!!
If you just want someone to talk too than you can sign up for 2 yahoo groups dealing with special needs children, even if you don't homeschool, or don't want too, we would love to help!
For Canada: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/snheoc/ (this one I moderate)
For the US and everywhere:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HS-Plus/ (This one Geomom moderates.)
We can help you find help in your area and just let ya vent....we've all been there.
Your letter is fantastic, keep us posted here if you get a response???

Jennifer said...

hi, i gave you the wrong link for my wesite!
It's http://groups.yahoo.com/group/snheoc/
I also started a blog devoted to home educating special needs, it just opened yesterday so be patient! I'm getting links to it now, this might have something your interested in also! and my story...

jenica said...

oh wow, i'm so sorry. i hope that you can find a way to homeschool him or find what he needs to thrive. a child that is bright and intelligent as he is can be difficult when his teachers don't appreciate who he is and all that you're trying to do. much love and well wishes!

mich said...

I don't have kids ... therefore am not qualified to offer advice ... however, I honour where you are at the moment and send love and light to you.

Anonymous said...

You might want to develop a behavioral (aba) program for your son.

I can consult with you on behavioral problem cases (autistic, mentally challenged, etc) regardless of your location, via internet and telephone. Behavior modification or ABA services require good record keeping and tracking of data, and using that data, I can help you fine-tune your plans to achieve success. Price is $30 USD per hour.
I am listed on BACB.com, and have 30 years experience.

Write to me, George Bisset, MA BCBA, at gcbisset@hotmail.com for details if interested.