Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Perfect Storm

Sometimes, when your kid has a bad day you can go back and analyze it and figure out all the places things went wrong that cause the problem.

Well, yesterday we experienced a perfect storm, Jason-style.

Because Micah is sick and Hannah is recovering, I made arrangements for Jason to walk home with the daughters of our friends. Jason has walked with them in the past on occasion and while it isn't the best situation, it works most of the time. In fact, we walked friday of last week without a single problem.

Although yesterday the fourth grade celebrated Ohio's birthday by eating lots and lots of Ohio made food. All of it contained processed sugars and chemicals. Stuff we don't feed Jason. Stuff his brain reacts, um, poorly too. In my defense, I misread the sheet and thought the party was Friday. Still, it was not a good thing for Jason.

Add to the food, changing Jason's routine. Although he is a normally flexible enough guy to handle this, routine changes do increase his anxiety.

And then, as they walked away from the school, someone hit him with a snowball. A kid who has been unkind to Jason in the past. A kid Jason who bullies him.

Jason yelled in anger and went after the kid. His friend tried to stop him by grabbing his coat, thus causing Jason to feel like he was choking. This was bad. Unbeknownst to the girl, this is a HUGE PTSD trigger for Jason. What followed was not pretty.

For the remainder of the 25 minute walk home, Jason yelled, pushed, tackled and threw snow at every kid he felt was bullying him or had in the past. The boys also yelled, pushed, tackled and threw snow at him. It appears that while Jason was the first to make thing physical, the other boys certainly played their part. It was not a good thing.

Also, remember how I talked about Jason's Autism and his inability to read situations or respond to them. Jason was yelling things that didn't even make sense, things he had heard on TV, making it funnier for the kids going after him.

When Jason did get home, I could tell something was up, but it took quite a while to decode it and get to the bottom of everything. His PTSD reaction means he only has vague images and recollections of what occurred after the coat was pulled. Of course, we were upset because he knows not to fight like that. But once we pieced everything together, we began to see things in a bit differently. In fact, it was this morning when clarity set in, that I realized while my son's response was wrong, the situation with the school has reached ridiculous proportions.

So, I started making phone calls and writing emails. I became Super Activist Mom and spent the majority of the day with a phone on my ear and a keyboard under my fingers.

I heard back from the school we are considering to learn that Jason made it to the final phase of the selection process and we should have a decision after they complete some testing and meet with the committee.

I spoke with two more Autism specific programs in town and have appointments made to tour their schools and meet with the administration.

I requested a revision on his ETR to qualify him under Autism instead of OHI so we can access more services.

I am asking that transportation be added to his IEP because he cannot travel to and from school safely like his peers.

There is a lot still pending and a lot of decisions to be made in the coming month, but at least now we have a plan.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Hugs Jenny. You sure do have your hands full these days. Wish we were closer and that I could help in some way. Give Jason a hug from his Wisconsin friends and have him give you one from us too.