Yesterday I rushed around…alot. It was one of those days where I felt like nothing wasn’t getting anything done when it needed to get done. I ran into Target with minutes on the clock before I needed to get back to the school for early pick up. My phone rang with an unknown caller. Am I the only one that feels like I’m in that horror movie with the call coming from inside the house and something awful is going to happen in an actual phone number doesn’t pop up on my cell phone? Yeah, thought so. Anyway, it was Jack’s speech therapist. She wanted to tell me about what happened at school.
That’s exactly how she said it. “Mrs. Stiff, I wanted to tell you about what happened at school today. First I want you to know how proud I am of Jack’s progress. What I’m telling you is going to sound bad on the outside but it’s progress.” Heaven help me! Jack is not a bad kid. For the most part I wouldn’t even describe him as naughty. He is EXTREMELY frustrated at times at his lack of understanding and communication level. So the story was long and drawn out. The short version is Jack became frustrated and that led to him being non-participatory. Then a peer corrected his behavior. The therapist encouraged him to change his behavior. Jack got up and put himself in time out. I’m apparently just finding out that he’s there a lot. The story gets a little convoluted at this point. Jack eventually comes back and participates but when they read the rules of what puts you on green, yellow or red Jack’s peer was on green and Jack wanted to be on green but… he wasn’t
Progress comes in with Jack stating “I green.” The teacher read the rules of what makes you on green. Jack shook his head with each one and said, “I yellow.” He understood. This really is huge. He didn’t get a sticker or a prize. As it sunk in, he became more and more frustrated. His aid, who he adores comes in and Jack started to yell. With Jack’s lack of understanding, he raises his voice to indicate that he’s frustrated with a situation. The way he does it, seems to direct it to the person he’s talking to. Even though he’s not mad at Mr. Arnie. It sounds a lot like he is. Another timeout. Sigh. When he calmed down the speech therapist asked Jack if he would like to calmly tell Mr. Arnie what happened or if he wanted her to do it. Jack said, “I yellow Mr. Arnie. No sticker. I sad.” Again, it was a pretty huge breakthrough as Jack almost never expresses himself. The speech therapist was so excited. But still…
When I get calls from teachers it’s usually been about praise. I’m reminding myself that this is what Miss Nona thought she was doing. About once a year when the big girls were that age, they might have slipped from green yellow on an off day, never red. You would think the world had come to an end. Apparently my boy sits on yellow. It’s not because he’s truly intentionally doing something, he’s just frustrated. I get it. So am I. I have a hard time processing it.
I want him to be like the girls but he’s not. He was left for three and half years to fend for himself. I read once that a child needs to be with your family almost double the time that they were institutionalized before they are truly comfortable. In Jack’s case with his lack of understanding and lack of communication, some days I wonder if we will ever get there. Today, I’m trying to hand on to his brief understanding and hope the light is finally clicking in his little head.