As I’ve detailed in other posts, it’s been determined my son will need an IEP for school. The independent evaluation we had completed at Boston Children’s Hospital is quite detailed in the recommended accommodations he will need to succeed in school.
His current preschool teacher has reviewed the results, and told me she would like to see even more strict accommodations put in place. She has repeatedly told me and my husband: “he is so intelligent, I would hate to see his social and emotional deficits get in the way of his success. We must be very careful with his self esteem, and be certain to let him know that his lack of impulse control does not make him ‘bad’. He lives to please; he is eager to be good and helpful. Nurture these qualities; build upon his strengths. Offer constant praise of his positive abilities.” Children’s developmental team told us the same thing.
It is difficult to learn, on my (our) own, how to best reprogram our responses to him. I’m putting forth the best efforts possible; and sharing all that I learn with his father.
His father has certainly made major efforts to change; he was more of an authoritarian type parent, until we received the official diagnoses. Now, the change I see in my husband, has brought us closer; I truly appreciate his efforts.
We are all still blindly trying to figure out what works. I have us, (my husband and I) on a waiting list for therapy, specifically parenting therapy. I’m hopeful we will be introduced to new parenting methods that won’t feel quite so frustrating for all three of us.
I’ve been accused of being a pushover, a terrible disciplinarian, etc. I have to explain here why that is. I choke. I am, most times, able to apply the 1-2-3 magic method and it works. However, if my son is having a particularly tough day? All bets are off. He talks back, taunts me, and generally acts like a 4 year old. When all my methods fail? That’s when I choke, or yell. And to my son? Yelling is worse than a spanking (which was only briefly used in the most difficult times in the past).
I choke, because I don’t know what to do. He’s not neurotypical, so NT methods don’t help. I can relate so much to him when he’s like this; as I get the same way with overstimulation, or overwhelm… we’ve yet to find anything to help us both.
Wait. When I get like my son? The past few weeks… when my husband sees me getting all keyed up and off the charts upset? He comes over and hugs me, let’s me know how much he loves me… hmmm. This has been working, for me. Perhaps we should try it out with our son?
I don’t know if I’ve shared this. We were able to get my son in, via school choice to a smaller school with a more responsive SPED department. School is out on June 20th.
We have support coming from all directions for the little one and his schooling. Multiple family members and friends have been down a similar path, and have shared their experiences. I have a handful of relatives who work in school systems, one as an advocate, one as the school psychologist who is in charge of school evaluations, and one who is an incredibly empathetic teacher… they’ve all offered their support and expertise. My husband and I also attended a class on our basic rights with IEP’s last week.
So, with everyone’s advice, I put together a letter requesting an IEP, and hand delivered it yesterday to the school, along with the results from children’s. That one action was a miracle for this executive function deficient mama.
Now, we wait.