Thursday, November 8, 2012

Learned That Lesson

One thing I learned from our prior daycare debacle was when something isn't working for CJ, to move on. Not everyone can deal with him and the behaviors that SPD can bring on top of a highly spirited personality. We moved him from a situation that wasn't right and ended up very happy. He loved his preschool teacher.

In August, CJ started Kindergarten despite my reservations. For his after school care I enrolled him in a program at the school, he'd just go to the school gym at the end of school. His preschool also offered an after school program and picked up using a bus. I thought staying at school was the best choice,

Things went wrong the very first day of school. The director, Ms. M called me at 3:45 and said the Kindergarteners weren't supposed to start til a few days later and he was running wild and wouldn't listen and she didn't have enough staff. One, no one told me otherwise. Two, why wait for an hour and fifteen to call me? I was driving WC to his 4pm appointment. If I'd been contacted earlier, he would have been picked up.
From day one, they got off wrong. Ms. M would comment that CJ was nothing like WC. He made progress when he was under care of Ms. R. But she wasn't always there.
Then Ms. M began to tell me that "something had to be done with CJ." Translates to: You need to be a better mother." She would stare at me as if she couldn't grasp that I was also the mom to WC, a well-behaved, demure , quiet child that was in the program when he was 5.
One day CJ was playing with modeling clay, the one thing that would keep him busy. He told her he was making a "shittake mushroom." She looked at me like I was raising an alien.
The afternoon she said to me, "I'm glad he's your kid, not mine." I looked her right in the eye and told her that I was very glad he was mine.
How on earth would anyone think that's remotely okay to say to a parent about their kid? She really believes she wouldn't love her own child if the kid didn't behave perfectly? However she had no idea that I know how to handle him.

The next day I called his preschool and asked if they had room in the after care program and was told they'd love to have him back. All I had to do was let them know when to start picking him up. I needed to fill out the school age enrollment forms but I could turn them in and pay them when I picked him up!
I went in on Wed and told Ms. M that his last day would be Friday. I explained that I knew there was a 2 week notice and all but I didn't think I'd be a problem.
She had the nerve to tell me she was sorry to see him go. Yeah right.

In the car, I told WC that CJ was changing programs. He asked why and I explained that it wasn't working. That Ms. M didn't like CJ. Then I told him to not tell CJ I said that. He inquired why and when I told him that CJ didn't need to know. WC informed me that CJ said Ms. M didn't like him and he didn't like her.
Silly me for thinking CJ hadn't sensed it. Shame on her for letting a 5 yo child see her feelings. She works with kids!
Since moving to the new (old) place he's much happier. So am I.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

See The Good

In our school district at the end of the school year the children are subjected to standardized testing. These standardized tests are used to evaluate the teachers- they gain or lose money & reputation based on how their pupils perform. As you might guess this leads to teaching to the test. If it isn't on the test, they don't teach it. I'm not a fan of this situation. Some cases the teachers put enormous pressure on youngsters to make them look good.
In May I received a phone call at work around midday, WC had a breakdown during said achievement test. According to the school guidance counsellor, it was reported he began panicking, scratching his arms & in a move that would get him sent to the guidance counsellor he told his teacher we'd all be better off without him. The law stated she had to call mobile crisis.
I went to the ladies room and sobbed. I'd known for a while how unhappy with school he was but his grades were excellent. So I was blind to how badly he was hurting. And blind to what his teacher was doing. But that's a different post.
I'm not one to be proud. This was beyond my abilities. We needed help.
The previous year I'd contacted an LCSW when CJ first began to have issues. I'd spoken to her but decided to only see the OT. But I'd liked her. She was honest with me the year before & that stuck with me. I called her that very day.
The mobile crisis guy called me. After a discussion he concluded it wasn't necessary for them to respond that I was capable of handling it.
A few weeks later school was over. And we began seeing the therapist weekly throughout the summer and up to the present. Ms E is wonderful she connected with him & he trusts her. I'm grateful for the changes we've seen. It's a process and not going to be magically better instantly.
The first thing she had me do was every night at bedtime he has to name a good thing about the day or a good thing about himself. If he can't or won't then I tell him. I think it's a great thing to do with both kids. We're all so busy we forget to celebrate the good things about our kids.
I challenge you to start telling your kids when they are doing things RIGHT. Tell them that you see the good things they do!