Just as we are getting prepared for Jonathan to graduate high school, the struggle for Zachary has just beginning. Each one of our children are special and unique in their own ways. It seems as though we are living the movie “Groundhog Day.” The movie where Bill Murray is stuck living February 2nd over and over again.
The difference is that the movie is just one day, for us we are reliving the issues with Autism and schooling all over again. We have been on this roller coaster ride called “Autism” for over 18 years. The roughest of it beginning when Jonathan was in the 6th grade. We had to struggle with the decision to either let Jonathan keep changing classes with everyone else or placing him in a self-contained class with like 5-6 other students.
It all began with violent behavior outbursts on the school bus and then transitioning between classes getting into fights. Then the pushing and shoving in class to be the first one in line to leave. It took a great toll on both Jonathan and us as his parents. The decision was the hardest to make. Because it began a long hard road for Jonathan. Yes he was in a smaller class but the personalities would be a constant conflict. The referrals from discipline would be almost an everyday occurrence. Trying to make and keep friends was nil. Everyone was his friend even after the fights but the name calling like “bucktooth beaver” left emotional scars on my heart as well. Not only were these children cruel but they had no clue what they said had deeply impacted our family.
Now that Zachary has begun 6th grade we are starting to see similarities in behavior. The difference this time is that we know what being in an Emotional Behavioral Disabled class did to Jonathan and how he only wanted to be a normal kid…We refuse to let Zachary go down this same path. This Thursday there is a parent-teacher conference set for all of his teachers, guidance counselor, school therapist, administration and us. We are going to come up with a plan to help make Zachary more successful in school Because he has such a low reading level he does not have any electives this year. He goes from one reading class into another. So I don’t know if personalities are clashing with Zachary and his teacher or if he is just burned out from having to go directly to another reading class. In the past week I have received 4 phone calls from his reading teacher to say the issues they are having with him just being defiant.
Now comes the time to figure out what is happening and how to correct it so he can be successful. The struggle is real……