Thursday, June 07, 2012

Oopsie! We lost your kid again!

You know, it is bad enough to entitle something "Oopsie, we lost your kid!" It is one of those titles that makes parents- ANY parents- cringe in fear and anger. Adding the "again"? Holy frijoles.

Joey has been having a resurgence of fight-flight behavior. In other words, he's been doing a runner. His favorite moment is PE. After all, movement takes extra energy, especially when you have vestibular issues, propioceptive issues, and problems with bilateral coordination and crossing midline.

Part of the problem is, of course, that most folks don't recognize that he has this issues. He just looks like a clumsy, chubby little guy who isn't very good at games. Consequently, they don't expect him to move very fast. They also just let him flounder in a game.

Part of the problem is Joey wants to do well at everything he does. Since his disability is being dismissed, he isn't getting appropriate support to be successful in PE. This becomes a horrifying spiral. Note the "chubby."

Part of the problem is the games they are choosing to play. I never liked dodgeball. Can you imagine Joey being smacked in the head or back by a ball? How is he going to react? How is he going to feel? Not to mention the swirl of children such a game involves, so that Joey i already overwhelmed with crowd, noise, motion all around him.

Naturally, he gets frustrated, upset, confused, and... runs for it.

By now, I would think everyone was aware that PE is a Danger Zone. We have had an aide hired to help with such moments, and this is the prime moment when Joey may need support.

Unfortunately, our aide is having some difficulties grasping how to speak Joey, how to read his cues and signs and understand how he communicates. Consequently, he escapes.

Then, remember that "they don't expect him to move very fast"? That may be true if he's trying to play a game. When bolting? He's like lightning- unpredictable and gone in a flash.

This time, he got halfway across the parking lot. That means halfway to a major state road. He didn't get farther because of quick thinking by two of his teachers, who were more accustomed to him. Both are now pretty rattled by the experience, but they did what they needed to do to calm him enough to stop him from getting to the road.

Now, note the "again."

Joey has resumed bolting at school in the last few weeks, corresponding to the arrival of the new aide. Yes, we have had meeting and meetings and meetings. Now we are considering options.

Not. Happy.


farmwifetwo said...

Been there.... done that... Except mine was "autistic kids can't get bored". In the end they built a fence around the primary area... except they expected him to stay there until Gr 8 - note we're not there anymore nor plan to return at Gr 7, we're homeschooling. School #2 only had a fence half way round... until the summer before mine arrived. Gotta love my kid, getting 2 fences built and this fence now circles the ENTIRE school yard except the parking lot. No segregation.

Difference btwn 1 and 2. 1 - still lost him... with the fence. See, there was spots he could wiggle through and did b/c "autistic kids can't get bored" and as you said headed straight for the main county road in front of the school. 2 - has gates and a low chain and they have never lost him... see they know "all children can get bored". They take toys outside at recess, the EA takes him for his walks when he needs it, they play with him... geez, what a difference, eh?

I have no suggestions - except for demanding another placement at another school or homeschooling - b/c truth is there are people that no matter what you say or what you do when it comes to you kid... they will ass(u)me since they are the "professional" they know better than you do.

Hope you get it sorted soon. I'm impressed they told you, I had to find out about some of it via the family grapevine b/c my kids have cousin's at that school.

Kim Wombles said...

I'll echo fw2 and say that I hope you get it sorted soon. ((())) The running is terrifying-when I picked the girls at school, I always made sure to be there at the door when they came out because I didn't trust them not to bolt (and the school has 800 kids in it) or the teachers to be vigilant enough to catch them.

Stimey said...

So outrageous. You know how I feel about this. I'm so angry for you and Joey.