Tuesday, February 04, 2014


Spring is coming.

For most folks, that means crocus, daffodils, and colored eggs. You know, baby chicks and new veggies and cherry blossoms.

For us, it means the next major regression with the change of season, anxiety attacks, and battening of hatches for the coming crisis. Does that sound harsh? Personally, I'd rather be prepped and have it not happen for the first time ever, than not be prepped and have a major catastrophe. The last school never prepped, even though we warned them, every year. And every year, they had catastrophe. I'm totally battening.

We've gotten the first whiffs of that spring breeze this week. After mostly calming down into Christmas, and making it through Christmas par for the course, we had snow. This meant school being cancelled. But Joey had already not been in school for two days of that first week back, because he had this mysterious illness. He would conk out for first period, with coughing, headache, complaining of tummy, falling asleep. He would be sent to the nurse. The nurse would call me. I would go pick him up. He would reach the car, and all symptoms would mysteriously disappear. One day, I actually called him in sick, and they mysteriously disappeared when the bus passed by the door.

So this last time he got sent home, Grandma and I came and got him, and took him out to Grandma's, and let Grandma work her magic. Why didn't he want to be in school? What was making him anxious and feel bad?

The interpretation of the data we got, spoken in Joey, is that Joey is feeling teased and bored. The math sheets sent home with him was stuff he's been using as a perseveration game since he was six. The history reading is totally baffling to him, as he has difficulty grasping abstract time and events have little relevance to him. He's in middle school, and even non-autistic middle schoolers start feeling the social pressure- so you can imagine Joey, with even fewer coping mechanisms or skills to fight the negative internal monologue of middle school than his peers, trying to navigate. This is headed to catastrophe.

This morning, when the nurse called again, I asked he be sent to counseling. I don't think they talked about what he needed talked about, but it got him calmed and back to his class for lessons, until he disagreed with something on an English test. Already brittle, it sent him into flight mode. Yes, they caught him. And thankfully, these folks have been working on back-up for when he runs, since they had so much of it already. They managed to catch him and get a card in his hands that said something like "Rock Brain Moment- Go to the Cool Zone!" and he managed with the visual and tangible to pull himself together enough to get to his Cool Zone. They had been practicing with this card for a while, prepping for just this moment. It worked.

Can I get a "GO, MRS. C!" (She's the autism resource person doing the card thing).

But just as I went out to make sure we had ice melt, even though we've already had our quota of snow for the year, I continue to prepare. I don't see this bolt as an end. I know it is the first signs of coming anxiety.

So no matter what the groundhog says, here comes Spring. Are we ready?