Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sometimes... (just needing to vent for a moment)

OMG - Salamander and I had our usual bed time chat... and it's no wonder that he was completely *off*, first during his home work and then later in the evening during the open house at Potatey's school. Stuff happened today in the Pragmatic Learning Center at Salamander's school that, well, I need to get my head around exactly WHAT happened and how come Salamander and several of his peers were exposed to it (there is a new student in the mix who has enormous difficulties with transitions and who is expressing his distress in big temper tantrums..). Salamander got very scared during these temper tantrum situations, but what he tends to do with traumatic experiences is to completely BLOCK THEM out until something triggers his memory, and then it all has to come out. I.e., Salamander was working on his math assignment in the PLC when things went *south*, he blocked the experience but then things got triggered as he started to work on that same math assignment at home...
There's a lot more to it.. but I need to process it all so I can write a letter to school expressing my concerns with what happened.

I am, however, absolutely blown away with how well Salamander, albeit much after the fact, could explain what happened, how it happened and how it made him feel. And not only that, he could even identity why things went *south* with that other student and why the approach to diffuse the situation used by some of the school staff wasn't working (apparently some staff use the "can you please not do XYZ, or can you please stop doing XYX" approach instead of the direct "[name student], stop XYZ now". So I am so proud of Salamander for starting to recognize when situation spin out of control and which approach works better, but I am so distressed for him that he had to experience what he experienced today. I fully understand why the other student may have melted down the way he did, but -I- need to make sure Salamander is safe, FEELS safe..

It may take me a while to add further *what happened* clarifications.. I know need to address several situations with school, AND I have quite a bit of other *stuff* to get done tomorrow as well...

I get so frustrated with how Salamander's challenges can present themselves (I almost wrote: "get frustrated with Salamander",but that really is not how it is. I am not frustrated with Salamander, the person; but I do get frustrated with the behaviors..).

We had a challenging afternoon here.. math home work was the usual torture. The kiddo, despite many years of drilling, cannot remember basic math facts.. nor does he truly grasp the meaning of mathematical concepts like addition, subtracting, multiplying, dividing etc... YES, I know I need to get to the bottom of why that is (and I have some evaluations and testing scheduled for later this week to do just that). He's in 5th grade! The basic math concepts and math facts should be firmly established by now, for Pete's sake..

Then, at the open house at Potatey's school, despite talking about school rules and what my expectations were for calm school behavior and talking about how this was Potatey's opportunity to show his school to us and introduce his teachers to us, within 5 seconds of setting foot inside the school, Salamander got all revv'd up and was off into the stratosphere to the next solar system (I know, I know.. sensory processing issues rearing their ugly head..). Running around, bouncing off the walls, screaming, climbing under the tables.. Oh joy. YES, I should have left him at home.. and I would have if there had been somebody to leave him with..

I completely *get* the why, what, how and when of Salamander's behaviors, I do. But that doesn't mean it's not frustrating to not be able to talk for even 4 seconds with one of Potatey's teachers about Potatey without having to interrupt to peel Salamander off the ceiling, or to redirect him from whatever destructive behavior was manifesting itself.

Not sure if I'll leave this post up.. just needed to get this off my chest for now.. I don't typically rant about Salamander or his behaviors as I so understand where they are coming from. I typically try to focus on the causes and what to do to work around the causes and try to not get stuck in *I just wanna scream* land..

But I AM human....


At 7:30 PM, September 23, 2008 , Anonymous Jeanne said...

Vent away sister, vent away. Ain't no body judging... more like we're all nodding in understanding of what you are saying.

At 8:22 PM, September 23, 2008 , Blogger Petra said...

Thanks for that...

If I have the energy, I'll edit the post later tonite to add a few clarifications, as everything that happened this afternoon and tonite is explainable from the premise of Salamander's neurological dysfunctions (there, I used the D word.. as what was going on WAAAY crossed the threshold of 'challenges or differences or diversities').


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