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CoughCoughOverreactingCoughCough

July 29, 2013

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I had a sweet moment with my son this morning.  He was walking down the hall after just waking up… rubbing his eyes… looking so angelic and still so little.  He looked up at me with a sleepy smile and said “Mama, I love you, you are my best friend”  I stopped what I was doing (making breakfast) and gave him a big hug and kiss.  How could I not???  At that moment I realized that in a very short amount of time he would be starting Kindergarten.  I bet that our mornings won’t be as sweet or lazy as this one was.  And then panic set in.  I still haven’t heard a word from his school.  I have no idea who his teacher will be.  No list of supplies yet.  Haven’t heard if we need to have a meeting before school with the autism team and his teacher.  What time do I drop him off?   How do I drop him off at school? Will I have to walk him to his class.. will they let me walk him to his class? I had to stop and sit down.  I wonder if other parents think like I do.  I am well aware that I overreact to a lot of stuff when it comes to my son.  I prefer to call it Hyper-vigilance, but the general public would say O.V.E.R.R.E.A.C.T  since they don’t live our life.    Do parents of neurotypical children think like I do?  I really have no idea.  But what I do know is that I want to be prepared in order to get him prepared.  He can’t just be thrown into situations like a brand new class.  It wont’ work for him.  Therefore it won’t work for me.  So I called his school……

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When I got someone on the phone, she was puzzled that I thought I should get a packet or letter in the mail!  “Well we post the classes a few days before school”.  I said “ummmm, so I just drive by the school and look at a list?”  “YEP!”  Was her answer.  My next question:  “So, I just bring him the first day of school and try to find his class?”  Her answer “Yes, and I would show up a few minutes early, because it’s can be quiet chaotic”  As I’m sitting and writing down what she is telling me, all I could think of was… This can’t be good.  Just thinking about trying to get him to a new classroom at a school he’s never seen with a teacher he doesn’t know, amid tons of parents and children milling about trying to find their new classrooms.. holy god!!!!  I’m having a mini anxiety attack just thinking about it!  I asked myself again, *are you overreacting??*  I honestly don’t know. I don’t’ know what it’s like to have a child that can calmly walk anywhere, I don’t know what it’s like to have a child that takes to change easily, I don’t know if other kindergarten parents are as freaked out as me.  So I asked her if I would hear from anyone on the autism team that is going to be working with him.  She said she didn’t know and that maybe I would have to call the special ed department to find out.  I thanked her for the info and her time.  She was very nice and I tried very hard not to let my frustration show.  Now on to waiting to hear back from someone in the special ed department.  I know they have my picture and name posted in that office!  Due to my Hyper-vigilance <—— maybe that is overreacting?

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It’s hard to explain this overreacting stuff.  It’s like having a sunburn and you kinda get use to it until you get into the shower and you feel the sting!!!!  Like.. Hey!  That’s Right!!!!  OUCH, I have a sunburn!  We live our lives everyday thinking of things that other parents don’t.  It’s normal to us.  And sometimes I don’t understand parents that don’t think like us.  When I see a child walking next to their parents and they aren’t holding hands I think “oh my god, what is that parent doing?”  When I see a child just playing out front without having an adult close by, I freak out.  Because we can’t do that.  Trust me, I am not looking for pity, or for anyone to feel sorry for us.  We are blessed to have our boys, and blessed beyond blessed by how smart, funny, personable, cute, and unique they both are.  (that I’m NOT overreacting about)  I know I have to get used to the fact that other’s won’t be as hyper-vigilant about things regarding my son.  Just a reminder that this is my job.  Still the best job ever, even if I do overreact.

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8 Comments
  1. Aliece,

    I feel bad for you! Why, because when Tyler was in K-8, we always were mailed packets and we always had a meet and greet with the teachers, toured the school etc. We went to the school and practiced where I would drop her off and pick her up several times before K started. And yes, I was a nervous wreck. In her K class the teacher even asked us for pictures and she created a board with the names of all in the class. In addition at the meet and greet (you had scheduled times), she personally showed Tyler her desk and it even had her name on it. WOW — can’t imagine how frustrated you are feeling right now.

    • Thanks so much. I am hoping that we will get to have a meeting before school even if I demand it. What you had with K, is just what I want for my K!!!! Hopefully there is just some miscommunication somewhere and we can get him in to meet everyone early! Fingers crossed! and thanks for reading and commenting ❤

  2. Sarah O. permalink

    Your concerns are perfectly valid; you are not overreacting! You have a child who is very sensitive to new situations, change, and chaos. If you aren’t aware of the potential trauma and trying ahead of time to create a game plan, you aren’t doing your job.

    You are and have always been an excellent mommy because you put your kids first, absorbing the stress and anxiety so they don’t have to. The school should definitely have a program in place to ease children into kindergarten, especially children with special needs.

    Do you think it would help to take walks around the school ahead of time with him? Maybe being able to see the layout of the campus will help him on the first day, even if you don’t know where his class is. ABSOLUTELY walk him to class on the first day, and every day after that as long as you feel the need to, regardless of what the school says. You are his parent, you know his personality and what is best for him. You are incredibly intuitive and you can do this! XOXO

    • Sarah ❤ ! I just think, am I the only one that feels this way??? I mean just show up on the first day and find the class? But again, I'm so intense that I just figure it's my own issues. 😉 I have phone calls and emails into the school district too see what we can do. Maybe we can change the way they do things for all the kids!

  3. Shannon permalink

    I think when you have kids like ours you think about everything so differently. You are definitely not alone however most parents do not think the way we do because they don’t have to. In his IEP you should be able to get it put in that he gets to visit the class, meet the teachers, and take pictures. That should be a pretty standard request but a very important one. You can find out about drop off procedures. Then you can get a schedule together for him with pictures so you can go through it with him for the week before school.

  4. So Shannon! I’m not Crazy?!?!?!?!?! Yay! 🙂 I have calls and emails in to the special ed department.. just waiting to see what they are going to do. I think that 2 weeks before school is cutting it so close. I’m not sure who thinks these timelines up, but they sure don’t work for an autism family!!!

  5. I worried about a lot of the same things you are when I put my son into first grade at public school. He went to a center for children with autism for three years, including kindergarten, then out of fear of the public schools we sent him to a private school for one semester, that was a nightmare. Finally we ended up putting him in the public school at the beginning of last spring semester. I walked him to and from class for the first couple days, after that he insisted on doing it himself and got there without any problems. I was also super impressed with how well the teachers/students treated him. Public schools have come a long way in teaching kids to be understanding and inclusive of special Ed students. There were a couple cases of teasing but much,much better than what we encountered at the private school.

    http://www.avoiceformyson.com

    • It’s a relief to hear success stories! Thanks so much for sharing. When we picked this particular school to send him too it was because of their autism program.. Then have an “autism center” and with that they can push in or pull out from Gen Ed how they see fit. I fought the idea of putting him in public schools also, until I saw this program and I know he needs the extra help. I’m thrilled to hear your positive experience. I hope to come back with my own too! He’s so looking forward to school.

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