Wednesday, 9 June 2010

One step forward ...

... and five steps back again!

Alex has been suspended from school .. again .. for having an altercation with another student. He is four years older than the other child, along with a few other factors that I would rather keep to myself, so the school has taken a rather dim view of things and suspended him for five days. We are very lucky that he wasn't just expelled this time, especially given his past history.

I totally understand the school's view on this and am in total agreement with the punishment, but I am struggling with what to do about his continuing impulse control issues. I have tried to seek a referral to a different doctor, to see whether changing medications or dosages would help but they are all so busy, we'll be waiting a while for an appointment, even with private health insurance.

When I went to pick him up from the school, I was able to have a 'chat' with him before the deputy principal came in. I didn't yell, threaten dire consequences or rant and rave. I simply sat down and told him how disappointed I was to receive another call from the school when he had been doing so well. I told him how using the excuse of "I have a bad temper" just wouldn't cut it in the real world after school and doesn't even cut it now.

It was about this point that I began to cry as I talked him through my fears of having a phone call or a visit from the police to say that they had him in custody for seriously hurting or killing someone. Or that he himself had been injured or killed as a result of an argument probably started over something small. And that I wasn't sure what to do to help him as I can't be there to watch over him every second of every day 'just in case'.

Please don't get me wrong .. I'm not trying to paint him as the innocent victim in all of this (not by any stretch of the imagination!) and am extremely grateful to the school for taking mitigating factors into consideration. I'm just at my wit's end and am totally out of ideas of what to do to help. I'm so tired of this constant fight with the world because most of the time it feels like I'm fighting him and not allowing him to just 'be'. I feel like I'm constantly having to defend his right to even be here.

I know that we all have to conform to a certain degree to survive in society and I'm scared that he won't be able to do it. I'm scared that he will always be like this and will be bounced from one bad situation to another and not have the skills to get himself out. I'm scared that he will end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, because he can be so easily led down the wrong path without even realising it.

I'm terrified that I'm failing him; that I'm not doing enough to help him get the right skills to deal with these sorts of situations. That I should have pushed harder and earlier for help. That I should have done this or that differently. That I should just let him figure these things out on his own (but given the severity of this incident, that isn't really an option.) That it's all too hard and I want to just scream "Stop the world! I want to get off!!"

And then I look around me and see how I don't have it anywhere near as bad as some others. And I think I should be grateful that he is healthy, (overly) verbal, mainstream schooled, intelligent, capable, wonderful, loving, helpful and all the other good things that make him who he is .. and I am grateful. He is who he is, I love him and I will continue to fight for him.

I'm just so scared that I'm not enough and I won't be able to help him.

I'm just so tired of this battle.


Madmother said...

It's so hard, isn't it. And do not compare your life to others, it is OUR lives and what WE experience as individuals that are important.

I have no words of wisdom, just words of support. You are not alone, we all fear the future for our kids for so many different reasons. We are here, and will listen with hearts of understanding.

Donna said...

Thanks so much for just 'listening'. I know I shouldn't compare my life to other people's but sometimes it's the only way to make myself see things from the slightly more objective viewpoint of 'outside looking in'.

Of course PMS and depression never really help the situation .. lol!

Anna said...

I came here after reading Madmother's post. I think we can all relate. The future it scary. And I don't know if this will help or not, but it is something I'm trying to come to terms with myself, we cannot will our children into behaviors. We can not be our sheer strength alone help them to "get it." All we can do is what we can do -- help them, teach them, love them and support them and it sounds like you are doing all of that.

Kim Thompson said...

Oh my goodness. I got this post through a Madmother on Autism Sucks.

Your post.. is my life. Every word, every punctuation mark, every paragraph,is my son. Is me. All of it. All of it is me.

So, guess what? You have a long lost twin in WA state, USA. How cool is that?

Peace to you. Just peace.

Donna said...

Thanks for the support ladies .. it's so nice to know there are others out there who do 'get it'!

He has been behaving himself (mostly!) while on suspension so far and seems to be genuinely trying to understand the subtleties of human interactions. Poor kid .. I hope he is able to 'get it' a bit more and soon!