Yesterday was another not so great day, at least that is what the teachers said it was. After a 15 minute TALKING DOWN TO by the teacher on how he knows what is appropriate behavior and the way he was acting is not appropriate… I took my son home. I honestly did not even know where to begin. To make matters worse it seemed Gracie was having her own little Drama because so and so said she did not want to be her friend today. I was ready to lock myself in the bathroom and not come back out, but knew that was not an option. So instead I told the kids to throw their backpacks on the ground and we took a snack and sat outside, picnic style. For awhile we just sat there, enjoying the Spring sunshine and fresh air. It was good for us all.
Eventually I got to the point at hand. I started with Grace because well even though I knew it was going to be a soap opera in the making, it had to be easier than Jay.
She talked, I listened, Jay read his comic book.
With a few nods of my head and a couple of uh huhs… she was feeling better and went inside to start her homework.
There we sat… just Jay and I. My sweet brilliant boy looked at me and said, “So I suppose you want to talk about today, huh?” I shook my head yes, stalling for time and perhaps the right words.
Me: “Jay what’s going on? You know that all we want to do is to help you, and well sometimes you make that hard for us to do. I want to understand … I really do, but you have to help me sweetie. I can’t read your mind any more than you can read mine.”
Jay thought for a second about what I said and then my boy, my intelligent and so so beautiful boy said, ” Mom, you know that show Wheel of Fortune? Well I feel like I am spinning a Wheel… a wheel of emotions and I just keep landing on Bankrupt. No matter how hard I try to land on the trip or the Big Money… I can’t. I’m trying mom, really I am!”
What are you supposed to say that? I was lost for words. My heart was so very heavy! I ached for him. I had to fight back the tears. I think a few escaped anyway, hell just writing this now they are escaping.
I am so very angry people. I am angry that my boy feels this way. I am angry that I just can’t kiss the boo boo and make it all better. And I am angry at the school and the teachers whom I am not sure really get my boy. How can you expect him to act appropriate if he does not know what appropriate is? They say he should know better, but guess what folks, he has Aspergers. It is not an excuse, it is a reality. Things don’t click for him they way they do for you or me. For example, it was cold in the morning so I told Jay to wear his jacket. At noon it warmed up to 80 something degrees. Jay still had his jacket on. The teachers told him to take it off but he argued saying I told him to wear it! He was right I did. I forgot that I needed to remind him that when it warmed up he should take the jacket off. Where something like this may just come naturally to some,”I feel hot so I’ll take the jacket off”, well Jay doesn’t think like that! Yelling at him to take the jacket off will not help.
So Jay gets upset, confused, and his head starts spinning trying to figure out how he is supposed to act. The Wheel of Emotion lands on Angry and he shouts out words he knows he is not supposed to say. Or it lands on frustration and he slams his fist on the desk causing the papers to fly across the room. Or it lands on Bankrupt and my boy becomes unglued… melting down to the floor in a heap of tears.
I know I need to fill my son’s wheel with good adjectives and coping mechanisms and get rid of the nasty ones like frustration and anger. I tell him this and he looks at me confused and says, “Mom that would be cheating, rigging the wheel.” Just another example of how his mind works.
Every day my boy lets me into his world. A get a glimpse of just how special his mind is. It fascinates me and also worries me. How do I reach out to him, help him but not change who he is? I am not sure if there are answers to these questions. The only thing I am sure about is that some how, some way I will make the teachers see my boy, accept my boy… HELP MY BOY! And if I have to rig the wheel… so be it!