J had an unbelievably rough start to the week. I will confess that it wasn’t all his fault (and I feel horrible about it.) Sunday morning I wasn’t feeling well so I got up long enough to tell the boys what they could do for the morning and what they needed to do if they wanted electronics later. Then I went back to bed. Monday, I got a call pretty early in the day that J was not cooperating and didn’t want to work. I kind of expected that since we spent a tiring weekend at the State Special Olympics swim meet. They said he wasn’t out of control but that he was really agitated and refusing to do anything but read or talk about animals. Then Mrs. S picked him up like usual. When they got back to her house she wanted him to do his work, he wanted to nap. Somewhere along the way he got out of control. Really out of control. If you’ve never seen it, it is hard to imagine. It is actually hard for me to remember because it hasn’t happened at home or with me in several years. But he was a raging tasmanian devil. Things were flying, he was screaming, etc. S tried calling me and putting me on speaker phone and all he did was hiss at us. I ended up having to leave work early and when I arrived there was another adult from across the street also coming over to help. It was bad enough that she’d had to call for back up.
When we got home I noticed his morning meds still sitting at his breakfast spot. That is when I realized that he also didn’t have any the day before. Morning is now when he takes his anxiety/OCD meds. I had him take it right away and then sat him down to start catching up on all the work he had missed. He was a blubbering mess for a couple hours. He slowly got his work done and he also slowly returned to himself. We got a lot of work caught up, he did his night time routine and then wanted to go to bed a little early. When I tucked him in, I prayed over him extra peace and then sang a lot of songs to him. He wanted to know why I was singing more than one song and I reminded him that when he was little (and often had day long fits) I would sing him off to sleep. He wasn’t happy about it so we agreed that I’d just sing one more.
3:40am I was woken up by the dog. I got up to check on things and found J in his room on a handheld device. He’d already lost electronics through the end of the month for the Monday stuff. Add another day.
Tuesday morning before school he seemed fine. He took his meds, I triple checked. He promised it was going to be a great day and that he’d do his work. It wasn’t. He took a really long nap at school and only did about 10% of his class work. S said he was pretty wound up when she got him. I told her she could put him at my house for the last bit of time I’d be at work and for everyone’s safety, she did. He called her every few minutes to tell her what adventure he was imagining and she knew he was fine. (Side note: We’ve been slowly letting the boys stay home alone for short periods of time. They seem to do very well with the rules that come with the responsibility.)
When I got home we got right to work on catching up with the work. S and I were texting and brainstorming since he seemed to be doing better out of school this week. We needed something big to turn his week around. Since it seemed he really wanted to be away from school, I put that out as a reward. In the mornings he goes to a traditional teacher led class but in the afternoon, he does online courses with parapro support.
The deal was this: Go to your regular classes, stay awake, participate with a good attitude and if you can do all that, I will come get you before lunch starts.
12:45am I woke up from a dream and saw a light on in the hall. He was up getting a snack and books. Tucked him in again, reminded him of the deal.
This morning we went over all the desired behaviors. I also reiterated that me picking him up was not for fun but so that he could do his online work in the comfort of home.
I am happy to say it worked. He got to come home early and then we put in about 3 hours of work online and doing homework. He still has more homework to do because we didn’t get to it earlier this week, but today was successful. He navigated his two classes even when there was a slight change in the schedule. He stayed awake and he behaved appropriately. I’m hoping this broke the cycle. I’m hoping he remembers what a good day feels like and how nice it is when your teachers and support staff and mom are proud of you. Sometimes One day is all it takes.