So we got past the whole teasing/taunting at school thing. He hasn’t even brought it up again, although I can guarantee he’s hanging onto it in that brain of his. Even though it ended well, he will probably just remember the bad parts.
We had one of *those* days yesterday. In truth, it’s been building. He had a couple of mini-meltdowns over the weekend. And I know he’s been struggling at school for whatever reason because Jaws has been going with him on a daily basis. His teacher emailed me yesterday afternoon. For the past week and a half, he’s been falling apart after lunch. She can’t get him calmed down. I feel horrible. I know he’s a disruption. I know she’s giving it her all. I can only imagine her frustration at not being able to get him settled. She asked for suggestions of how to keep or get him calm. I’m trying to wrap my brain around that one and come up with some solid ideas. Nothing has changed in the post-lunch routine. He’s in the same desk surrounded by the same classmates. During lunch, he eats in the MPR, away from the noisy lunch tables, then he goes straight to his classroom to read, make paper airplanes, or catch up. Any of you have any suggestions? I’m totally open at this point, and definitely needing help.
As I sat in the pick-up line yesterday, I received a text from the school nurse. I love her as much as I love the rest of the staff. Anyhow, Little Man had essentially been out of class the entire afternoon, a complete and total wreck. When I finally got in the loop to get him, he wasn’t sitting with the rest of the students. Then I saw the speech therapist walking my crying little boy to the car. He got in. I asked him if he wanted to talk about it, or calm down first. He said a few things, but then just started with his breathing. He doesn’t know why he gets upset, and he says he can’t stop himself. Basically, from his description of “feeling like (he’s) choking, tightness in (his) chest, and feeling like (he’s) going to throw up,” I would guess he’s having anxiety/panic attacks, but I am clueless as to why.
This feels strangely like the NICU dance we did with Big Man thirteen + years ago. We were constantly going two steps forward, three steps – or five, or ten – steps back. I just felt yesterday I’d had my legs taken completely out from under me. I was defeated, yet again. I want so much to make his days better, not just for him (Lord knows I can’t imagine what it’s like for him) but for his teacher, his classmates, the staff who try to comfort and calm him, and for myself. We’ve started a new anti-anxiety medicine, but we’re only a week in and that was spent at a half dose. It will take time for the levels to build and for us to see if it’s working or making a difference. We all need a break for him. My heart wonders sometimes if we’re doing everyone a disservice keeping him in traditional school. After days like yesterday, I ache to keep him home in an attempt to make it better. In my saner, more emotionally-calm moments, I don’t honestly think that’s the answer. I don’t know. I wish someone could tell me how to do this…how to make it easier for him, for us.
Last night, it was all I could do to get through the one dance class the Princess has. And we made it a pizza night because I so didn’t have it in me to think of something to cook, much less actually survive the process of making dinner. I finally sat in my comforting recliner, vino in hand, and vegged out watching the Olympics.
I pick him up from school in half an hour. My anxiety is already building. I did ask him for ideas or things he might want to have at his desk to help him stay and/or get calm in the post-lunch time. He’s thinking about it. I thought giving him some ownership might be a plus when we actually put something into practice. I’m praying this is a very temporary three-steps-back and soon we are taking those steps, plus some more, forward.