I think it's really happening.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LittleDudesMom, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    ...don't want to jinx it now...

    but I think difficult child is really making some forward progress.

    We had a conversation Sunday evening. I told him that I was having an IEP meeting this week to make sure things are straight for high school next year (did I say that? is littledude really going to high school?). One thing we would be discussing was Mr. S., his 1:1.

    I told difficult child that there were really three options here. 1 would be to stop cold turkey, as of the IEP date. 2 would be tapering - he would be in the building, there if needed, and then eventually 1/2 days, etc. 3 would be to taper him somewhat, but keep him in place for the first month or so of high school (which is what I really thought he would choose).

    "I want to know your thoughts on this difficult child. This effects you, not me." (although it has been a fabulous support and "mind-easier" for me the last five years).

    "Well, I'm going to be sad because I will really miss Mr. S., but I want to go to high school on my own. Mr. S. and I are already doing that tapering thing, mom. Remeber we talked about it before (I mentioned it to him in the fall) and he doesn't stay in my classes the whole time. He does come to art because he likes to do what we are doing."

    Is this really my stubborn, pattern-stuck difficult child? The one who wants everything to always stay the same. Who balks when I change his sheets because I put different ones on? Who doesn't like change?

    I spoke with Mr. S. yesterday afternoon. He says, that since he began keeping an incident log, at my and difficult child's therapist's request in October, there has only been one incident and it did not call for his intervention. difficult child told Mr. S. in science class one day that he needed to get away, he went down to the nurses office for 20 minutes to chill and then returned to class on his own. He knew his frustration was building....

    Mr. S. believes difficult child can do it. difficult child believes he can do. It will be good enough for me at this point.

    Mr. S. and I agreed that we would not allow the team to put a time line or difinitive date for removal. It should be open-ended, "upon the students needs". Don't want someone coming in and saying, "well, it's April 10th, 1:1 is gone as of today."

    I think it's a good plan. We will also include the necessity, in the IEP, that difficult child have a permanent "pass" to leave the classroom and go to a "safe place" when he feels it is needed. That way it's in the IEP next year when he begins high school. He will find a safe place, he always does. Probably the nurse's office - he seems to charm those nurses!

    Anyway, just wanted to share what, for me, was a moment of maturity for difficult child. As always, I will hope for the best...it's that optimist thing...

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sharon, thanks for sharing this wonderful news. difficult child certainly is marching forward. Way To Go!
  3. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    I am very excited for you. Sometimes those steps forward are such a relief.

    I don't want to minimize your event by any means but would like to give you just a couple heads up warnings. I know I get swept away by the happy feelings when they grace our home and forget that sometimes glitches pop up.

    My difficult child was excited about starting high school and having a "fresh start" so I can see where your difficult child gets his enthusiasm and optimism from. Maybe losing the 1:1 helps him feel as if he will fit in.

    High school is a fun and nerve wracking transition for any kid. Maybe the social pressure will encourage him to keep finding his safe place rather than act out so that is a great thing.

    High school also amps up the expectations as far as academics. My difficult child was waiting alllll summer with baited breath for high school. For the first few weeks he was doing great. Then it became the same old school routine, wasn't so darned fun anymore and his behavior slowly slipped. His progress is two steps forward and one step back but we are still moving along.

    Please just mentally prepare yourself for the one step back part if it happens so you aren't discouraged and so you don't lose hope. I think the residual oopsie behaviors as our difficult child's improve is a part of the process. Old habits die hard but the will fade eventually.

    Hormones are starting to flare in this group, they want responsibility but aren't quite mature. It's a complicated time in a young persons life and it can get overwhelming.

    Is there any way the 1:1 contact can just do a walk by and wave or pop in to say hi without it appearing obvious or emberrasing for your difficult child? Kind of like when you take a youngster to the park. They run off and ignore you but the whole time they keep looking back to make sure you are there. Then they feel safe and keep playing and ignoring you. Maybe being able to "look back" and see his 1:1 at a safe distance (for difficult child socially) will help ease the transition. Sometimes knowing someone is there in an unimposing way eases anxiety. That way is difficult child needs more 1:1 eventually it won't feel like a failure to difficult child. It can just be a "checking in" kind of chat. Sort of a safety net without actual 1:1 in a strucured setting.

    Anyway, don't want to be a kill joy. It really is fabulous news. You deserve it. I am sure you put in a lot of work and tears to get this far. Congrats to difficult child and especially you!
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sharon, I am so thrilled for you and littledude. How far he has come! Didnt I hear you mention on another thread that he was putting in applications at some different HS's? Wow. How thrilling.

    I am so proud of his progress.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sharon - this is wonderful for difficult child. I hope he really has grown so self aware that he can see it coming and get his down time on his own terms.

    High school is much harder for these kids - there are many times double or triple the inputs to them. He should be prepared to observe and think through his actions. You don't want to dull his excitement, but just to really be aware.

    It is so cool that Mr S is someone that difficult child will miss. A good relationship is hard to get!
  6. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    What a nice post to read. Thank you
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Farmwife, having an older child who has gone through high school definately prepares me for the rigors, and she wasn't even a difficult child! I'm hoping this is an opportunity for difficult child to take charge. He doesn't have the excitement about going to high school that your difficult child had, he's just resolved it's the next step! I certainly appreciate your input and having the 1:1 start out high would have been my choice, but... I think I need to let difficult child make this call. I'm hoping it's a confidence builder. Oh, at 14 1/2, the hormones have already flared and firing here!

    Janet, difficult child had originally wanted to attend the local public military school - which requires application and interview. But, after the open house led by a very firm and loud major, he has changed his tune! He wants to attend the same high school his dad graduated from. It's out of zone, so we still have to "apply". I'm meeting with the principal this week. Thanks!

    Wendy, I don't think he's grown so self aware that he can see it coming all the time. I think he's motivated from within to fit in and to do well. I think he's also grown a whole lot these past 2 and half years. He's still, and always will be, a difficult child. But we are not dealing with the explosive issues of five, four, or even three years ago. My hope is that, with the proper supports in place, his anxiety will remain in check and he will continue the social growth that is so important in high school.

    I spoke with his therapist today via the phone. She wants the IEP to definately have in writing "difficult child gets a pass to a safe/calm place with NO negative consequences." She believes that will be key in high school. She also agrees that the 1:1 be open-ended and "based on student need". It will protect us should the decision be made to keep him in the background.

    Wish me luck at the meeting on Thursday!

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You might need to keep a close eye on this to make sure they back it up and difficult child is comfortable pursuing it when necessary, knows where to go or who to tell, etc.

    Sharon, I think this is great and he's really maturing! I'm sure you must feel very proud and can take a deep breath of relief! He will be fine in the long run, I really believe.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This post just made my day. I'm grinning ear to ear. What great progress for difficult child!!!