Well, train wrecks, it happened. One month in, and the phone call I’ve been waiting for since he was in kindergarten finally happened.
Let me throw some background here.
I’ve talked about my T Rex. He’s a little much sometimes. He has trouble focusing and staying on task. He gets frustrated when he makes a mistake. He doesn’t understand why some people don’t follow the rules. He tends to have a black and white view of rules and the world. And sometimes, when the feelings get too big and scary, he shuts down and turns into a little gray rock.
And that’s what happened yesterday. In class.
Let me state this. Gods bless his teacher. I found out that she’s been working with him to manage all of these behaviors. She’s been having him work at her desk to help him stay on talk. When he gets overwhelmed, she sends him to walk the hall and get a drink to refocus.
But today, none of it helped. He started slipping over a spelling activity. He actually told her, “I know what it is. I’m just not going to do it.” No amount of persuasion worked. The cool down techniques were flat out refused. It wasn’t until the phone was dialed and the teacher was leaving a message on my voice mail that he did the activity. And it took him less that five minutes. And he got it all correct.
When he gets this way at home, I’ve probably not handled it in the best ways. I’ve hugged him if he says it’s ok. Otherwise, we still include him in the family activity and just let him warm back up at his own time.
I know this isn’t something that can be done in a school setting.
When we got home from work, we did a lot of talking. He said he doesn’t know why he acts like that. He just got so overwhelmed and couldn’t stop it.
There was lots of love and reassuring that will we always love him. We talked about what I do when I get overwhelmed. I take a breath. Get a drink. Walk around my office. A lot like he’s been doing at school. I think about happy things and calming things. I touch my fuzzy blanket on the back of my chair. I hold a pillow and squeeze it, sometimes rocking to get rid of the excess energy. I asked if he’s able to ask for a pillow and he said they have them there and he’ll try it. My husband is going to print a fidget toy (or several for Bunny and T Rex) on the 3D printer.
I’m sure testing is on the horizon. My oldest watches a little too much of mental health TikTok and has diagnosed us all with one thing or another. In the case of my son, her unprofessional diagnosis is Autism.
Admittedly, I’ve had my own suspicions, but never really approached a doctor about it. That is partially due to the fact that I never really had decent health insurance until this year.
Do you have any experience with this kind of behavior? Have you or someone you loved been tested and/or diagnosed with ADD and/or Autism? I welcome any and all insights about this.