“Hi, this is Anita at the Y”
“Hi Anita, what’s going on with C?”
“Well – he’s having a hard time and he put his hands on another kid and he’s swearing”
“MMMMM – yeah – sounds like not a great start”
“No, he, uh, well, we can’t have him doing that”
“I know – hands off policy and all that. So what do you want me to do?”
“Uh, well, we just can’t have him swearing and choking people”
“Oh, believe me Anita – I get that. Do you want me to come pick him up?”
“Uh, well . . . . “
“Ok, I’m on my way”
I pull up to the school they are at for part of the day. There is C hanging out playing 4 square calmly with others. When he sees me he yells “I’m not going home” and hides behind a kid (whom later proclaims to be his best friend, the very reason C was apparently able to calm down because “Rizzo” asked him to)
I approach the counsellors. It quickly starts to become clear – I wrote “don’t put him in the middle of a line of kids, keep him at front or back” – what did they do??? You got it.
I wrote, even when he is managing himself fine and you wonder “why did his mom send a worker with him” – that does not mean his worker should be sent to do something else, he WILL fall apart. Guess who they decided to make the gopher to take kids to the bathroom inside and up two flights of stairs??? You got it.
I wrote, he tires easily and needs reminders to drink often. Who hadn’t touched any of his drinks 4 hours into the day and hadn’t sat down to rest for even a minute??? You got it.
SIGH SIGH SIGH
The good part – by the time I got there he had calmed down, shown remorse and made a friend. He begged to stay and all the counsellors convinced me that they could see the errors of their ways and had plans to make things work smoother. Luckily we are footing the bill to send his in home worker with him and she happens to be my goddaughter (read: half worker/half informant). I know at times she felt overwhelmed and helpless but she did an amazing job.
He made it through the day with no more major incidents.
I gave the counsellors permission to inform any concerned parents that the kid who shot their kid the bird and yelled MOTHER F*&^%$ at them has Tourette’s and Autism. What else could I say? They seemed relieved at the idea – I don’t think it had sunk in that just maybe in the heat of the moment he just wasn’t able to actually control the words coming out of his mouth. When he told me he wasn’t “going home” it was actually more colourful than that – then his face blanched and he turned and purposefully banged his head off the pole REALLY hard – that’s how distraught he was that he had swore again.
Tomorrow is another day.