Holiday Celebrations

Yesterday was the last day of school before the holiday break.  On the schedule were 3 hours of regular class time, then a holiday party and then the remainder of the afternoon the kids watched a movie.  In years past, we’ve kept G home on days like this, preferring to start our holiday break a day early rather than subjecting him to the confusion of not following the expected routine.  This year, G has shown signs of being able to roll with changes a bit better and has a teacher that thrives on consistency almost as much as G.  They’re a really good fit, and after discussing the day and G’s history of behavior with her we decided to send G to school to see how it would go.

G’s teacher (who I simply adore) did a couple of extra things to help G with the day.  G has a bit of a crush and will often specifically ask to wear a green shirt to school, because green is Ms B’s favorite color.  Ms B in return will point out when she is wearing a red shirt, which is G’s favorite color.  G has a green striped shirt he particularly likes to wear because it is just like a striped sweater Ms B owns.  So during the week, G and Ms B made plans to both wear their green striped clothing on Friday as a holiday treat.  When he arrived Friday morning, Ms B made a production of showing the other kids how she and G dressed alike.  G stood up and did a Price-Is-Right-Showgirl imitation, waving his hands at his shirt and then at Ms B’s sweater.  It was incredibly cute and included G in the festivities right from the start.

I’ve mentioned in the past that G has trouble watching movies that are age-appropriate, preferring to stick to the Wiggles, Dora the Explorer and Blues Clues.   For movie time, Ms B selected Charlie Brown’s Christmas, which is relatively suspense free, and asked G if he owned it.  When she found out he did, she asked him to bring in the movie for the class to watch.  Such a simple thing made G feel so included and really helped him get through the movie.  (the scenes where the kids make fun of Charlie Brown’s tree are hard for G to watch)

The day went really well.  G rolled with the schedule changes and had no behavioral outbursts, which is simply amazing to me.  I was expecting at the very least that he’d hit once out of frustration but he was very cheerful throughout the day.  His attitude changed the very second he got in the car and the rest of our day was challenging, to say the least.  But even that is a positive step.  ‘They’ say that kids with Aspergers often hold it together in school and then let it rip when they get home where they feel safe.  That has never been our experience.  G is more of an in-the-moment type of kid with little self-control.  But yesterday, he dealt with an incredibly frustrating day with much grace and then let his frustration out on us.  I still struggle with the public embarrassment of his behavior and would deal with his behavior myself any time rather than get reports from the principal.

I’m feeling the warmth and good cheer of the season.  If only I could maintain this feeling for the next 18 days, until school starts again.

Published in: on December 19, 2009 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  

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