The Ride is Rough

We’ve hit a rough patch.  I’m not entirely certain why.  I know flu and strep are going around the school, so much so that they’ve rescheduled class picture day hoping to get most of the kids healthy and back in class.  G has had several substitutes in the past two weeks and I suspect the disruption in routine caused by new faces and new personalities plays a role.  But after several months of calm where G really excelled at using his words to express his frustration, he’s reverted to hitting.  A lot.

The first incident was the worst.  The special ed teacher was out sick for three days and there were three different subs.  On the third day, G went to motor morning  – the first 20 minutes of the day where the kids with high energy or motor deficits work on skills and get out the fidgets.  It was supposed to be, ‘fun friday,’ where they get to play board games to work on fine motor skills.  Board games are G’s current obsessive interest so he grabbed a game first thing.  Apparently, the sub didn’t know games were allowed on Friday and probably told G to put the game away.  Being so focused on the game, G didn’t respond.  The sub then grabbed the game out of his hands and reprimanded G.  G responded by punching her in the face.

Hitting is never ok and this particular situation was very bad.  But the actions of the adult contributed to the reaction of G.  It got me thinking about the special ed teacher’s position and the requirements needed to substitute for that position.  It seems to me that a knowledge of disabilities is necessary.  Yet we live in a small, remote community where people with that knowledge and the free time to substitute are hard to come by.  Then I realized …  I have both a knowledge of disabilities and the free time to substitute teach.  Maybe I needed to, ‘be a part of the solution,’ and offer my time.  I looked into the requirements for my state and found a bachelors degree is needed, but not specific teaching credentials which means I qualify for a licence.  So I broached the idea with our principal, who responded enthusiastically, and I’m currently finishing the paperwork necessary to apply for a licence.

I’m patting myself on the back, thinking I put all my alanon work into practice by accepting our part of the blame (but no more than our part) and working to find proactive solutions when the other shoe dropped.  G had a horrible week, pushing his boundaries, pushing children, sassing his teacher and then hitting two classmates in the face.  There seems to be no underlying reason, except that his routine has been unstable.  But all his teachers are back so it would appear to be a delayed reaction.  DH and I have decided on an at-home extension of consequences where if he hits, he loses his technology priviledges for the remainder of the day.  If he gets in trouble for disrespectful talk then he needs to face the school consequences but there are no home ramifications because we want to make him understand that using his words is always better than hitting.

I’m not very confident that this will work – disciplining a behavior out of G has never been particularly successful.  But I’m not sure what else to do.  DH has seen a snippet of info about assertiveness training used for both shy and aggressive children to teach them how to stand up for themselves before it gets to the breaking point.  Anyone heard of or used this before?  We’re looking for more information but haven’t found anything substantial yet.

Meanwhile, I have the song “Have It All,” by Jeremy Kay on a continuous loop in my brain.  For those of you who haven’t heard it before, the refrain goes:

So I try so hard to keep the rhythm of a train
Rolling right along
When the ride gets rough you got to carry on

The ride is most definitely rough.  All we can do is put one foot in front of the other, stay patient, consistent and carry on.

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 11:13 am  Comments (3)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am SO sorry to hear that G has been put through so much change this month. What a tough time! And I don’t blame him for punching that sub! Truth is, I had to laugh at this bit. I mean really, the sub GRABBED the game from him?? I can truly see how he might feel bullied by that. I agree that hitting is not to be encouraged, but have you also validated G’s anger at the circumstances?? And assured him that the sub was also wrong in this circumstance? It would be helpful if you could get the sub to apologize, but I highly doubt that will happen. So, you now have the tough job of convincing G to forgive an adult who wronged him, but isn’t apologizing. In working through this, you may find G feels validated and will again respect the rules that adults put in place around him. Hope your family is again finding some semblance of balance. Good luck.

  2. No answers, but yeah, when GL is having problem behaviors, it’s tough to figure out what’s causing them or what to do about it or them.

  3. To be totally honest, I laughed out loud and said, “Go G!” when I read what he did. I know, I know, it’s not the right reaction. This former teacher thinks the vast majority of blame lies with the full-time teacher who apparently may not have left proper instructions for the substitute teacher, the substitute teacher, and the administration that allowed such a situation to exist. They should have known better. And no, small town America is not an acceptable reason for sending an unprepared and possibly unqualified person into that environment. That being said, kudos to you for identifying a solution to a problem and taking action. Well done!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: