As you know, my six year old was suspended from school on Friday. We had a very productive day during which he helped me clean the house, the kitchen, his room, and entertain a friend who came over with their home-schooled child. After the visitors left, he settled down at the kitchen bench to get some school work done, and completed around 45 minutes of concentrated work without too much fuss.
We had a lovely weekend with beautiful weather, and the boys did a lot of building, sitting around, playing cards together and generally hanging out in the garden, while I went and bought our two new apple trees, which are my belated birthday present. I’m very excited about them, and can’t wait to actually plant them later this week.
This morning, I knew was going to be tricky since we had a meeting with the principal in the morning regarding the suspension behaviour. My son did not cope when they started to talk to him about the situation and started rocking back and forth on my lap, thrashing his head from side to side and hissing through his teeth, before trying to attack me to make me let him go. I ended up having to restrain him face down on the floor. I got him to calm down and listen eventually, and then escorted him to class. The principal had suggested that I come and get him before lunch each day for the rest of term so that he was only doing half days. I left with that plan, and went home to immediately start trying to find the next step in our investigations into what might be going on with this little boy.
As I finished a conversation with a professor at a local university who is studying child behavioural problems and runs a programme, I received a phone call from the school. My son had absconded. An Aide was in pursuit and they would let me know if they got him. If not, could I let them know if he showed up at home. I agreed and then put the phone down thinking, ‘seriously this is getting ridiculous! Despite their best efforts, they are simply not equipped to deal with my child, no matter what statements they may make about their facilities or the support they can offer!’
Long story short, they managed to catch him. I was then assured that I didn’t need to come and get him, but he would be sent back to class. Yeah right. about 30 minutes later I was phoned and told that he was hitting his teacher and his Aide, and was in the principal’s office again. That was it. My final straw. I rang my husband to make sure he agreed with me, and informed him that I was going to pick our son up and I was not taking him back to that school for the rest of the term. They may postulate about how he’s not safe around other children, but they are not able to keep him safe either! He’s decided that he is in charge of the computer room in his class and puts up a fight whenever anyone else tries to enter. The reason for this probably has something to do with the fact that he is always put in there and plays “educational” games all day!
Grrrr… Anyway, I picked him up and I will home school him for the next couple of weeks. Then it will be holidays, and after that, he will go to that special education class in the nearby other public school. He can only attend there for 12 months though, so who knows what will happen after that. The one thing I do know, is that he is not going back to his local school. They tried to suggest things to me and made it pretty clear that they think his problem is not behavioural, but rather neurological. Perhaps a serious chemical imbalance, or something else going on with his brain and suggested we pursue a medical route with MRI’s and the like. Maybe they are right, nothing else seems to be really working.
However, for the rest of the day, he had to come with me and help with my errands that I would have been doing if he was at school. He was so happy not to be at school that he was perfectly behaved! Yes, OK, I did need to tell him not to touch things a few times in the shops, but we must remember that he still has ADHD and he kind of can’t keep his body to himself. There is also the fact that shops design their displays so that children will not only want to stop and look at them, but touch them too! He then came home and helped me around the house again, and then settled down to do some school work in the new text books I bought him today to teach him writing, maths and spelling.
My plan for the rest of this week is to teach him different things in 30 minute sessions, broken down into 3 10 minute activities. We will do some book work, reading, music, and practical maths. He will help me with some house work and then he’ll also get recess and lunch breaks to himself. He’ll get 10 minutes break between each 30 minute session. That’s my plan and we’ll see what happens. I bet it will work out just fine.
My big hope right now is that Mum and Dad are able to arrange passage for my son and me to the to USA to visit them over the coming school holidays. We won’t get to see them for Christmas this year, so I am thinking that a break and a bit of a ‘run away, run away’ attitude will help me prepare for the next round of investigation, study and work we will need to do for our little one.
Life is good… when you don’t involve bureaucratic education systems… and other people who don’t know you or your child! Pfft to them all I say!
Wish me luck!