I always knew that reducing his medication was going to be tricky. I was and am prepared for what may happen. His psychologist warned me today that we shouldn’t make any judgement about how far he’s come with controlling things himself until he’s come fully off it and settled down to a plateau. She believes he’s made huge progress and has made many new neuro transmitters from having so many new successful learning experiences while being on the medication, but supports our slow weaning off from the drug.
Today, our sons psychologist said that for the first time he said to her that he is quite lonely and he showed emotion (sadness) when he said it. Yes, it does break my heart. He his lonely, but there is no point in me throwing him out there and letting him have lots of negative social experiences either.
When he had finished his work I took him to the park on his bike, with the dog. It was close to school ending so I knew there would likely be some other kids there. There was a group of about eight boys all in school uniform and all about my sons age. He stood aside for a minute and watched what they were doing then approached and tried to climb on the playground equipment they were playing on. He didn’t do or say anything weird, he just tried to climb on with them. Two of the boys told him to get off. He did. He then went away and came back over again later. This time he said
“There is enough room on there for one more!” He gave them a winning smile and waited for a moment. Most of the boys seemed happy to have him join in so he approached again.
One of the louder boys said, “hey kid! You can’t come on, but you can push us!”
My son obliged them. I have told him before that it sometimes helps if he joins the game by playing their rules at the start until he knows them a little better…
The loud boy kept saying “hey kid push us faster!”
My son smiled and pushed them faster. He then said,
“My name is Corey, not kid.”
Naturally, because the kid was a little asshole, he called my son ‘kid’ even more times. My son handled all this very well.
My son got tired of pushing and went and lay on his back in the middle of the playground. Some mums looked concerned, and started looking around for his parent. I was watching from close by but had the dog and didn’t want to interfere just yet.
He returned to the apparatus because the loud boy and his buddies had moved on now. He was playing nicely for a moment with some of the other boys, until loud boy spotted him and came back over.
“Hey! Coral, you can’t play here! How old are you?”
“Oh. I’m 8 too. When’s your birthday?”
I think my son was getting flustered at this point because he didn’t answer but walked away. Some of the other boys called out that Coral was a girls name, and my son came over to me, grabbed his bike and took off.
I followed with a hope that he would just keep riding.
He turned the bike around and headed the bike back to the playground where he rode his bike right up to them as if he were going to hit them with it. That of course frightened them, but also gave them a chance to notice that he has a basket on the front of his bike which he uses to carry his soft toys around in…..cringe.
“Why do have baby toys?” One of them asked. Bad move.
I shouted for him to come over to me as I could tell he was about to go crazy. I thought I had succeeded when he rode away ahead of me and headed off around the path. Then he threw each toy and his water bottle out one at a time and kept riding. I had a bad feeling. I ran and picked up all the toys, now looking somewhat crazy myself with a penguin in each pocket and a fox under one arm and a water bottle and dog hanging off me!
By the time I backtracked to find him, he had all the kids corralled and was circling them on his bike like a predator. I called out for him to come to me in a somewhat desperate voice. He did.
He rode his bike full pelt at me and the dog. The dog caught the brunt of the wheel in its side. Thank god he’s a massive strong dog. I managed to grab the basket and reduce a lot of the impact of it slamming into my legs.
It is seriously hard to stay calm and patient in this situation, but I tried really hard to put myself in his shoes. Unable to control his rage after having done all the right things to make friends and then having it go horribly wrong.
Me: “sweetie I’m so sorry that just happened to you. I know you are hurt and angry right now. You absolutely can not go back and hurt those kids. Or me. You need to just go and ride home right now.”
His face was so red with rage that I wasn’t sure I was getting through. Plus he was telling me how he was going to break their legs and get a knife and stab them. Fortunately he chose to ride off for home. Phew!
By the time I, the dog, and all the soft toys caught up with him, he had calmed down a lot. Enough in fact to be waiting for me at the busy road that he isn’t allowed to cross alone.
He still wanted to go back and kill them, and he described to me in some detail what he would do if he saw them again. I tried not to answer except to let him know I heard how angry they had made him.
He apologised to the dog, (who seemed perplexed as to why his boy was cuddling him and saying sorry!”, and then said that next time maybe he would just leave.
Later, after he had had a good play with our family friends, I talked to him more about it. I told him that I wanted to make sure he didn’t start saying things to himself about liking soft toys. That everyone is different and there is nothing babyish or wrong with the things he likes. He was already thinking he would never make friends unless he threw out all his ‘furries’ as he calls them.
It’s hard. It makes me sad for him and also angry, but at the same time I know that he could just as easily say mean things to kids he meets if he is feeling threatened somehow. I’m keeping him in his “feathered nest” a bit longer and only exposing him to that kind of stuff in small doses thanks.
Next week, hopefully he will try going to Scouts. Maybe that will work for him. Maybe it won’t, but we will keep trying. I just might have to do some strength exercises to make sure I can physically contain him if needed!
What a day!