parenting

The Nightmare of School K


There are few things that upset me. Really very few.

But fuck with my family and I’m a completely different person. Especially when it comes to my kids, I would suggest never crossing that threshold.11060303_973434206002230_7424410344801129210_n

Name References:
Previous therapist – Dr. IM
New therapist – Dr. AD

Old Teacher – Mrs M
New teacher – Mrs A

About two weeks ago, we had Monster evaluated again. This time by a professional therapist, Dr. AD.

Last year, we had taken to him to a therapist too, Dr. IM. We were told she was an Occupational Therapist and one of the best around. Turned out she was a Speech Therapist specializing in Autistic children. She also works at a school for kids with disabilities, and she had been very persistent about us moving Monster to that school AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. You can recap on the story with the therapist here.

The only piece of advice we took from her was to move him to a different school, but not to hers. I moved Monster to his very first school.
Best decision ever.

After hearing my son screaming as if he was in tremendous pain upon arriving at his old school, it was time to draw the line. Recap here.

But he wasn’t in pain. He was hysterical because he didn’t want to go back to the hellhole of a school. If I had known then what I know now, I don’t think anything or anyone could’ve stopped me from walking into the Headmistresses office and taking her on about everything I know today.

To explain what I know, I need to trace back to the recent visit to the therapist, Dr. AD. She came to school to evaluate him which is what I believe should be done. Children won’t be comfortable and open up in a location they aren’t familiar with. They won’t exactly cooperate with a person they don’t know. It’s impossible to do a proper evaluation under such circumstances. The session took the whole of the morning and she was able to observe him from the shadows as he went on with his daily business.

From there on, we just had to sit and wait for the feedback. For about two weeks, I kept playing out scenarios of the results. I tried to expect the worst possible news to prepare myself better for D-Day.

We eventually received the report and it was a relief. It wasn’t as bad as I expected.
Here are the highlights:

  • Although he is almost 43 months old, his mental development is at 24-28 months. Some milestones {for his current age} he has reached, but there are many things he is still very behind on. A lot more made sense to me. The tantrums, the potty training fails, the lack of speech. In his mind, he was not ready to progress into these things and leave other things behind.
  • He has low muscle tone. Sure, he has amazing ball skills and hand-eye coordination, but this affects other aspects. He has trouble sitting up straight, always sits with his back arched. He has trouble drawing because he cannot hold the pencils properly. He has trouble keeping his attention span during activities because he cannot sit and not fidget. Which explained more as to why he never wants to any activities where he sits still and does crafts.
    He will need to get Occupational Therapy.
  • He still has echolalia – repetition of speech by a child learning to talk – which usually is outgrown by 30 months. However, because his mental development is behind, he carries on with repetition.

Dr. AD also stated that although some of his behavior does tend to lean towards Autism, in her own words “…do not feel that it would be accurate to assume that even a very light form of Autism is present.” She also stated later on in her report that  “I acknowledge that therapy is needed, but I do not feel that he should be placed under any kind of (label) of a condition.”

So now we are teaching him as you would a two-year-old, to fill in the gaps. She also suggested sending him to school later than sooner for him to cope better. Before we even received the report, I had already considered this option to help him fit in better and fall in naturally into the flow of things.

The reasons for his mental development shutdown? She said it could be with the history of the birth as well as the negative attention he received from his old school. Apart from the traumatic birth which we had no control over, I cannot find excuses. But his previous school, his teacher Mrs. M, was the one labeling him from the very beginning as a difficult child and she never having anything good to say about him. Thanks to her in a lot of senses, I’m sitting with a child who has a partly delayed future.

When things started falling into place in my head in terms of understanding, I felt the rage burn inside me. I had thoughts of going back to the school and giving that teacher a good piece of my mind. At times, I imagined hurting her. Hurting her for hurting my little boy. The way she broke him down; his confidence, his pride, his trust. I wanted to hurt her so viciously so she could feel the pain my son felt, and the pain I’m feeling.

Being an adult, such behavior would land me in jail. So I decided to write her a letter. I’m a closure person. I need to have closure on something to be able to move past it. There are some things that have been haunting me for years and because I never had closure, the demons still linger.

She will never read the letter, and if she ever did, I highly doubt she would even care. The letter is for me to release my frustrations, my anger, the betrayal, the nightmares I have lived through during the nights of restless sleep.

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6 thoughts on “The Nightmare of School K

  1. Hi – as background we have had many many years of therapists and specialists with our one son. At the end at age 6 he had a diagnosis of severe ADHD and some autistic traits. He is doing very well in a main stream school due to many interventions – meds,keeping him back a year to give his development a chance to catch up, horse riding, judo and many more. But mainly it was 6 years of OT without a break that made all the difference – he is now on his way to 9 and we started when he was just 3 . It’s the first year he does not need OT.

    The road has been long – and the diagnosis never clear until 6 but unfortunately precise and correct diagnosis seldom happens before this age and one has to work with the therapists and go with the changes as you go ahead. Having an exact diagnosis is not really the answer – although it gives you clues and what to work with but treating the obvious symptoms is what helps.

    Make sure he is with a registered OT and I would suggest one that is trained in sensory issues as a lot of what looks like autism is sensory of origin. And maybe read “The out of sync child” at some stage.

    Best of luck

    1. Also consider seeing a pediatric neurologist or pediatric psychiatrist if you feel that the theraphy is not helping soon enough. A good therapist should suggest it or like your suggestion of it.

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