Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hey Village--Keep Your Hands Off My Kid!

I was reading an article the other day about a school aide who was distracted by a 10-year-old boy who has autism because he was fiddling with a loose tooth. She took it upon herself to pull it out. The school nurse checked him out and sent a note home (with the tooth) explaining the situation, and apologizing in advance if it bothered the parents.

Well, hell yeah, it bothered them. The aide pulled out the wrong tooth. One that wasn't loose.

Before you ask, "how could that be if the tooth wasn't loose?", let me just say this: Some kids who have disabilities have sensory integration problems (like my son) and don't feel pain the way other neurotypical people do.

And then there's just the whole WTF factor!  They can't give your kid an aspirin, but they can pull his tooth out?

There is that saying, "It takes a village to raise a child". But what of those villagers who overstep their bounds?

Once when Big Kid was in kindergarten, we got a note home from school. "Please send Big Kid to school wearing both socks and underwear daily." WTF? I laid out all of his clothes each morning. Including socks and underwear. There wasn't a plethora of unaccounted-for unmentionables thrown around his room, so where were they?

After some investigating, we discovered that for at least a week the kid had been stuffing both socks and underwear down an unused heating vent that was left when the house was converted from electric to forced air gas (he also stuffed a bunch of spoons down there for some still-unknown reason). Why? "They're too tight!", he whined. So we switched to boxers and footie socks which didn't feel as constricting.

So while on one hand, I appreciate the school bringing this to my attention, I know that eventually I would have noticed the disappearing socks and undies. Like at laundry time. But my first thought was---how do they KNOW he wasn't wearing underwear? Do they have a designated person who peeks down little kids' pants every day?

Little Guy was so sweet and endearing that some aides thought that he was their child:

Like the aides who either took him to the teachers' break room to eat birthday cake or donuts or brought him homemade cookies constantly, even though it clearly stated in his IEP from the 3rd grade on..."do NOT feed him snacks outside of class parties." Why? Because he had sensory integration issues. He never felt full and would eat until he vomited. He was starting to have a real weight problem, which was documented by his doctors. Little Guy would put on his sad, "I'm hungry even though I had lunch a half hour ago" face and they'd stuff him with cupcakes.

One year there was an aide who took it upon herself to cut his hair. Was it long? No. He had four cowlicks (in the exact same place his dad has them), which defied gravity. She thought that they might lay down if she cut his hair down to his scalp. Did she have any barber training? No. He ended up with 4 bald patches on the back of the head. She ended up with a threat of a restraining order (and a royal ass-kicking) if she came near my kid again.

Early on, the school identified a problem that we worked on for 2 years. Little Guy would run up to anyone friendly to get a hug. Sure, some little kids do that, but we as parents try to make them beware of strangers. A kid with a significant delay has a harder time with the concept, so it might take longer to train him out of it. I mean really, how socially appropriate is it for a full-grown man to run around hugging strangers? Knowing him, and knowing his heart, I think it's sweet, but it would probably scare the hell out of people who don't know him.

Anyhoodie, we were able to get him to stop. For awhile. Then inexplicably, a few years later, when he started middle school, he started up again. I asked his coordinator if she had any idea why he might be doing this. She had no clue. Figured it out in the middle of that school year when I brought Little Guy to school late after a dentist appointment. He had a resource period in the self-contained classroom (the special-needs room).

We poked our heads in the door, and as he was putting his coat and backpack in his cubby, the aide-in-charge hollered, "You can't come in here unless you give everybody some sugar!" So he ran in the room and gave everybody a big hug. urk. Apparently, that was her "rule". Every day. Give a hug to whoever's in the room.

Before you think I'm a terrible ogre, you have to realize that some people who have cognitive disabilities are terribly vulnerable. It's not appropriate for them to run up and press themselves up against other people, especially if they can't differentiate who it's appropriate to hug. Some people aren't nice. Some people are horrible beings, and might see this as an opportunity for abuse. It's just the way the world is, and it's our job as parents AND educators to protect our children and teach them to protect themselves.

I think the coup de gras was the day Little Guy came home from the bus stop in his socks in the snow. Where in the HELL were his shoes? I called the bus barn, and since his was the last stop, they were able to intercept the bus as it came in. They talked to the driver, who didn't notice that the kid didn't have shoes on (not that he should have, I'm not blaming him). They searched the bus and found a pair of boots under some seats.

Well, no, I explained. Those aren't his. He doesn't wear boots.

It took until the next day to figure out what happened. His aide just decided that either I was a neglectful mother or too poor to provide my son with boots when it snowed. Guess she didn't notice the extra pair of dry shoes that were in his locker in case his other shoes got wet.

HE. WON'T. WEAR. BOOTS. It's a sensory thing, fully detailed in his IEP.

She bought him a pair of boots, and sent him home in them, instead of giving me a call and telling me of her concerns. He took them off as soon as he got away from her, and ended up walking home from the bus stop in his socks.

I'm all for the concept of "it takes a village" in principle. I honestly believe that the people I listed above thought they were being helpful. But the "village" needs to remember that I'm the mom, and unless they talk to me first, they need to keep their hands off of MY child.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Off With Their Heads!!

I don't know what it's like to have daughters. I'm surrounded by doods. I love them all dearly, but sometimes I want to grab a shovel and beat them on the heads with it.

You'd think that after all of these years, some things would be like second nature to them. I mean, they're ALL adults. And hubby has been an adult longer than the rest of them.

So is it a dood thing? An Attila household thing? I'm pretty darn easygoing, but I have a few simple rules that haven't changed over a gazillion years:

If you didn't buy it, make it, or if I didn't tell you it's for you, it's not yours.  If you're not sure, ask.

Little Guy has got it down. He doesn't open things or help himself unless he knows for sure it's there for him.

Big Kid was really bad about this, but he doesn't live here anymore.

So who does that leave? Hubby and the Aspiring Adult. They are driving me CRAZY!

I'm not a freaking ogre. There's a whole shelf and canister of "everybody eat this" foods and snacks. They ask me to get certain things they like, and I do it.

The problem is that they see food made for someone else, or ingredients I've bought for some big meal and decide that they just HAVE to eat it right then and right there.

For example:

I roasted a chicken for dinner. Everybody had as much as they wanted, and the carcass sat in the fridge for a few days. I deboned what was left, and made myself a chicken salad for lunch. Only had a few bites from my bowl, left the fork in it and threw some foil over it because I had to run to an appointment.

Came back an hour later in anticipation to finishing it, and it was gone.

WTF? Aspiring Adult and girlfriend were hungry, and decided it must have been made just for them. Pointed out that it had my mouth germs all over it because it was MY lunch in a bowl (not a tupperware) and what were they thinking?

Last week I made dinner for everybody, and it was on the stove. I've been sort of dieting and have lost 55 pounds in the last year. Little Guy has lost 25.

Hubby was going to drop by the store and pick up a couple of things after work, including some crackers. I wasn't going to eat the dinner I had prepared for everybody, because I'd made myself a little tuna salad and planned on having that instead. With the crackers. That was the point. I'd wrapped it up and put it in the fridge.

I was reading in bed and fell asleep before he got home. When I woke up, everybody had eaten dinner, and I went to the fridge to grab my tuna salad. It was gone. Hubby had been digging around while warming up his dinner in the microwave and thought I'd made it as an appetizer just for him! Grrr

Ok, I’m not a pushover.  I was pissed at both of the above actions.  When it happened, I made the Aspiring Adult roast a chicken, debone it and make a chicken salad for everybody.  Learning experience for when he was on his own and wanted chicken salad, and for what happens when you help yourself to other people’s stuff.

I also made hubby run back to the store and buy some tuna because there wasn’t any more and dammnit, I wanted my salad!

You’d think that after all this time, they’d “get it”.

Big Kid has been seeing a nutritionist because his weight has become a problem and it’s difficult to control it when he has to take Depakote for his mental illness.

Portion control is a big issue for him, so I’ve been making him meals that are a “no brainer”. 

Yesterday, I made Italian for the family.  Pasta, meat sauce, etc.

And I made 3 pre-made dinners for the Big Kid..  Vegetable pasta, turkey meatballs, and a special-ordered low-sugar sauce, for people who have diabetes, which is not inexpensive.

There were leftovers of the family meal.  Free for everybody to help themselves.

When I got up, Hubby and the Aspiring Adult had already left for work early.  I opened the fridge to get cream for my coffee and had a revolting surprise.

2 of the 3 special pre-made meals for the Big Kid were gone.

I really don’t get it.  And they don’t have answers, other than, “it looked good and I wanted it”.

I made them bring them home.

Yeah, I guess I’m a bitch that way, but the whole thing perplexes me.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Just Wondering...

You know how some TV commercials just bug the crap outta me.  The latest to make me grind my teeth is the one for

Their slogan?  "Find God's match for you!"

How would they know it's God's match?  How would they presume to know His plan?

What if you're single because He thinks you're an asshole?

Just wondering....