Friday, August 28, 2009

At A Loss...

I think I have hit the wall. I am at a loss. What I am doing is not working.

Matthew started first grade yesterday. We knew this would be hard. It has been tough for the past three years. Ok, nothing about Matthew is easy... been tough for 6 yrs now.

We noticed Matthew had difficulty in organized activities when he was three. Decided to put him into preschool just before he turned four to help socialize him. It was a disaster. We had to pull him. He was escaping the room and the teacher could not spend 100% of her time with him.

We tried more organized activities. Had to pull him from swimming. Had to stand beside him in gymnastics. Had to have him on my knee for almost the entire soccer season.

We tried preschool again, five days a week, this time aided with a child psychologist, full time aid (to stop him from running out of the building), o/t and speech therapist. He hid under the piano bench and cried every day until January. Then things started to click and got better.

The next year, he improved and did well in a small kindergarten setting (10 kids, teacher and an aid). Still had some anxiety, but better.

Now, this year, he is in a regular school. The noise and activity on the playground overwhelm him. He is not staying for lunch because the noise in the gym terrifies him.

He is sobbing first thing in the morning when I take him. He is sobbing at his desk through out the day. He has an upset tummy during recess and sits at the door to the school. He is sobbing when the bell goes to go back into school at lunchtime. And he is saying constantly, "I hate school".

I tell him he is brave. Brave around here means that even though you are scared, you do things anyways. Started that mantra before his last surgery. I stay positive. I tell him he has to go. I reward him for going. I talk about how great it will be to have friends in the neighborhood.

He told me he was going to lick the ant poison off the patio so he will be sick and can't go to school.

Please let this get better.


Jennifer said...

{hugs} Jo-Ann, that is heartbreaking. I hope things start to turn around for him soon. Does he know anyone in the class? Someone who can take him by the hand and play quietly with him outside of the playground madness?

Allie said...

Big, huge hugs to you! Is there a kid in the class who they can "buddy" him up with? Will that help make him feel more comfortable. I feel for you and am sending you giant hugs!

Sue said...

Oooooohhh ... now I feel like sobbing! That poor, poor boy -- so much to handle at such a young age! I was reading the comments, about finding a friend ... would he respond to something like that? Oh, my heart goes out to you -- for Matthew, for the terrors that his little soul is feeling ... and for you, watching it all unfold.

You've got some serious prayers lifting up on your behalf, my friend!! Be well!

Sympathypains said...

That makes my heart hurt. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but of course I don't. Stay brave.

Sara said...

I'm so sorry Jo-Ann... I wish there was something I could do to help you and Matthew.

I hope the school an his teacher will be able to suggest something for him after they assess it all.

Matthew is very brave. And so is his Mama. Hugs

Jo-Ann said...

Thank you for all of your wonderfully kind words. I was very forward with one mom of a little boy who is also new to the school and in Matthew's class. Seems this little boy is feeling a bit lost, albeit dealing better then Matthew.

I approached his mom with my name and phone number and suggested a playdate for Monday after school. She seemed open, but a bit overwhelmed perhaps by my forwardness.

I told Matthew we may have this boy over for a play date. He was so excited that during music, when he could choose some one in the class to be next, he chose that boy.

Crossing my fingers his mom will let him come over Monday and that a friendship blooms.

Jenn M said...

Oh Jo-Ann that is so hard.

I hope the buddy works, because it must be so hard to hate school. The noise is insane.

Hugs to you and Matthew.

Anonymous said...

Jo-Ann: Have you ever tried a pressure shirt....they make short sleeve and long sleeve. He could wear under his clothing so it's not something that's noticeable. Deep pressure is usually organizing for kids and perhaps thise will help from a sensory standpoint throughout the day. Ask your OT about it. Sounds like you've got alot going on, so maybe the foot isn't an issue at the moment...but just wondering what you decided about night bracing. Hugs! When are you back in STL? Would love to meet up!Jamie

Jesslikesstuff said...

Poor little guy. It sounds like you've done all you can to get a good team around him helping out. This can't be easy for you. I do hope that as the year goes by and it becomes more 'normal' for him to be in the school environment he'll be able to start finding happiness in other kids or a teacher or a book....I'm sure it will happen. Best of luck and keep writing about his experience. i bet your journey will end up helping other moms out there.