Look at the signs ...

Hekili was doing fine going to school. Never fought me about getting out of the car or asked to go home with me. His first week of Kindergarten was fine. Then Monday his EA that was gone all summer came back. Tuesday he wouldn't get out of the car, I took him home thinking maybe he was getting sick. Wednesday he didn't want to get out of the car again. He dropped to the ground and cried and the EA's tried to grab him but eventually it took me walking with him to class. The next two weeks he was in this routine of crying and not wanting to go to school.

I became concerned and asked what was going on that was aversive to him in school. I kept getting the he did fine all day. We don't know why he doesn't want to get out of the car int eh morning. I know my son, I know that he only acts out like this when he is not liking the setting he is in.

August 25, 2009, Tuesday morning, same thing. He cried and refused but we managed to get him to class. That morning I took his lunch to school a little early so i observed his EA with him. As i spoke to one EA I watched the other who was sitting next to him at his desk. She wanted to get his attention so she took her elbow and bumped him in his arm and tells him to get his pencil out of the pencil box. He was in a verbal stim so she tells him again but in a very frustrated and unhappy tone.

It was heartbreaking to see this right in front of me. I don't believe that using her elbow to get his attention was at all appropriate. I also didn't appreciate that she got frustrated so easily when she only prompted him once to do a task. He is 5 and has Autism. It sometimes take a few prompts to get him to do the task at hand.

I then pulled her aside and told her that it was not appropriate and that I did not appreciate it. She was very defensive and unapologetic. Which of course made me more upset. I reported to the BISS that afternoon and she was taken off the case the next day.

Wednesday morning, august 26, 2009, he didn't want to get out of the car. That day he didn't work with the EA, who was being rude to him.

Thursday, August 27, 2009, no incident getting out of the car. Not one protest or struggle to get him to go to class. He complied totally. He knows that the EA is removed from working with him. He had a good day.

Friday, August 28, 2009, Again no incident getting out of the car. He was actually ok for the past two days. Once the EA was removed from his case.

My concern is if she behaved in such a manner with me, the parent, only 10 feet away, how was see behaving when I was not around? This is a huge concern for me. I am relieved that he is ok with going to school again but I feel like I should have done something sooner.

Often our children on the spectrum don't know how to communicate what is going on in their day. His way of telling me something was wrong was to avoid going to the setting that was causing him stress. Listen to the signs and be sure to talk to your BISS, EA's and whoever else to try to figure out what may be causing the new behaviors. We know our children. Listen to their signs.