~"Form follows function-that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union."~Frank Lloyd Wright
This past week was Spring break..ten full days of staying up late, sleeping in...a time where we went at our own pace, did things in our own way-our own time. There were absolutely no expectations. it has been lovely-especially because they are all old enough now to get their own breakfast-find their own shoes! Entertain themselves! And with the minor exception of the daily brawl between our girls, it has been wonderful. We have all had time to relax and unwind-and although they aren't looking forward to it, the kids are ready to go back to school on Monday. Well, all of them except for one of my girls. She has already declared that Monday will be a "personal" day for her. *sigh* My girl has become queen of taking "personal" days this year. I really don't know what to do. Sure, I can be tough-insist that she go...even take her in myself (instead of the bus)..I have done that. Dragged my tear stained girl to school-only to be told later.."She was fine!" And there lies the problem..
My girl has some issues-the biggest being that she appears to really not have any. Yes, her anxiety is recognizable..However, she is a model student..quiet, sweet-meek. She follows the rules, does everything expected of her, no more, no less. She is exact. At home, it is a different story. She can be loud-boisterous-her humor rivals Oscar's. But there is a down side as well. At home she can be mean-sometimes even cruel...mostly towards her sister, but we have all been at the end of her very sharp tongue. After which she breaks down-totally and completely. Crying, berating herself...and sometimes even slapping herself in the face.
At school, she holds herself so tightly together. She WILL NOT make a mistake, take a misstep, stand out. She holds herself so bound up, that, by the time she gets home, she is exhausted. Worn out-wrung. Sometimes she screams, sometimes she cries, sometimes she puts a blanket over her head and crawls on to my lap just needing to be held..and sometimes she just goes to sleep. She has told us that "school is too loud" or "voices sound like scribbles" that she "doesn't like the sound of her own voice" and at the worst of times she has cried out "I am just a weird freak!" .."Oh baby girl-why do you say that?" .."I don't know!"...because she doesn't-and neither do we.
It is not an easy thing for me to ask for help-especially when it comes to my girl. We have been down this road so many times since diagnosis. But, that is a whole other blog post.. The thing is-sometimes I feel(when it comes to her) as though I'm seen as some sort of Munchhausen Autism by proxy mother. Academically my girl is fine-great even...socially, she passes..so what's the problem? If she were like her brothers-who, are more "noticeably" different-I'd have no issue getting help. But she isn't. Her behavior issues are at home-so it must be a home problem-right? Even though she begs to stay here-begs to be home schooled. Which frankly I'm not sure if I am up to the task of doing (I'm afraid we'll just sit on the couch all day eating candy and watching "Ellen") or if being home all the time is even good for her. It is school that she doesn't want to go to. So I ask for help.
It has been suggested that we start her in some kind of therapy. Fine. If this person can help her sort things out, help her to navigate what is so difficult for her...I'm game. We will do anything for our girl!...almost. On Wednesday, the therapist called. He was eager to start working with our girl..we just needed to fill out the paperwork, discuss what we would like to see happening for her..you know, the usual stuff..until he suggested (in order to get a jump start on things) he come to the house to do this. My first thought was "crap-I'll have to vacuum." It has been a long time since we have had home visits from any kind of therapist. (it used to be that I had a house cleaning schedule based solely on therapy visits-it kept my house clean for years!) My second thought was..."*Sigh*-he just wants to see what our home environment is." Are we crackheads? Abusive? Is the house a mess?Do they still have Halloween decorations up? (no, no, ummm we're renovating!..sigh..yes) Which pisses me off.
But hey-I could be wrong...We weren't able to meet with him (at the time he had available), so we settled on meeting at school. But then...I got a voice mail from him saying that he had another open slot! Could he come to the house? We ignored it. It is spring break. I vacuum for no one.
As a mother,you wear a lot of different hats. Cook, chauffeur, general fixer of all things. I am the person that is supposed to make things good and right and above all else-safe. They trust me. Trust me to tell them what is right and wrong, trust me to help them navigate this very confusing world, trust me when I tell them to do something because it will help them. I'm a firm believer in letting them make their own mistakes-in falling and letting them get up on their own. But right now, I feel as though I am failing my girl. She is falling- and this time, I have to catch her. Have to try and make her world better and safe..I have to build her self esteem..to reassure her, let her know that she is magnificent just the way that she is.. Have to-even if it means dealing with home visits or donning a "teacher" hat. Either way, the house will be cleaned...as I would definitely include vacuuming as part of her school curriculum.
So sorry, and I get this too, as my son would be similar in many ways, except he can't hold it together in school. But he is also due to go back on Monday and the anxiety is building to worrying levels. Having said that I could never home educate, I've started offering it as an option to my son! He keeps saying no though xx
Big hugs. Together you and your sweet girl will figure it out.
A couple of things I know for sure. 1. I could never home school a child. We would have too many snow days.
2. Your daughter will be fine because she has you for a Mom.
Mine's male, 14, Gr 9 and I'd like to say it improves with age... it doesn't.
I've tried to explain it to the school and instead she tried to work on his relationship with his younger bro and one meeting lasted minutes and my eldest lied. He may get 2 more visits with the ASD teacher this year and I should never have put him in Resource class (social, survival skills, redo of some English, how to study, work in groups, etc but I'm not convinced it's what they said it would be) with the "locally developed" kids (not full disabled, but will not get a high school diploma and will go straight to work). He's trying to become "disabled" and it's not going over well at home. All his other courses are in the academic (Univ) stream and he is doing very well in them... mostly A's or high B's (english).
Long ago I asked for help and got told they will come and tell me what I am doing wrong... no thanks.
My dh just dragged him out with him this morning. He's in serious trouble at the moment.. thankfully, he ratted himself out last night before it became a true problem, but I've cut off his online interactions entirely for a month... and it was only miverse but he's not allowed to "chat" or have friends and he did "but I was only following..." gotta love ASD logic... sigh... after that I may let him lurk. Dang... the Mom was right, eh?? It was very minor in the grand scheme of things, thankfully, but the lesson needs to be learned.
Except to keep pushing.. because the real world does suck royally and they have to learn to deal... and to not allow the behaviour at home... no being nice, no making excuses... I have no real help because narcissism + autism is a PIT....
Huge hugs..its so hard to watch our kids suffer and to feel that we are not being heard-and worse being blamed.
i agree with you that girls on the spectrum are VERY different, typically, than boys.
Hugs and more hugs for you and yours.
A difficult anxious time, for both you and your girl. The effort it must take to hold it all together in school. I say this because I know it's the same for my boy, just presents differently and I don't get school refusals. His 'sense of humour' is the cause of a big problem that I can't write about :-(
It's never ending isn't it? But we will get there, all of us. Because we ASK FOR HELP ;-)
I do hope all works out and that the therapist can help find a way for her to cope in school....maybe she can be allowed some 'personal time-out time' in school?
best of luck my friend :-) xx
@bluesky-Yes, in some ways we have been sharing some of the same issues haven't we? Only kind of opposite-if only my girl WOULD fall apart at school! *sigh* We are in such a quandary as to what exactly to do. Aside from anxiety-they don't see her issues..Watching her fall apart at home-it is killing us to not be able to give her what she needs.If I offer her home schooling-she would jump on it in a second! I'm sending good thoughts that tomorrow goes smoothly for you both. <3
@Kim-thanks for all your help-and having my back <3
@Miss Doreen-Haha-yes, you would have snow days-while we would have "Ellen" and candy..Thanks <3
@Farmwife-I do understand-I hope that things get smoother for you all
@Jazzy-Exactly-boys are different! There is so much available research about this now..yet, girls are still measured against boys..*sigh* We do ask for help..we do. That is a whole other post isn't it..the asking for help-how very difficult that can be for so many reasons...but we do it anyway. Thanks <3
I have no wise counsel for you. But I can tell you that I get it. My daughter is an expert at looking like she has it all together until she gets home.
On one hand, I'm thankful that she can successfully navigate school life. On the other hand I feel very frustrated that she has used up all her coping skills by the time she gets home from school.
We are in the middle of our journey to discovering how to break down the need to be "perfect". Some days are decent and others are somewhat discouraging.
Hang in there! We'll figure it out.
@ Michelle-Thanks...so good to hear about others going through the same sort of thing! *sigh* the perfection thing is tough isn't it? Yes-we will get through it...here's to more and more decent days!
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