Mehmed started grade 1 last Monday! Woohooo! You should see my happy dance ;). He goes to school EVERY DAY. The only disadvantage to this of course is that I now have to make lunches every day so I no longer have the luxury of the occasional sleep-in day... Oh well, I guess that's why people love weekends. Oh, and in the first week of school, I've only gotten 1 phone call from the office (on day 2).
But I have DEFINATELY changed in the last two years. Two years ago I would have been devestated and beat myself up over it ('I'm such a bad parent, I can't make my kid stop hurting others'), and I would have yelled at Mehmed over it way too much. Poor little guy.
So I'm very happy that there was no freaking out this time. Just a terse lecture (he is only 6 after all, I can't hold his attention for very long). I know he knows better, but I also know that he really has trouble stopping himself. I'm just hoping that being deprived of TV, Computer and DVDs for 5 days will help him to remember that he needs to control himself... This is the first week back after a LONG break away from that kind of overstimulation and I'm hoping it doesn't take too long for him to get back into the habit of halting himself before it happens.... I've resurrected our morning mantra of "I'll use my words first and if they don't work I'll ask a teacher".
But honestly, I don't know what these phone calls do to stop his behaviour. How much more do they want me to do from home? Send him in with handcuffs? Make him wear a mini-cam that has 2-way voice control so I can prompt him when I see he's starting to escalate? Arg.
So on that 2nd day, when the principal had me on the phone, I simply asked her if she was familiar with his file. I pointed out that this is a recurring weakness for him, particularly during times of sensory over-stimulation such as recess & gym & that's precisely WHY he was recommended to have an EA at school and I promptly told her that I think the school should get right on top of that... *BIG GRIN* Suddenly I feel so grown up. :)
Anyways, his teacher's name is Ms. Maxwell, and so far I've only heard awesome things about her.... And he survived "move day" without getting taken out of her class so it looks like she's stuck with him :). I met her yesterday and was really happy with the accomodations they're making to help him. He's supposed to get taken in on the first bell after recesses because he doesn't deal well with the chaos of the line. The noises upset him greatly and he often winds up acting out as a result, hence the changes to when he goes in. And for the dressing & undressing, he has a little space off to the side away from the other kids. He can also go there if he starts to get upset about something. Ms. Maxwell said she was impressed that he is agreeable to moving away from the group when he does start to get upset, as opposed to running away down the hall or hiding under a desk as some of the other kids do. She was also impressed with the fact that he's used to the after-recess exercise routines and how it really does make a difference in calming him down. Anyways, she was very sweet, I liked her a lot and I have a very good feeling that this will be a good year for him. My biggest worry right now is recess time because that is when he is the most over-stimulated and most likely to act out, but it is also the time when he is the least supervised.
He'll be starting "Dinosaur School" in a couple of weeks, a weekly evening program provided through Kinark family services which is supposed to help teach the kids about acceptable social behaviours and how to recognize feelings in others & to respond appropriately to that (i.e. to not laugh when somebody else is clearly upset, or to stop certain behaviours when it is apparent that they are annoying the other kids). Hope it goes well. Anyways, that's all for now....
3 days ago