Friday, January 28, 2011



Starting back last fall, Audrey started having headaches and stomachaches. They've been pretty constant, and it's usually one or the other, but there have been times there were both. It was to the point that last week, I had her school nurse check her eyes because with her constant headaches, there just *had* to be something going on, and I was hoping it was this, since other medical issues require all kinds of tests. I had a feeling they were related, too, but couldn't figure out how the two could be linked.

For a while now (sadly I don't know how long), Audrey has been complaining about two boys at school, N and W. She would talk about it, drop it, and then talk about it again. I thought she was just overreacting, so I sort of just told her to ignore them and it would stop.

On the way to school Friday, Audrey told me she was going to be sick. By noon, her stomachache was gone. Then I started thinking... weekends are mostly stomach- and headache free. Why?

Monday morning, Audrey mentioned N and W on the way to school, and it clicked. She had already said her stomach hurt. I realized all those stories were not just teasing, and I had completely handled this wrong. That they were making Audrey sick, because besides the big incidents she had reported to me, they were chipping away at her with little things every single day.

Here's the email I sent through tears Monday morning:

Mrs. -----,
Audrey was out Friday, her stomach was bothering her. While she has been complaining a lot about her head and her stomach, she said she thought she was going to throw up, so I kept her home.

My concern is that, with all the days now that Audrey is reporting that she's sick, something else is going on. I've also noticed that she gets (says she's) sick, and she's fine a little bit later (leaving me to believe, of course, that she is not sick).

I don't think she's faking, but I can't be positive. I do know that Audrey has a very high anxiety level. She tends to 'stick' on things that upset her, and talk about them over and over. She is also super sensitive, which does not help when it comes to other little kids.

Lately she's been really upset about two boys in her class: N and W. From what she's said, N is the one that instigates, and W follows along. N says mean things, and will follow it with, "Oh, are you going to cry now?" in a mocking tone, or, in one case whispered to everyone around but Audrey something, and would look at her and giggle - intentionally leaving her out. C (Audrey's best friend) told Audrey that he had told everyone that "Audrey is weird" and M confirmed it. C did stick up for Audrey and told N he was mean. He's also talked about me (not that I care, but it hurt Audrey's feelings) and W followed it up with "an all black drawing" of me with no face that he used to upset Audrey some more. There have been other instances, these are the ones that Audrey keeps coming back to.

It is really hard to see Audrey, who is so sensitive and kind, cry over things like this. She even tells me she's friends with them on days where they aren't mean (or as mean). It kills me that she won't even take that away from them, but I love Audrey for her kindness, and that's just how she is.

I just really need some advice and/or help on that end to get this to stop. I realize kids tease, but teasing repeatedly is just not okay. Audrey does refer to them as bullies, which is a term that you guys taught them at school. I do agree that with what's going on, it's reached the point where it's not just silly teasing. While Audrey will stick up for others, it is very likely that she is not sticking up for herself. From all the social interactions I've seen, Audrey will not be unkind to anyone else even if they are treating her poorly.

I've been trying for well over a month to help Audrey deal with this. I've tried telling her to ignore them, I've tried explaining that they probably just like her and are joking. But the comments such as "Oh, are you going to cry now?" are starting to bother me as her mom. It almost sounds like they're tag team bullying her. I am guessing that she probably isn't letting anyone know when this stuff is happening or it wouldn't still be going on.

I'm so sorry, I wish I could just help Audrey get through this. I've just done all the talking and explaining I can here, and it's not really helping any.


That was Tuesday. N apologized to Audrey, but W refused - in front of Audrey and the teachers. They found the journal entry in W's notebook that Audrey had described.

The boys had their parents called and had to meet with the principal Wednesday. In Audrey's backpack was a sweet gift from N, and he had apologized along with W after the meeting.

Then Thursday. Audrey has PE, away from her teacher and TA. The PE teacher was unaware of the events, so he didn't separate the two boys, and guess what? Here's the email.

Mrs. ----,
First I want to say that N and his family are so incredibly sweet. Audrey is so glad they are friends, and they sent her the *cutest* notepad and bead thing (which they totally didn't have to do, I am not upset whatsoever with N, I know that kids are kids).

On the other hand, I am really, really upset about another incident with W. Audrey got in my car today, and said that during PE, Coach mispronounced her name. Apparently W then started laughing and repeating the name the wrong way. Then, he turned to N and said to him, "I think Audrey's last name is funny" and tried to get him to make fun of Audrey. Please tell N's parents that whatever they did addressed the entire issue, because she said N laughed for a second, but immediately stopped, looked at Audrey and smiled (in a way that made it clear he was not going to laugh at her).

Again, if this were a one-time deal, I would not be so upset. But he was *just* in the principal's office yesterday. He has had to apologize to Audrey. His parents have been involved. I don't understand why he would even think about making fun of her anymore!

And Audrey, even after we have all talked to her about telling someone, *anyone* if something happens, simply said, "I didn't feel like I should tell because I didn't think they would think it was a big deal." I just about cried. I told her that of course you guys wanted to know, and that you and Mrs. --- love her and this is a big deal. I think she completely understands now. But I think that she somehow thought that after they apologized there was a reset that went on - like they started new or something. I don't know... I hugged her and told her that I'd rather her tell you and you say it's no big deal than for her to not tell you, and she says she will make sure to say something if anything continues to happen.

I know you guys are doing everything you can, and everything I could possibly ask for. But the fact that William continued it the first opportunity he had makes me both furious and distraught. If he doesn't care what happens, this is never going to end.

I just don't know what to do.

I do want to mention, though, that from the description that Audrey gave me (the one from above) it appears N is at least a little threatened by W to not go along with this game. I think he is a good kid who is getting sucked in, and he probably feels just as awful as Audrey does, knowing that it's wrong and being as sorry as I could truly see he was this morning when I walked Audrey in.



So now, the school is having to deal with this kid. A kid who not only has zero remorse, but also no fear of any consequences.

I am terrified. This cannot go on. This morning, my Audrey was curled up in a ball on my bed, saying, "My stomach hurts SO bad!" When The Hubs asked her why she thought it hurt, she said, "Because, I can't stop thinking about it." Then on the way to school, she was talking about W again and how he didn't stop. I told her today he wouldn't do anything. She replied, "But mom, you can't know what N and W will do today."

Yep, I've let her down once. But this is done. Screw with my kid, and it's GAME ON. One more chance, and then I'm going to get more involved. If he can't stop, he won't be in her classroom.

I know this kid has a trail of incidents that his parents have had to become involved with. I know it's a repeated deal. I hope that everyone is aware I won't be letting this one go.

And this is what you get for raising kind, caring children. Dealing with problems caused by the kids who are not kind and caring - either because they weren't raised that way or they were born sociopaths.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Behavioral regression :(

Those are our deal around here.

JT always takes a step back behaviorally before he jumps somewhere else... cognitive, social or language.

I thought it was the full moon making him crazy, but apparently the moon had nothing to do with it. He was starting the slide.

Biting. Hitting. Slapping. Throwing his (beloved, may I add) cat. Screeching (earning his bittysaur title). These are things he always reverts back to when we go here. Always. Since he was 2, these are the token regressions.

He's not even always angry - just so easy to anger. And once he's mad, it's so hard to get him calmed down.

Hoping JT can pick up whatever skill he's figuring out quickly and move on. He was better yesterday (*knock on wood*), so I'm reeeeally hoping this is the upswing.

Not to mention if he starts picking up too many skills he's going to be smarter than me :)

At least there's always an upside to the downside! Ready for the positive side of this...

Saturday, January 22, 2011


So, Thursday morning, after I posted the last entry, I woke up feeling much better. Yay!

Thursday afternoon, I went to pick up JT from school. I get him pretty early, so all the kiddos are still there. They were playing outside, and JT was running around.

JT got upset because he couldn't go down the slide upside-down and backwards (he's a super daredevil), and he was getting agitated.

Before I knew it, he had his mouth wrapped around another kid's hand! Thank GOD he didn't chomp down, but the sweet little guy was SO sad that his friend even thought about biting him :(

His teacher then said she didn't know what got into him, because he hasn't bitten in forever. He's just been slapping the little girl in the class!


Later that night, we asked JT, "JT, are you nice to your friends, or mean to your friends?" In his sweet little voice, JT replied, "JTmy mean to brends." HUH? When we asked if he could be nice, he just repeated himself slowly like we were stupid and not getting it.


The next morning, his teacher said he's not a crazed bully or constantly slapping people, so it wasn't near as bad as I was thinking. She laughed and said it's actually typical behavior - typical as in really typical and not 'autism typical'. Horrible behavior that's typical... so are you supposed to be excited or mortified?

Anyway, the stinker insists that he's 'mean', but then if you ask if he likes his friends, he says he does. I think he might be generalizing 'I'm mean sometimes, so I'm mean.'

I hope we can stop it soon, anyway. I'm not a fan of the mean!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

That about covers it all.

I've been having a really rough past couple of days. I mean, we have bad days around here, where I wonder how I'll get through, but I usually pick myself up and move forward until I get over it. This time, I'm not getting over it as well.

For those who have kids who are going into Kindergarten next year, this is the time of year where you start getting your stuff together. Birth certificates, shot records, proof of address... and you get to find out more about your school (or, as us moms of kids with special needs' kids know them, your 'home school').

For special needs' families, there's (as usual) complications. See, we get to have these meetings. They're called IEP's (Individualized Education Program). It's when you, teachers, therapists, principals, representatives from the district and random people you have no idea who they are all meet in a giant conference room to discuss the services your child needs. I can't even explain how much research, thought and prayers parents put in before stepping foot into the several-hour meeting.

In order to discuss services, you get to hear about every delay and non-accomplishment your child has. While I should make clear that the teachers and everyone else we've had the experience with are angels they're so kind, there is no easy way to hear that your child cannot do what other kids do. You are bombarded with percentiles and age equivalents. Not so great when your 3 year old is at a 3-6 month old level for communication (yes, this was JT).

The added stress of this before Kindergarten is this is when we decide whether our kids will be 'mainstreamed' (ie in a class with 'typical' peers) or placed in special education.

Long story short, we haven't had our meeting yet, but his teacher and I agree... JT will be going to special education.

I knew this was going to happen. I am not deluded into thinking my son is capable of being one of the thirty kids in a K classroom with one teacher and one aide. I know this is not possible.

For some reason, though, yesterday it hit me. He's not going to regular Kindergarten. My kid is going to be in special education. At school age. For real.

Cue incessant tears.

This has me reeling. I can't stop thinking about everything... everything we have done. Was it good enough? Everything we haven't done... would it have made a difference? If I went back and changed something... would he be with 'normal' kids right now? How do I know I made the right choices? How do I know now I'm making the right choices? What if I've f*cked everything up, and it's because of me?

And this is a dangerous path to start heading down. Because then I question *everything*. Is this some sort of cosmic karma? Did I do something so awful that God or some higher power decided to punish me in the most cruel way possible: by forcing me to watch my child struggle?

As a side note, don't think I take JT for granted for one second. He (and his sister) are the absolute light of my life. I am so incredibly thankful to have happy, healthy children.

I have met some wonderful people, people who have loved (and do love) my son for everything he is. But I've also begun to see the incredibly cruel people who just don't care, who judge and who show obvious disdain.

I often try to shut these thoughts out... thinking (as pointed out in this amazing Hopeful Parents post) that maybe if I didn't say them out loud made them less true somehow.

But right now, I'm sad. And my reality is different than most others.

My son is going into special education. And I have to start looking into trusts for adults with disabilities, just in case he needs it later.

This is just as difficult to me as the diagnosis was. You always hold out hope, that somehow things will be different than you know they are.

There are so many good things that are going on (for one, his teacher said academically he's mastered Kindergarten, so he doesn't even need it for that)... but I just can't see them through the tears at this point.

Soon, I'll get over it, just like I get over everything else. But right now, I feel justified in being depressed about this whole thing. About life, how unfair it is and my baby.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Full Moon.

So, the full moon is coming up in 2 days.

How did I know, you ask? Because, my kids have gone absolutely crazy.

It started on the 12th, with JT becoming a super stimmy kid - doing things that he hasn't done in over 3 years - head shaking, crazy stimming. Audrey has been an emotional basketcase - just so easy to upset and so hard to calm down.

This month, though, the full moon crazy has brought some awesomeness!

JT is eating! Real food!

A month ago, he was down to popcorn. That's it. He drank chocolate milk, and I'd sneak the multivitamin infant drops into the chocolate milk (and mix in 1/2 a bottle of Ensure when I could get away with it).

In the last 3 days, he has started eating almost all of his favorites again!
Chicken nuggets.
Hot dogs.
Cheez Its.

To a 'regular' parent, this list would probably bring reactions such as "You let your kid eat THAT?!?!?!' To the parent of a sensory-crazed, beyond picky eater, this brings tears to my eyes - tears of sheer joy and happiness. My baby is eating!!!

There are few things that a full moon is good for. Filling up emergency rooms, inducing labor, and making people crazy (the term 'lunatic' is related to the moon) aren't exactly 'good'. But if it's going to make my kid hyperactive (beyond his normal extreme) - I'll take it if it comes with this benefit!

Monday, January 10, 2011


The Hubs received an iPad for Christmas... possibly the best gift ever.

Our entire family is slightly obsessed with the it.

So far, our favorite game (overall) is Angry Birds.

Audrey also likes two of the Barbie games, JT likes letter games and the SpongeBob game, and The Hubs and JT both like the Shark Attack game. I love everything...

Saturday, January 1, 2011