This post comes to you from one tired mama. I could fuel a skydiving plane, at least for a few loads, with the energy I have put into THINKING...and not sleeping...this week. It's been totally worth it, though! We are making progress!
Although Elijah's case manager and teacher are doing so much for him at school (they really have put TONS of effort, thought and love into our boy already this year!), I still don't feel like they truly understand the weight of the situation. I don't mean to sound ungrateful or negative at all because I am sincerely so happy about the team that is caring for him. It'll take some time. Eventually they will understand that while all the tactics and tricks are great and may be helpful short-term, we need to get to the root of the problem: Elijah's brain cannot handle full days at school. Or...it CAN (with the help of the tactics and tricks) but then he has NO reserves. He uses every bit of his energy to survive the school day. We are unable to ever do anything past 6:00 in the evening because if he's not in bed by 6:30, his sleep suffers and things escalate. Weekends have to remain super low-key. Not to mention the impact this is having on our family! Dan and I are stressed and tired. Elijah is having a difficult time controlling his emotions, which sets a bad example for Sammy (who is now mimicking his brother's outbursts).
I have been honest with his teachers. I have told them what he needs and what is going to transpire (ugly behavior turns super ugly turns super-duper ugly) if we continue to patch the symptoms. They have asked for more time to try other things, but ultimately Dan and I know that the kid just needs less on his plate.
I called Dr. M today, Elijah's neuropsychologist. I wanted to run the situation by him. He heard me and he agreed. The things that are being done at school are GREAT! But these "solutions" are band-aids. We need to get to the root of the issue if we truly want what is best for Elijah. I mentioned the partial-day idea and he suggested first trying a few hours of in-school downtime at the end of every day. I'm learning that educators and medical professionals want to do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to keep children in the school building! I totally get that for the majority of children, but for a kid who has soooo many strikes against him and has endured sooooo many struggles and is sooooo depleted/exhausted/miserable, etc etc etc?!
Dr. M offered to chat on the phone with Elijah's case manager. He is going to suggest the in-school free time and if that's not an option he'll stand behind us on doing partial days. I am so happy about this! Dan and I are hoping Elijah's team at school will see the need for this and understand our genuine intentions and still trust us. The bottom line is that Elijah has endured so much in his life and we refuse to see him suffer any more when we know there is a viable solution! If there is a way to make things easier for him, we are going to fight for it. We KNOW what he needs right now (or at least what a good first step is) and we pray that his educators will trust us.
And for those of you who have left sweet comments and sent emails about home-schooling...thank you so much for your thoughts! I don't foresee things getting out of control, but if they do we may explore another avenue short-term. We want Elijah in school for a couple of reasons. He needs to be "pushed" socially...and daily (not too much, obviously). Also, I believe that school (as much as his brain can handle) is strengthening his endurance and will help him out so much in the long run. I don't feel like home-schooling would push him enough, but full days at school push him too far at this point in his life. We need to find a middle ground and we are HOPING that can happen in a school setting and we will do everything we can to make that work.
Thanks for reading and for all of your support and suggestions. We cherish every note, thought and prayer! THANK YOU THANK YOU!