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Thursday, April 11, 2013

A recap of our afternoon--Korban lost his temper and I lost my pants

I haven't mentioned it yet, but we have received some really big blessings in the midst of everything else we've gone through.  As I've said before, Korban changed schools at the beginning of this school year, and while we miss his former classmates and teachers, we've been very blessed in our new school district.  Prior to this year, he was in a special needs preschool.  This year he started kindergarten.  He started out in a mainstream classroom, and it went well for a little while, and then the whole situation deteriorated rather rapidly.  He just can't handle a full school day and the overstimulation of a classroom at this point.  He is currently homebound, and his teachers come to the home to work with him during the week.  We also go to school a couple of times a week, just so he won't forget what it's like for his teachers to work with him there and for him to get OT, speech, and see the school therapist.   Also, the school has a behavior specialist coming to work with him, which is great as we've never had anyone specifically targeting his behavior before.  (And obviously, we need a LOT of help in that area.)  The only problem was, the behavior guy was spread really thin between a lot of schools in a wide area and didn't get to see Korban as often as we needed.  There happened to be a woman in his practice that lived close to our area, so it worked out for her to come work with Korban in the home three days a week.  The first guy will still come to the school a couple of times a month to work with him there.  They do ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy with Korban, which is pretty much the gold standard of autism therapy.  Which is why I'm saying it's such a big blessing!  It's just so nice to have HOPE when things are so hard. 

So today the ABA lady came to our house.  This was the fifth time she's been, and the first time Korban really showed out for her.  (He generally has a "honeymoon" period with new people.)  He started out by not really wanting to do his work, and then he got obsessive over a fan I had plugged up in the kitchen.  When I tried to turn it off, he yanked my pants down. So I guess it was another blessing that it happened to be the lady this happened in front of and not the dude, right?  I really should stop wearing elastic waist pants.  So if you see Korban having a meltdown, shield your eyes.  You have been warned. 

Later, when she turned the fan off he went at her, hitting her and snatching out her hair.  He also got really possessive of a toy and pulled Selah's hair over it.  Tough afternoon. 

I'd say there are two different aspects of his behavior that are both very challenging.  One is clearly the aggression and the other is what we call "the wild and crazies."  When he gets in this state he's not angry or trying to be aggressive but you can still get hurt.  Picture Taz hopped up on speed, washed down with Mt. Dew.  There's not much we've found that can reason with him or settle him down until it just sort of runs it's course.  He runs back and forth, shrieks and screeches, rolls around on the ground, climbs on stuff, pulls at your clothes--pulling them off,  grabs onto you and won't let go, and also does really bizarre, uninhibited sorts of thing.  I'd say it's not as bad as the aggression but it's still not any fun. 

So after his aggressive spell today, he got wild and crazy.  Towards the end of our session, when she was gathering up her stuff and filling out the paperwork, he pulled his pants down, aimed, and peed on the top of my kitchen table.  If you were wondering what I meant by "bizarre and uninhibited" that's a pretty good example right there. 

At any rate, I'm very thankful we finally have some people in our corner that are trained to address these types of behavior.  Because, quite frankly, I'm stumped.  Nothing I've tried (and believe me I've tried a lot of things) has shown any marked improvement.  And as I posted earlier, this girl is tired. 

It's an odd feeling for me, because I'm used to being high energy, and feeling good most of the time.  I go to bed tired and get up tired and I don't like it.  By the time my husband gets home in the evening, it's almost like I'm not even functioning.   I know part of Korban's frustration is not being able to communicate like he wants to, and in a weird way, I sort of understand.  Brad doesn't understand why I don't talk to him about stuff, but it's like my mind is so tired I can't.  I have all this stuff inside that I want to say but I'm so tired I'm just sitting there with a glazed look on my face going "Duuuurrrr."  For some strange reason, this seems to frustrate him.  Perhaps because he remember marrying someone who was articulate.  Can't say I blame him.  I miss that girl too!

I feel like if I could just get my head above water for long enough, we could be ok.  If we could just get the aggression under control, other things would fall into place.  Korban's bright and funny.  He's capable of learning.  But this behavior must be brought under control, and we are just going to have to persevere and get it done.  We're thankful for everyone in our life who understands and who has come alongside us to support us during this rough patch. 

Things change.  Goals change.  At this time last year, the number one thing I wanted for Korban was for him to be in a mainstream classroom.  I got what I wanted, and it turned out to not be what was best for my child.  What we are doing right now is the best fit for him.  He can't handle a mainstream classroom, and he doesn't do well in a self-contained classroom either because most of the children in there have much more severe disabilities than him.  Now, my goal for him is for him to get an education and for us to learn how to cope with his negative behaviors.  There's all different kinds of learning.  And for right now, our school situation works for us.  People ask us all the time when he will be "back in school."  The answer is we don't know when, or if that's going to happen in the traditional sense, but he is learning.  He's even learning to read sight words!  And I know the basic stuff will come a lot easier when we can ease his frustration and anxiety and help him to stop lashing out at everyone in arm's length every time things don't go his way.  And also, it would be really cool if he could leave people's clothes on and not randomly pee on stuff.  One step at a time.  We will get there. 

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