Hi everyone! I am so glad this week is over! I literally came home and collapsed on the couch, and slept for two hours before I even ate lunch!
The week went a little better for Billy. Billy is always crying that he wants to go home and see a favorite stuffed animal, a stuffed cat he calls "Baby Kitty." All day he says, "Go home, see Baby Kitty?" Last Friday, while I was at Wal-Mart, I came upon a small stuffed cat. It was meant for infants, and was very soft, with a rattle inside. I didn't find it in the baby aisle, though. It was in the office supply section, presenting itself to me like some sort of miracle! I bought it, and brought it to school for Billy on Monday. He loved it right away. He got a big smile on his face and said, "Kitty!" and has been carrying it with him, ever since, like a transitional object. Holding Kitty, he has been able to spend more time sitting in group activities and working on school work.
In fact, Monday and Tuesday were awesome! On those days, Billy attended and participated in all of the group activities, worked with me on reading and math, and played happily on the playground. (The week before, you might remember, he spent playground time screaming, trying to run for the parking lot, and throwing his cellphone on the ground.) (Not his cellphone... the one that I gave him to play with during breaks!) He loved playing on the slide and sending Kitty down the slide!
Wednesday and Thursday were not as great. On Wednesday, we had PE, and it turned out that Billy hated it. He cried the whole time and tried to run out of the room. I eventually just took him out and walked around the school with him for the rest of PE time. (Walking is physical activity, right? And probably better for him than sitting on the gymnasium floor and hollering?) On Thursday, he didn't want to do any school work or sit in any groups, and I had to stop him from running out of the classroom about ten times.
And then today... Friday the 13th... Billy was in even rarer form! He could not sit in group. When I held him on my lap, he squirmed, laughed loudly, yelled random words, slapped me, and kept knocking the schedule off of the white board. (It is balanced precariously on the sill of the whiteboard, and falls down about eighty times per day, sometimes onto the head of a student!) I got him to do some math with me, by having him paste numbers onto a sheet of paper in the correct order... but he mostly did it because he was also eating the paste whenever he thought I wasn't watching!
The school's playground actually consists of three separate play areas, each about ten yards away from each other. Our class usually is only allowed to play on the nearest playground, but I sometimes take Billy to the furthest playground because there is a swing, which calms him. During playground time today, Billy took off running towards the furthest playground. I followed, but did not chase him, because if you chase Billy he thinks it is a game and will just run even faster to get away. However, when Billy passed up the furthest playground, I did start to run! He was headed out towards an open field that is just beyond the school yard. I am a fast runner and easily caught up with him. But the hard part was getting him back up to the regular playground! Remember, Billy is big for his age, and I am kind of a weakling.
I did my best to restrain Billy while also walking with him back towards the school. Of course he did what every little kid does when an adult is trying to make them walked... he turned his legs into Jello and fell to the ground! I was hoping to get the attention of the teacher or one of the aides, so they'd come help me walk Billy back. But nobody saw us.
When Billy grabbed my arm and pinch-scratched it with all his might, I got an extra surge of adrenaline!
The weird thing about me is I barely ever raise my voice at students, especially with kids like Billy who would probably just get more upset. And I didn't raise my voice this time... but I did say, probably more firmly than I've ever spoken to him, "No! That is not nice!" Then I took him by the hand and just towed him back to the school. Billy let me pull him... he was probably a little startled and subdued when I snapped at him. We got back to the regular playground, where nobody had noticed us missing. Billy was much calmer and went back to playing on the slide.
Later, during snack time, Billy picked up the garbage can and threw it, and laughed hysterically as all the garbage fell out. I told him we don't do that, and I picked up the garbage and threw it away in a different can, so the small can was empty. Billy picked it up again and threw it across the room! This time I took away his cellphone, and told him he had to sit in his chair for the rest of snack time, which would be about five more minutes. I sat on the table to "guard" him, but I did not look at him or talk to him. Since we don't have any sort of Time Out or Cooling Off Spot or whatever, this was all I could really think of to get the message to him. I think he got it, because he sat there, but kept asking me, "Telephone now? Computer now? Telephone? Goodbye song?" while I ignored him .
That was pretty much our day... and I'm chalking it up to the fact that this was a long week! It was our first full week, because last week we had Wednesday off for the Fourth Of July, and the week before that was a half week. Billy wasn't used to being in summer school for more than two days at a stretch, and maybe his patience and good behavior wore out way back on Tuesday. I'm hoping Monday will be better!
In answer to some of your comments...
I don't really have any contact with Billy's planning team because they are all on summer vacation and unreachable. This summer school program is a little weird because they just take the special ed kids from multiple districts and put them in a random school, with random staff members, and all we get is a copy of their IEP and maybe a note from their regular teacher. Billy is only 8 and he doesn't seem to want to injure me... I think he just gets frustrated and wants to SQUEEZE something, and I am the closest person handy. He does not touch other staff members or students in any way ... in fact he barely notices they're there.
I still don't have a weighted vest or many other materials for Billy. I brought him the celphone and stuffed duck on my own, but I don't think I can afford a weighted vest!
The aides have gotten a little better... or maybe I've just gotten better at ignoring them. They still send me dirty looks when Billy is taking more breaks than other kids, when he is being noisy, when he's doing separate work from the others, etc. But I don't really care. I treat them with respect and I am always friendly, and that is about all I can do!
That's all for now, everyone! Thanks for listening!