What to call this post

I was going to post about something else today, but this was much more on my mind.

There was a message last night on the voice mail from the social worker from Grasshopper's school requesting we call. I called her back today. It appears that Grasshopper is having some difficulties at school this year. It was causing me some anxiety at work. That prompted the Wife to say "What, you've just started now?" Of course I meant over and above the normal anxiety.

Now, the call from the social worker was not a bad call. She wanted to talk to us about what Grasshopper's been doing in the classroom, if we've seen the same behaviors at home, and ways to get past the behaviors. Not one mention about whether he's a difficult boy, no accusatory tones, and no hints that "we" need to do something.

One of the issues has been that he's struggling a little academically. Not because he isn't bright, but because he's turning into such a perfectionist, that he won't move on to the next thing until he has the current thing exactly right. He got upset because even though he got the right answer to a question, he didn't answer it EXACTLY the way the teacher did. Therefore, his answer was wrong, and he could not move on until he corrected it. And the teacher cannot hold up the whole class for him to do that, so she needs to move on. Which causes more anxiety.

Also, he's starting to use autism as an excuse. For example, if he's having difficulty with something, he'll say "I can't do it! Don't you know I'm autistic?" He does that at home as well and we don't let him get away with it. He's just getting very frustrated at school right now since the workload is a little higher, and because they're beginning to teach him some abstract concepts. His mind is very logical and fact based. He's great at memorizing and repeating things back. But analytical thinking, such as estimating, he has real trouble with. I know he'll get it, but we need to work past this and he'll be great.

Another issue for him is that he doesn't have as much time to draw at school as he used to. Drawing has become a way for him to calm himself and escape from the world for a little while. He's been taking paper with him to lunch to "catch up" a little.

One of the positives is that the social worker asked if I thought it would be beneficial if Grasshopper spent some one on one time with her at lunch. He has group time during the day, but she's free during that time and thought it might be a good idea for the personal time. I thought it was a great idea. At a minimum it gets him away from the loud, crowded lunchroom so he gets a little time to come down and relax before going back to class.

I must say that I'm very happy with our school district and the way they handle all kids like Grasshopper. They really are all about including them and helping. I've heard so many horror stories of other districts it amazes me that more are not like ours. It's not that much more work, and the kids benefit so much. I can't imagine what Grasshopper would be like if not for the social skills he's learned by being around other kids.

We talked to Grasshopper about what's been going on at school and about not needing to be exactly right. He gets it intellectually, but I don't think he really gets it yet. We'll see how things go.


Popular Posts