*Encouragement is the best medicine to give someone. If I were to pick any gift to have in helping others, that would be the one*

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Reason to Celebrate!

It dawned on me yesterday after reading an article in the Autism-Asperger's Digest Magazine that Chaz has not had a screaming episode in a very long time.  It used to be that he would go into these fits of rage in his room.  I've gotten quite a few episodes of it on video in case I ever needed to show his doctor.  We all even grew accustomed to it.  However it could be quite stressful as he would threaten to hurt himself and even punch himself in the face.

I looked over at Chaz calmly playing a game on the computer.  He has been more mellow than I have ever seen him.  What's changed?  Something huge stood out to me.

 His teacher

She is one of those teachers you could only dream of. She's kind. Caring. Firm when it's needed.  Observing.  Has command of her classroom.  Great communicator.  AND she uses a strict schedule for her classroom.  We KNOW Aspergers kids thrive off of this.  They like to know what to expect.  Well, she gives that to all her students.  I have never walked by a classroom like hers before.  Everytime I've ever peeked in her window to her room, the kids are quietly working.  They respect their teacher.  I know some teachers want to have their students be friends with them, but in the long run, it's a teacher like Mrs D that get the respect and adoration.  Not just from students but from the parents. Believe me, after how many teachers Chaz has gone through, I am grateful beyond belief for Mrs D.

In the beginning she asked me lots of questions on how she could help my son.  He was doing his usual thing of yelling out in the classroom, being disruptive, touching and pushing others, getting in kids faces.  Mrs D was patient and would just call me up for advice. She's always been willing to listen.  I've been down this journey with Chaz since Kindergarten.  Many teachers have quit on him.  I told her that she has to earn Chaz's trust.  He needs to know that she's not going anywhere and that she accepts him.  Sure enough, over the months he's calmed down in her classroom.  His grades are improving. AND, his behavior has improved GREATLY at home!

More good news!!!  Yes, there is more!  Chaz has been telling me how worried he is about next year.  New teacher.  This is always a dread for us.  Usually the old behaviors come back and we start all over.  He's told me he hates the thought of a new teachers and really wants Mrs D again.  Well, she called me up and told me there is a BIG possibility she will be teaching 5th grade next year.  She will keep her same classroom but move up with them.  Wow!!

Another challenge was the bus ride home.  Because of all the noise and craziness, he would constantly get out of his seat, hang out the window, get in kids faces.  I finally figured out that he was just responding to the craziness around him.  If he could tune it out then his behavior on the bus would improve.  ON THE FIRST DAY he used them I got a note from his bus driver that Chaz sat calmly in his seat while wearing these.  EVERY DAY since Chaz has worn these earmuffs on the bus.  Wow!!  This would have saved me so much heartache in the past.  Bus drivers would have thrown chocolate and flowers at me.  Heh heh.  Ahem.  I like chocolate. 

I am soooooo excited to see this change in Chaz I'm gonna have to celebrate with my big o' family.  After all, positive reinforcement is what works with these kids and by golly I'm gonna give it to him!  :D

#autism #aspergers #spd


Happy Elf Mom said...

Virginia, this is such a beautiful and hopeful post from a beautiful and hopeful mom. :)

Virginia (Jenny) said...

Thank you!

It's such wonderful news to my heart. I had to share. Been through many, many rough times but never thought to share. Wish I had sooner to really show the journey.

Lisa said...

LOVE this post and so happy for Chaz. It gives me hope that eventually one year Blake will finally get the same luck in a teacher.

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