Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, April 04, 2011

Adoption transitions

My bloggy friend Jennifer asked a good question. I started to answer in the comments, but decided to just make a blog post out of it. Because I can! LOL

Jennifer asked, "Do you attribute these behaviors to DS or typical newbie home issues? Just curious."

Jennifer, this is TOTALLY adoption/transition related issues. Here's what I think: On his first day alone at school, Axel had no idea if THIS was his "new place". Where he'd be staying. Not until he came home on the bus again and again did he understand that this was just part of his day, not yet another new home.

Axel really needed the lines drawn in the sand for him there. "You can do this. You CANNOT do this."

He had SO many new experiences and expectations put upon him.  He'd never had to sit in a group and listen to a teacher before.

He'd never had to sit at a table with a group of children he didn't know and do the same activity they were doing.

He'd never had to walk in a line.

He'd never had to follow the directions of a phy ed. teacher.

He'd never had to eat lunch with 200 very noisy elementary students, finish quickly, get dressed and get outside for recess.

He'd never had to be on a playground with so many children at once....and follow RULES...which were never explained to him nor would he understand.

He'd never had to do ANY of  those things before.

So, this was his way of asking, "What AM I allowed to do here?" He also got to learn that Mama and Papa are connected to school even when he can't see us. Sometimes Mama just appears around a corner when you happen to be acting up! Ultimately, he is accountable for his behavior and Mama and Papa are who he'll have to answer to later on.

I AM very glad that I got to go along with him those first two days. Staff was able to see what he is CAPABLE. That when he choose to be horrible, it was exactly that...a choice. Axel KNOWS how to behave and follow rules, as long as he knows what those rules are.

I expected that after a weekend, today would be like starting all over for him and I'd be getting a phone call. Nope. I got Nuthin! I can only ASSUME he had a good day because even though I'm putting a communication notebook in his bag, nobody wrote in it. (I'm a tad irritated with this. This is VITAL for continuing language growth! I can't ask him about his day because he can't tell me anything...but if I have *some* information to go on, I can ask leading questions. For example, if his teacher writes that today they learned about rain, I could ask him, "Did you talk about rain today?"

I wish I could put my feelings about this placement into writing. Well, I have once, but it was to the special ed coordinator and ended up printing out to 3 single spaced pages long! (ouch!) I'm now "that mom" that staff is talking about, I'm sure! It is flat out the wrong placement for him. Period. And I'm trying to do something about it, but it's not happening fast enough for me.

1 comment:

Krista said...

It's not any fun to be "that mom," but I think that at some time or another we have all been there. I hope that at least somewhere deep inside they will have a certain amount of respect for you, knowing that if it was their child, they would do the same. If you don't advocate for your child, who will?