I am drowning in a myriad of feelings at the moment – the most prevalent being helplessness. J. just returned to school today after a five day out of school suspension. Less than 4 hours into school, I received a phone call. He told a teacher to “mind your own f***ing business” and landed himself on two days of in school suspension.
I held it together on the phone with the principal while discussing the matter, and immediately dissolved into a puddle of tears the minute the phone was hung up. I don’t know how to help him. I see him how he truly is – so talented, so sweet – and I don’t understand where any of this comes from or why. He cannot be isolated for the rest of his life in small group settings – what happens when he gets a job? He wants to join the military – how is he going to handle being in a unit with hundreds of others – and be able to follow instructions and do as he is told if he cannot even master keeping his mouth shut in school?
I knew the call was going to come. I knew it. When he left this morning for school, I told him – no, I pleaded with him, to please make good choices, to not get into any trouble, to just be quiet and do his work. He gave me his silly grin and said, “Um-hum, sure.”
His dad thinks that all of J.’s problems can be fixed with medication and “a talking to” from him. I try to tell him that J. needs to learn how to deal with different situations and environments – because he obviously cannot do so on his own steam – and while I unrealistically expected the teachers at his school to focus all their attention on helping him in class, I do understand that isn’t possible in middle school. It’s not elementary school where he could go to his IEP teacher’s room and spend the day there. Middle school means growing up, things are done differently – and we are both feeling a bit helpless at the moment I think. I think he should talk to a counselor … but considering the way that he shuts down when he doesn’t want to talk – I don’t know that that would be a good avenue to follow either.
I don’t know how to help him – and it scares the living hell out of me.