Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer school and the biting begins

Stephen bit Olivia really hard last night while I was getting them ready for bed. He was already worked up before we went upstairs when his movie ended. We just got "Charlotte's Web" on DVD in the mail while he was at school. I got it off ebay. He came home in a good mood. Didn't get upset when the computer kicked him off the internet (I have it on a timer). He has seen that movie hundreds of times. My husband didn't shut it off until the credits were over. For some reason he was so upset.

She was in front of him and he just locked onto her shoulder like a pit bull and wouldn't let go. She didn't have a shirt on. He just started biting on the 13th at summer school. Twice now he has bit himself and/or staff. He has not bit one of us in YEARS. While I was cleaning her bite, she was screaming and Stephen bit his hand while he was in his room. At school during the school year, noise is a big problem for him. But he rarely lashes out because of it anymore. At home the noise doesn't bother him, even when Olivia has friends over and they are super noisy.

Why did he bite her?! After he calmed down and had some quiet time in his room he was happy and affectionate again. If he is upset with summer school, wouldn't he be upset from the time he gets home? Wouldn't he being crying every morning when it's time to get on the bus? Why don't I know what to think after all these years of dealing with this?!!!

We have learned that Stephen's behavior is a way for him to communicate. It seems he is trying to tell us something. The only major change in his life right now is summer school. I wish he could just tell me what is wrong. He had his initial evaluation for a communication device in MAY. Still no report and no rentals to try. How bad do things need to get before they help him communicate?! PECS are their first choice because it's CHEAP. Stephen doesn't use them other than for his schedule at school. They and we have tried to get him to use them for communication and he doesn't want to use them. He uses the computer and has started doing searches by himself on the computer. He is smart enough to use a communication device. The school district just doesn't want to fork over the money!!!

Are any of your kids in summer school for special needs? Does their behavior get worse, better or stay the same in summer school? Is your kid verbal, non-verbal. If non-verbal, do they have behavior problems associated with not being able to communicate? Do they bite themselves or others?

I really need some support, here. My husband wanted to keep him home today. We discussed not sending him to summer school for the rest of the summer. If it is summer school that is the problem than I am all for keeping him home. What if it's not. I just want everything to be logical. But people aren't logical : (

Now Olivia is traumatized : ( She said she wishes she had a normal brother. I explained that compared to normal brothers hers is pretty good one. I know it doesn't seem that way after being bit, but I have seen MANY Nanny 911 episodes where all the "normal" siblings are spitting in each others faces, hitting, kicking, biting and throwing things at each other all the time. Oh yeah, and swearing! 99% of the time Stephen is a very well behaved kid. Unless something is really wrong.

Ugh. Wish he could just tell me what to do. : (


Betsy said...

I'm so sorry. We have one of the triplets (Alex) that will rage or lash out. I don't know how you feel about prescription medications, but one has made a huge difference in his quality of life...and all of our lives. It's Naltrexone. If you want to know more you can email me. There are also a few dietary supplements that help, but once people begin to get hurt, something a little more serious may need to be done.

I agree it's a communication thing. And I think it's a build up of frustration that just reaches a breaking point.

Queenbuv3 said...

Betsy-Thanks. I just want my happy, sweet boy back. I guess it's a good thing that his usual mood is happy so when he is this upset it is a red flag that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. He gets frustrated or upset daily but not like this. He really has to be pushed to his breaking point by something and this is the only way he can tell us.

The McNultys said...

I'm sorry too. It's so rough when communication is so stilted. I live in NY, and when my autistic daughter turns 3, she'll get on the Medicaid Waiver, which is supposed to pay for a speaking device. Maybe the same thing could happen where you are?

Good luck.

Queenbuv3 said...

The McNultys-We have MassHealth and could do the insurance route. Unfortunately we have to let the school have their turn. Or do we? I think I'm getting to the point where I need to investigate other options. I've also read that the iphone or itouch, some i device, that runs around $500 has a $100 app for communication and some people are having their kids use them.

Thanks for your support. We all have those days and it means a lot to have my blogger friends let me know I am not alone : )

The McNultys said...

I'm not sure about the Waiver and how it relates to the schools in MA, but I think that here it's a matter of the child turning 3 and entering preschool, which she will in September. I would definitely investigate this...maybe his school has a coordinator who handles the Waiver? Otherwise you could call your local Medicaid office.

Also, I've heard the the iPhone does have that speech generating device application. We're keeping that in the back of our minds for the future. Laurie is just to young for a fragile device like that. Plus, should I have one before her?? LOL!

I hope this helps!

Tripletmom said...

Sorry this is going on. Yes, the biting is communication. The biggest problem is figuring out what he is trying to say.

The sensory and other issues that would go along with school for Stephen - especially trying to CONTROL oneself - builds and builds to the point where the tiniest little thing is going to set us off (I see it with my kids, too).

Like a balloon being inflated a little at a time, the outer shell being Stephen being able to hold on to his control - sometimes a tiny bit and sometimes a lot of air is blown in depending on each situation... but eventually that balloon is NOT going to hold any more air and the control is going to pop. The situation that makes him "pop" is NOT what caused it - it was just that 'last straw'.

He probably likes school, that is why he is not trying to stay home.

I sure hope that he can stop hurting Olivia and himself and learn to communicate in a different way.

Can he draw?

About the communication device:
If you wait for the school... will the school allow him to use the communication device at home, though? Some will NOT.

For example, I know someone who went through this... schools will get hearing aids for children who have hearing problems, but they are not allowed to leave the school grounds with them on! The parents decided to get the school AND insurance to get their son hearing aids because the ones they got at home kept breaking (because of the child's behavior) and that way he always had them at school. You might want to do that, too.