How Do You Solve a Problem Like Our Leelo?
Leelo went back on Fukalin XR 5 mg this morning.
He vocalized and stimmed and had ansty-pants to an almost unmanageable extent all the way to and into school. The other kids were looking at him like he was an alien--thought it was kind of cool to see that sort of focus in an autism classroom.
I asked his aide Rosie to call me if he got really out of control. And then I walked the long way out of the school so I wouldn't run into any parents I know because I didn't want them to notice that I was crying behind my sunglasses. Yay sunglasses!
On the drive home I wondered whether Leelo really does belong in his class. It seems to me that all the other kids have at least one strength, be it academic or verbal or physical or receptive, whereas Leelo doesn't really have any of that plus he is a big behavioral challenge. The rest of the kids seem fairly docile. I don't know where else he would go, though.
I also wondered if we should put his playgroups with Alyx on hiatus. His unpredictable behavior has her starting to look at him skeptically. I don't want her to come to playgroup if she doesn't want to come, and more importantly I'm worried that Leelo might push her. Supervisor M advised me to ask both Alyx and her mom about it.
It also occurred to me that really intense depression feels sort of like being drunk. And it's free! Guess I'll put off buying that bottle of Cointreau for another week.
When I picked Leelo up, Rosie mentioned that he had eventually calmed down, though he had had a toileting accident (#1, thankfully--so far he doesn't do #2 at school). I thanked her and took Leelo off to his first OT session in six weeks, which made him very very happy.
I returned home to a voice mail from his Teacher S, letting me know that Leelo had had an "incident" at school with a general ed kid, and that I needed to come in early tomorrow to talk to her about it. No details. FUCK.
Thankfully Teacher S had reaached Supervisor M, who filled me in. Apparently the general ed kids came onto the playground when Leelo's class was there, something they do not normally do. Rosie and Leelo were sitting on a bench, and Rosie asked Leelo if he wanted to go play on the playground. He responded, as he frequently does to a request he doesn't like, by pushing the nearest person. Unfortunately in this case it was a little girl who was sitting next to her teacher--and they both fell off the bench and were both pissed and they had to tell the principal and apparently Leelo will most likely be banned from the playground when NT kids are there if not totally. Which would suck because exercise is one of the only things that calms him down. And now we have to come up with a "behavioral plan" addendum to Leelo's IEP.
Apparently the two people he pushed are both fine, but shaken, which is understandable. I will apologize to whomever I need to, and profusely, but I am worried about the unofficial aftermath, about unfriendly parents and about Leelo being stigmatized (not that he would notice). People are generally not kind or understanding in these scenarios, especially those who view the Special Ed world as one that intersects with theirs only by a special dispensation on which they were not consulted.
I spent a lot of the rest of the day wondering what families like ours are supposed to do. More help? I am tired of having people in my home so much of the time, much as I love the wonderful members of Leelo's team.
Leelo spent much of the afternoon terrorizing his two sisters, despite my best efforts. I really do try, but there are three of them and one of me, and I need both Mali and Leelo within my line of vision at all times. It is just not right that Iz and Mali have to be constantly on guard and scared in their own house. Especially Mali--she just fucking turned two. She is starting to cry any time Leelo comes anywhere near her. I spent a lot of the evening holding her, which then meant I couldn't really interact with Leelo--Mali's crying, at close range, makes him cry.
But he pulled through the crying. And he did come up with enough episodes of interaction and good eye contact and good listening to keep me optimistic. He verbally refused to put on his pajamas. I ran out of the room for moment to tend to Mali, and when I returned he had taken a pair of pants out of his drawer and put them on. For him, that is awesome. He had really great listening, in terms of following all sorts of purely verbal instructions regarding going over to places and turning off lights, etc., and more subtle directions such as a suggestion that the item he was looking for might be under his stool. That head of his, we're going to find a way in one of these days.