Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fight or Flight School

What was that Kenny Loggins tune from Top Gun?  Something about the "danger zone"?

Oh, we are in it....

I had said earlier that Sean seemed off.  He came home today in the same type of mood.  Nothing was good.  Nothing was bad.  It was just something.

He asked to go outside to swing on the swings for a bit.  I said yes, of course.  Swinging has always had a calming effect on him.  It was actually nice outside after the rain finished so I expected him to be out there for some time.

Sean came in within a minute or two.

I was in the kitchen and he was standing at the counter.

Out of the blue he starts talking about the time five years ago when he left his home school and was enrolled in the the therapeutic day school that he attends now. 

It happened during his 2nd grade year.  It was ugly.  Not kind of ugly.  Really ugly.

Sean was angry, frustrated.  He didn't have the communication or coping skills needed to get through a day in a mainstream environment.  He would cry and when people tried to calm him, he'd lash out.  All he wanted was quiet and to be left alone.

He needed the smaller classroom sizes, the extra staff, the breaks, the understanding. 

And he also needed to be restrained if the situation called for it.

That's what he was talking about at the kitchen counter.  He remembers being restrained - both at his home school and at the day program.

Even though it's been years since he's been restrained, it's a memory that he can live through as if it was happening now.

Sean is angry with us for signing the transfer papers for the program.  He said we were exploiting him....we had no right.

I could see the hurt in his eyes.  It was deep.

And then he lost it.  The tears came and the pain from his past came screaming out.

I went over and hugged him, held him tight.  I couldn't erase those years.  I couldn't make him forget.  And I couldn't heal him either.

I tried telling him about how far he's come...reminding him of how hard he's worked and all that he's accomplished.

He stopped crying, wiped his eyes and went to his room.  For the rest of the evening - aside from telling us in minute detail all the strategies he has for winning Attack at school before the year's end next week - Sean was quieter than usual.  He played his computer games and hardly a peep was heard from him.

He's in bed now.  Hopefully, sleeping soundly.

I don't know what brought on today's episode.  Could it be the end-of-the-year stresses of keeping it all together for one final week...what I call the "Danger Zone"?  Could it be that he's afraid of what lies ahead going full-time at the junior high?  Or, could it be that something happened at school or at home and it triggered the memory?

It really could be anything - and Sean, most likely, doesn't even know himself.

But what I do know is this....

Sean has 6 full days and two half days of school left.  I will do anything and everything I have to in order to get him through these last two weeks.

Every pilot has someone looking out for him or her.  Sean has me.

And I'll make sure we get through this thing together.

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