My four year-old, Jonebug is a very smart boy but has trouble processing stimuli. This leads to avoidance of certain sensory experiences while seeking out others.
He hides from abnormal faces he sees on television…usually angry, morphed or deformed characters. He can’t stand bright light.
He hates the sound of the vacuum cleaner and other harsh noises, but loves hearing loud music in headphones. He cannot stand to have his hair combed and pulls away crying…but doesn’t make a peep when he gets a vaccination. He actually seems fascinated.
He’s a happy, friendly kid…but just a wee bit different. They call it Sensory Processing Disorder.
Because of speech and other developmental delays, he’s been enrolled in Early Childhood at our local public school. He gets occupational and physical therapy there as well. It’s great that he has this help, but lately, there’s been a problem.
It’s almost the end of the school year and my little guy still HATES school. I have to physically drag him in there and I don’t get it. As a former daycare provider, I understand that every now and then kids just want to stay with Mom, so they make a fuss. Understandable and normal.
I don’t think this is the case with Jonebug. He doesn’t usually mind leaving me or me leaving him if he likes the situation he’s in or heading into.
So…going to try and gather the facts now. No assumptions.
Early in the school year, during parent/teacher conferences….teacher (with 17 years experience) tells me that her entire class this year is very easily distracted. Several are very stubborn. My kid is probably the laziest.
Tells me that sometimes as she guides him with writing/drawing, she has to put pressure on his hand to force him to respond to her instructions. I don’t like it…but suck it up thinking she needs to be tough for him to learn. I’m a huge softy with my kids.
Fast forward to last month. Jonebug comes home with a sore finger. Pulls it from me, won’t let me touch it. I see nothing but a small scratch but he insists on bandage so I put one on for him. Next day at school, he says that he wants to show Ms. Teacher. I tell her. She responds, “Yes, but we won’t make a big deal about it.” Ok. Fine.
Finger is sore for some time and Jonebug insists on keeping bandage on, new one each night. Comes home from school one day without. Ok…finger seems ok now anyway.
So…now to what happened this week. Yep. This has all just been background info leading up to what I want to say.
As I am walking to my van after school, kids in hand…Jonebug pulls his hand away from mine in pain and says, “Ms Teacher did it.” I look at his hand and see a hole in his palm and the area around it is red/inflamed. The hole looks like it was made with a needle, pin, thumb tack. I don’t know what caused it…but this is what it looks like.
I have no idea what is going on. But I’m afraid it’s not good. What I do know…is that if my stubborn lazy kid isn’t performing as hoped, and someone is inflicting pain to try and get results, it’s not going to work!
At home, he’s finally holding a crayon and pencil correctly. He’s drawing up a storm. He draws daily and he draws well.
On one of his pictures, I asked him to write his name but he refused. So I wrote his name for him myself and he immediately started writing his name above where I wrote. Only…I wrote his name in all caps and he wrote his name with a capital letter at the beginning and lower case to finish out. I cried. He’s capable.
There is such a smart boy inside and I don’t want to make him afraid to come out.
But here it is. What do you think? What should I think?
And no…I don’t think my son is hurting himself.
Edited to add: The school principal called to let me know that everyone involved in Jonebug’s education has been questioned and that no one believes that anyone has ever tried to hurt my baby. This is what I want to believe. I hope this is the case.
I’ve decided, and the school is ok with my decision…Jonebug will be returning to school next fall. Hopefully, he’ll learn lots over the summer break and will wow their socks off when he goes back! :o)