Ok, so I had all sorts of lofty ideas of raising my child’s teacher’s consciousness during the parent teacher conference we had yesterday. I have dreams of raising the consciousness of the whole school’s staff, on up to the principal. And it may take my son’s entire 7 years at that school to accomplish my goal- educating each teacher as they experience him.
Did I drive home the point of how awesome and how sensitive my Little Man is, to his teacher? I’m not sure. I tried to explain that with the way that he thinks, there are some days the thought of going to school pushes my kiddo over the edge. The teacher’s response was some thing to the effect of, “If you let him get away with that, he’ll keep doing it.” Right then and there, it was painfully obvious that she doesn’t fully understand Little Man, or the depths that his anguish reaches, all too often.
I am torn between just giving him those days off, when he just can’t deal with school- lying to school, telling them he’s sick- and trying to draw a more complete picture of Little Man so that the teacher might really understand him. To understand the level of anxiety he reaches, and how he will turn it on himself, becoming self-destructive. But then, I wonder if she has the capacity to really understand what it is to live in a world where your senses are perceiving everything so very differently from everyone else’s senses. To live in a world where bouncing and jumping are not a luxury, they are totally necessary. To live in a world where walking out of the classroom door, means the possibility of having the big school bell on the wall over the door ring unexpectedly, hurting my son’s ears (as it has). Will she really get it?
What I was able to accomplish, was keeping a positive attitude. It is clear to my son’s teacher that he struggles and that he tries. I let her know that homework happens in the morning before school, because after a day of school, Little Man is fried. She understands that we do work with him at home, and she appreciates everyone’s effort. That’s her primary focus: that Little Man tries and puts forth his best effort. I think that for her to understand him better, I’m going to have to put words down on paper, to describe in great detail what it is to live with Sensory Processing Disorder; not only physically, but what it does to him psychologically. I will be more specific as to ways to motivate him, and what sorts of comments will crush him. Only after I have given it my best shot will I give up on trying to educate his teacher. For now, I haven’t given her all I’ve got! (said in my best Engineer Scotty- from Star Trek- voice).