School Causes Meltdown…


On Monday Alex came home from school much like a tornado going through the house.  I could tell he was very hyper and looked a bit ‘crazed’.  His tutor came shortly after this and he was rude to her and kept running away.  This was very uncharacteristic of him.  He isn’t always thrilled to be tutored on Mondays but she is usually able to control him.  After she left, I told him his behavior was not acceptable and that he could not go out and play with friends. He really lost it then.  Screaming, swearing, throwing things and telling me repeatedly to shut up.  Even Kellen came to my aid and spoke with Alex…calmer than I thought he would…but in no uncertain terms, told him his behavior and language was not acceptable in our house.  Alex looked absolutely shocked for this to be coming from Kellen and was quiet for awhile.  But soon he started his rampage again.

There is a book called ‘Holding Time’ which advocates holding kids like Alex, who are in distress until they calm down.  I actually held him for about 10 min. with him screaming…he even told me he felt like biting me.  (This I found interesting, because instead of biting me he told me he wanted to…which I consider progress.  Alex used to bite others in our early days at home.)

Dennis came home then and took over with the holding.  When Alex began to settle down, Dennis asked him if he wanted to eat dinner.  He said no, but we fed him anyway.  Between sobs he ate what he could.  Then Dennis bundled him up and they went outside to walk in the snow.  About 45 min. later Alex came walking in, all red-faced and cold, but smiling ear to ear.  He loved walking and playing with Dad in the snow.  He then…on his own….apologized to us for acting mean….and then apologized to Kellen.  I was shocked because Alex has a hard time admitting to his mistakes.  (See earlier blog about sins!)

The next day we learned that Alex had had a substitute teacher in his classroom who just let the kids run wild while she just sat there.  Alex, because of being in an orphanage for five years, thrives in a lot of structure, but becomes very over-stimulated in a non-structured environment.  This chaos caused him to just ‘lose it!’.  He didn’t know how to get back to feeling normal again.  Poor kid.

I spoke with the Asst. Principal about what happened and she said that substitute will not be asked back to their school.  I just feel bad that I cannot always be in control of Alex’ surroundings to protect him from the things that scare him.  But I guess that is the concern of most parents for their kids.

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach, www.everythingforadoption.com

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