Wednesday, March 13, 2013

So Close, Yet So Far

Three more days.

My son just had to go without a major incident at school for three more days and he would have attained Level 4.

It looked like he had come precariously close to a major incident on Monday. His daily point sheet indicated that he had several bad periods that day, beginning with 3rd period when he had PE.

When we asked him what happened at school that day, Kai started out, as he often does, complaining how a teacher had been mean to him because she took away a privilege of using the computer at break time.

Well, why did she do that, we wondered.

With Kai, answers to questions come slowly, if at all. When the topic is something unpleasant, like a bad day at school, you have to be especially persistent and/or patient to piece together what happened.

Eventually he told us that he had to make up work during break. And why did he have to make up work?

Because he had gotten a timeout.

And why did he get a timeout?

Because he was upset at missing part of PE.

Why did he miss part of PE?

Because it was raining. And so he did not want to go outside (to walk over to the gym in another building).

So, all because of a little rain, and his anxiety about going out in it, one thing led to another and he had a bad day at school.

But, he managed to control himself enough to not let it escalate it into a major incident.

On that day.

But then there is today.

Kai’s social worker at school emailed us the bad news. He had a major incident.

It started out when he got upset about missing the beginning of recess. We haven’t yet learned the details as to why he missed it, but I’m sure it was something that he did.

We did hear what happened afterward.

He went to the bathroom and urinated all over the room in anger.

It is not the first time he’s done that.

So, that’s it. He will not achieve Level 4 for now.

His social worker reported that he was extremely disappointed later when he realized that his actions had cost him his achievement. And my wife reports that he was very glum when he came home from school this afternoon.

I’d like to think that this is a huge learning experience for him. That he will realize that he needs to make better choices.

But I’m not sure he will.

Oftentimes he just blames others, usually his teachers, for doing something to make him upset.

And so, this time we came very close to a milestone.

But Kai’s continuing anger issues make me think that we still have very far to go.


  1. Oh, I'm sorry! But he did come within three days, which is an improvement in itself! He will get there eventually! I had forgotten about the rain. Poor guy...April showers are coming! I hope he can overcome the anxiety!

    sorry about the pee...oh dear!

    1. Yes, you are right, Betsy; Kai's major incidents are fewer so that is an improvement. But his underlying anger and difficulty in taking responsibility for his actions is more disappointing than his not achieving the next level at school. But we will overcome our disappointment and get back to work.

  2. You mentioned his anxiety over the rain. Does he actually fear the water or the prospect of thunder and lightning? What I had once done with a nephew who, at the time, was afraid of the dark...I had bought him a toy which operated in a darkened room. It was a lot of fun and , of course, he had associated the fun with the dark. I was with him for the first few times. After that...he played with the toy by himself in the longer afraid of it. Perhaps something fun could be done in the rain?

    1. Shiroi, I believe his anxiety around a combination of things including the rain itself, lightning, and wind. He panics if he can't find his hat before he goes out, even if it just to go to the driveway to get in the taxi that picks him up in the morning. When we have no plans for going outside, he still is anxious, asking if the power will go out. I like your idea of making associating the rain with fun, but have thus far not come up with good ideas. He does like splashing in puddles so perhaps there is something we can do with that. Thanks!

  3. Sending you a big hug
    I always think about what Temple Grandin used to say that fear is the primary emotion of autism

    1. Thanks, K. That is very interesting what Temple Grandin said. I can certainly see that in my son.


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