With Mister Man, it’s always an adventure at the end of the school day. We hope and pray that he’s had a green day (no trouble – or only a single warning) and not a yellow or red day where he’s had more difficulty following the rules and doing what he’s supposed to do.
Unfortunately the autism diagnosis only makes his impulsivity and other behavioral problems more understandable. We’ve yet to find the solution to actually stop them. The good news is that the sticker chart has helped provide incentives to him to follow the rules, and we’ve started to see patterns (specials like music and gym are more of a challenge).
We still have many days where he comes home having been put at a separate table for group work in Language Arts because he was drawing on someone else’s paper or running in the halls or laying on his chair instead of sitting.
When we have those days, we always talk about them – trying to create the social stories that will help him understand how to better handle the situation in the future. Some of them work, and sometimes the behavior repeats itself.
Yesterday, Mister Man came home with a yellow day. He was having difficulty listening in one class, and then he put his hands on a classmate’s neck. Obviously, the hands around someone’s neck is alarming. Behavior like that – especially for someone who doesn’t always know where the line is and when to stop a game (another function of his autism).
I showed him the sheet of paper and asked him to tell me about the situation. I’ve found that having him walk me through exactly what happened and what he was thinking is far more effective in trying to work through the issue than me lecturing or getting upset at him.
He was upset about having gotten in trouble. But, Mom! I was just trying to give H a hug. I wasn’t hurting him at all. Mrs. C saw it and gave me a yellow.
When trying to get further clarification from him, apparently he likes this little boy and wants to be an even better friend. And so in line to go inside after recess he tried to give him a hug. The teacher assistant saw only the arms up around the other child’s neck. Mister Man is not one to question authority (very rules focused – another autism trait, ironically) and so didn’t try to explain his thought process.
Should he have gotten a yellow for that? Probably not.
Should he have been doing that to begin with? Probably not.
I explained to him why Mrs. C thought he was doing something he shouldn’t have been. We discussed how school isn’t probably the place to hug people, anyway. BUT if he really wanted to hug someone, he needed to first let the adult in charge know his intentions so that she could alert him if there were to be a problem. Second he needed to ask his friend if it was ok if he got a hug.
He seemed to understand – or at least he claimed he did. It’s amazing to me that Mister Man always has a thought process and logic behind what he’s doing. Whether it’s the logic that most people would use and whether he went to what would be considered a logic conclusion may be up for debate, but at least I’m starting to figure out how his head is working.
Fingers crossed that tomorrow is another green. After all, he has another Bakugun to earn from good behavior just waiting in the closet!