We’ve had a fairly good week for the most part. Beth came home with a fabulous pillow that was clearly Miss Piggy. She had told me that she was making a picture but I didn’t realise it was on fabric. She had drawn a face and painted it, then the art teacher had sewn it together as a pillow. Beth wasÂ proud of it and rightly so. She took it to Primary School on Friday when we picked up Bill and Bridie and showed a few people.
On Tuesdays the lunch order form for Wednesdays has to be handed in. They have Subway and they bring home the envelopes on Monday night for collection on Tuesday mornings. I reminded Beth that hers was in her bag when I dropped her off in the morning. When we got home on Tuesday night I found the order still in her bag. I explained to her that there are no late orders and that she would have to miss out on her Subway the next day. I made popcorn because it was her favourite and gave her several warnings that just for this week she couldn’t have a lunch order. I had also written in the school diary to her teacher to explain that Beth might be feeling a bit put out on the Wednesday.
All seemed well in the morning but when I went to pick Beth up in the afternoon I was asked to come in and see Beth’s teacher who I shall call Miss X. Beth had had a doozy of a tantrum. She had started off the day well but as the morning progressed she had started screaming in the classroom which of course distressed the other students. Kids with autism have heightened senses often and noises that can be tolerated by so called ‘normal developing’ kids can be intolerable to those on the spectrum, Beth included. Miss X explained that the children in the class like Beth but don’t like it when she does things that distress them. Miss X said that Beth thought that she could do what she wanted and had told Miss X that. Miss X said that if Beth made the wrong decision with behaviour in the classroom then the consequences would be the ones she didn’t like. If she made wise choices then she would get good consequences. She said that while Beth wasn’t in trouble she needed to understand that her actions were not appropriate and that if it happened again she would be missing recess and or lunch or even have to stay in after school to get her work done. She told Beth that she is 12 years old now, not a preppie kid and that she had to start behaving like a 12 year old.
Beth said that she had behaved well in the afternoon during computer studies and Miss X had agreed, saying that she had behaved nicely later on. However Beth hadn’t been happy that there weren’t enough chairs and had complained. Miss X made Beth list what the right response might be and Beth had said sitting on the floor, sharing a chair or asking Miss X for another chair. As Miss X said, she knows the right answers but needs to not let her annoyance get the better of her when she doesn’t get her own way. It all ended on a positive note with Miss X saying how funny herself and the class think Beth is and how well she normally does her work in the classroom. All Beth seemed to be worried about was if I was going to let her play on her Ipad when we got in the car! I think it’s fantastic that she has expectations and that if she doesn’t meet them then there will be consequences. I think that even though Beth thinks Miss X is bossy she respects that she doesn’t take any of Beth’s crap.
On Friday Paul took Beth to school as I wanted to attend our Primary School assembly. Beth had started to play up because she couldn’t take her Ipad as that would mean I wouldn’t have it when I picked her up that night. As her tantrum started to escalate I told her to stop and listen and explained that if the Ipad was in Dad’s car then Mum wouldn’t have it until Dad got home later that night. She listened and just said “OK.” All I could think was “It is getting in!”
When we went to Bev and John’s yesterday for lunch (Paul’s parents) John commented that he had told Beth not to put her feet up on a table next to where she plays on the computer. He was surprised each time he checked on her that she had listened to him. Both him and Bev have said that they’ve seen improvements in Beth each week. I think I have too.