This has been a very rough week and it’s all a jumble in my mind. I want to try to write things down as they happen so I can keep it all straight in my mind.
Yelena had two days of MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) testing this week and all the children get totally freaked out about it. I told her numerous times that it wasn’t important, the scores don’t matter and she should just try to do her best and relax. She came home and said her teacher said that they did get grades on it and that it was really important.
The school system does teach to the MCAS. For 2010, Plympton has not made adequate yearly progress in either English Language Arts or Mathematics and their status is Corrective Action due to prior years’ reports.
The absurdity of even making a student like Yelena even take the MCAS (which she will fail) is mind boggling to me and then add the anxiety component on top of it and the situation becomes totally insane.
She had Language Arts this week on Wednesday and Friday. Math is sometime in May. Fortunately, her teacher did not give any homework most of the week.
She had a big meltdown Tuesday night. She didn’t have any homework to do and her instructions from her teacher were to have a good dinner, get a good night’s sleep, have a good breakfast and make sure to take all her medications! Medication is NOT under the jurisdiction of the school system. She was in a great mood and asked to be able to watch a movie because it was a special night and I said that she could watch for an hour before she ate dinner and took a bath and got ready for bed. Needless to say, that was a mistake on my part as she was incapable of turning off the TV after an hour. I ended up getting kicked and punched before I got her into a bath and to bed.
Wednesday was her first day of MCATs. When I picked her up at school, the front of her shirt was all wet. I jokingly asked her if she had dribbled her juice and she told me that she had thrown up in science class after the exam. I asked if she had gone to the nurse and what she had said but Yelena told me that she didn’t go to the nurse’s office which I thought was pretty strange. When we got home I asked her to go change her shirt and brush her teeth before she lay down and I called her teacher to see if I could get more of the story.
Her teacher told me that Yelena hadn’t really vomited; she had just regurgitated and spit up into the sink in the room. She also told me that she wasn’t there when it happened but the aide had been there and told her. She said that she hadn’t gone to the nurse because it was 2:30 pm and almost time to go home. What makes her such an expert on whether someone has “really” vomited or not especially if she wasn’t even there? Yelena continued to complain that her stomach hurt and she felt like throwing up so she wanted to cancel her appointment with her therapist and get in bed. She told me that she threw up again twice that evening and I’m not really sure if she did or not. My husband told me to ask her for “evidence” the next time she vomited. I asked why she hadn’t called me if she was sick and she asked me why she would. I said that it was comforting to have your Mom with you when you threw up and that my mother always held my head for me and her cool hand on my forehead always made me feel better.
The next day, Thursday, was not going to be a testing day and it was also an early release day so I decided to let her stay home. She slept until 10 AM which is very rare for her but I think she needed the rest. She did go to her chorus rehearsal and her social skills group that afternoon.
She had told me the day before that the kids were all spreading rumors about her throwing up in science class. (Is it a rumor if it’s true?) Of course, she ran into a girl from her class at chorus rehearsal and the first thing she asked her was if she had heard that she had thrown up in class. At her social skills group, she reported about throwing up as the low point of her week.
As an aside about social skills: we went to an event on Sunday and Yelena was playing with a bunch of kids. At one point I walked over to them and she told me that the boy she was playing with had gone to the same camp she had gone to and that he had wet his bed when he was there. He didn’t looked very put out by her comment (he must have told her all about it) but the other kids looked surprised. I tried to explain to her that her comment was not appropriate especially in front of a whole bunch of kids.
Friday was another round of MCAS and it seemed to go well. Yelena and I had a pleasant evening together – we had dinner and watched Tangled before she went to bed.
Saturday morning she got up and read and listened to music. The three of us sat down to a breakfast of challah French toast and my husband casually asked her if she had left a folder with music in it in his car. All hell broke loose. Why? I don’t really know but she started a major tantrum based on that seemingly innocuous comment. She said that what was in the folder was personal and he had no right to look at it and she moved her chair away from him and closer to me (which he hates).
Things went from bad to worse. She picked up a fork that was on the table and said she was going to kill him. She said she was going to kill herself and she stormed out of the room and slammed the door. We finished our food and she came back screaming and yelling. I told her that she needed to take some time to herself to calm down and that I didn’t want to be around her when she was behaving this way. I went upstairs to my bedroom and picked up a book and started to read. She followed me up stairs and I asked her to go take a shower and get dressed as she was supposed to go to a friend’s house for a playdate (I hear that I am now supposed to say “hang out” instead of “playdate”.) She repeatedly refused to get in the shower, She took a picture of herself out of the frame that it was in and ripped it up into small pieces that she threw at me. She took a book and thrust it menacingly at my face repeatedly. She took a pointed metal nail file that was on my bureau and threatened me with it. After I had asked her to stop numerous times and repeated warnings of consequences, I finally said that I was not going to her friend’s house. Her behavior immediately changed. She calmed down and began to plead to be allowed to go. My husband came upstairs and said that if she wasn’t going to her friend’s house, maybe she would like to go to the farm with him. I said that I thought that if her behavior wasn’t good enough to go to her friends then it wasn’t good enough to go to the farm. He agreed.
Later, after she had been calmed down for awhile, he did take her to the farm and then out for ice cream. I had gone to a movie with a friend. After they got home, my husband found Yelena at my desk with both of my computers on, which she is not allowed to do. He repeatedly asked her to turn them off which she didn’t do so he pulled the plugs out. She cracked her knuckles, put up her dukes, looked at him menacingly and picked up a computer cord and spun it around in the air almost hitting him in the eye. He grabbed her hand to stop her and it hit her instead by accident. She then started to cry “You hit me, You hit me. I hate you.” She couldn’t let go of the fact that she had been hurt and it was all his fault…
She has been late for school every day this week. It has been very frustrating. We have been getting up earlier and earlier but it does not seem to help. I spent 2 hours cajoling her, tickling her, sweet talking her, threatening her this morning to try and get her to school. I feel like it is a small victory to get her there at all and I stop caring if she is late.
After Yelena’s appointment with her therapist on Wednesday, her therapist asked to speak with me and said that Yelena was not at all herself and she was very concerned about her behavior during the session – very anxious, unable to express what was bothering her, unable to play a game or sit still.
Yelena had a concert Thursday night and was worried for a few days that she wouldn’t be able to get her home work done that night so she asked me to write to her teacher. This is the email I sent:
I wanted to express my concern about Yelena's ability to do any homework Thursday night. She has her social skills group after school and then the all-city concert which starts at 7. Yelena is worried that you will get angry with her if she doesn't do her homework.
Her teacher’s reply:
I wasn’t planning on giving homework to the kids who are participating in the concert. I am extremely concerned with Yelena being late for school on a daily basis; we can discuss this at the meeting on Monday. See you then.
My reply to her teacher:
We are also extremely concerned about Yelena’s lateness. She is having a very difficult time right now. We are working with her therapists to figure out what is happening.
The meeting on Monday is for the IEP and I would like to keep it about the IEP. If you want to discuss Yelena's emotional distress, we can schedule another meeting to talk about that on Monday.We have an IEP meeting on Monday morning. Oh my...