Sunday, September 7, 2008

ups and downs, mostly downs

So, what have we been up to, you ask? Near-miss from Tropical Storm Hanna (or Tropicalanna as my A calls it), extra day off from school because of it, being "tourists in our own town" all weekend (because we can, LOL) and then there's me......vacillating between anger, sorrow, frustration and a desire to just give it all up and walk away. :(

E has finally been started on meds for the ADHD. I say "finally" because somewhere inside, I knew we'd eventually reach this point. Sooner or later, and it was sooner. I don't relish this fact, nor do I want to brag about it, but here we are. Started Wednesday on Tenex, which is not a stimulant and is supposed to help with calming and with reducing aggression, etc. The couple of weeks leading up to last Wednesday were nightmarish in terms of his behavior........preschool calling me several times, just to tell me how bad he was being and to describe his horrid exploits in detail (while I'm supposed to be teaching). When the doc at the ADHD clinic heard all this, she immediately suggested trying the meds now, since not much else we're doing seems to be working.

First couple of days on the meds seemed like miracles to me. I was calmer and more at peace with daily living than I can remember being in a long time. Last few days, not so much. It's making him too tired during the day, and when he's not overly tired he seems nearly as hyper and out of control as before. *sigh* Here we go on that roller coaster I've heard so much about, of adjusting dosages, trying new med after new med, etc. :(

And then there's A, and what happened at church this morning. Anyone who knows him knows that he's a hugger, no question. Hugs everyone, adults to kids, and it means nothing more than that he's excited to see you or to share something exciting with you. Nothing else, ever. I say all this because.....

We have told very few people at church about the Asperger's diagnosis, or being on the spectrum at all, really. It either hasn't come up or just wasn't necessary. Kind of nice, really, to just "pass" with the typical kids and not have to walk around with the scarlet A on his chest (and that A is not for his name, if you know what I mean). During the church services, A sits with various families out in the congregation, because K and I are always sitting up front with the choir. He's done this for several years and is totally fine with it. He's got his favorite families that he gravitates to, and they are (*or so I thought) fine with having A join them for an hour a week.

But today, after service, a man that I already dislike comes up to talk to me. He's a part of one of the families A sits with, and he sat there today. Rather than name this man, let's just call him Baldy. Baldy tells me "I know A's always been a close-space kind of guy, but today he was just getting a little TOO close with the girls, hugging them too tight, not letting go, etc. And ____________(another Dad who sat nearby) was really getting upset at the way A was hugging his daughter, so I tried to talk to A and tell him you need to back up, give the girls some space etc. But he didn't listen to me, so I thought I needed to let you know".

In shock, I said something like "ok, got it" and he moved on. But as minutes went by and I could think, I got more and more and more and more pissed off about this. These stupid, rich, bigoted, lily-white Republican men (and I mean that in the worst possible way) know NOTHING about my child and our reality with him. NOTHING. And to think that the dad of a 7 year old somehow thinks MY 7 year old is doing something inappropriate or even "sexual" by being in his daughter's personal space or hugging her too much/too firmly, is preposterous and insulting. Not to mention chicken-shit, considering that he wouldn't come and talk to us himself or ask questions to potentially learn more about A and why he might do this......oh no, we can't do that. Just send a lackey to come complain to me and talk in a patronizing way, dripping with sweetness and yet dripping with condescension at the same time. Basically saying "I know you guys don't teach this stuff to your kids, but do you mind helping us keep your little pervert's hands off of the angelic girls of this church?"

So I spent the rest of the day stewing over this. Stewing over how to explain this to Andrew in a way that's concrete enough for him to understand, remember and execute. Much easier said than done, for sure. And, stewing over how to respond to these losers in our church who have a problem with how A behaves. Still haven't decided, but I'm leaning towards doing some educating, throwing the ASD stuff in their faces and pointing out that A has no earthly clue what anything sexual is and DOES NOT mean anything inappropriate by his actions. And if the losers can't accept that, A will just sit somewhere else with some more open minded people. But that begs the will I explain to him that he can't sit with Baldy and crew anymore? :( :( :( :( :(


lyndsey said...

Oh Jen. (((((((hugs))))))) I'm so sorry. You may have to just say something. Hugging is a part of who A is and he can't just NOT hug people anymore. Oh, man. I know it's hard to kind of "out" your kid, but I think this might be a need to know situation. Maybe making that guy feel like a total jerk at the same time wouldn't hurt.;) (((((hugs)))))

hope4jackson said...

just sending love your way...hoping today is a better day for you!

tafkalorelei said...

(((((hugs))))) So sorry at the rotten things that keep popping up for you lately. You deserve a break. I agree with Lyndsey. I would want to tell them and make them feel VERY bad for saying anything. Poor A. Call me if you need to talk. Love you.

Heather said...

That sounds like a kid in one of my eighth grade classes, Joel, who had Aspergers. He was a big hugger, too; all the kids were *so* great with him about it, though. I definitely agree that some educating needs to happen. It's always especially wonderfully that you get this crap from people at CHURCH. Good grief. Poor A; I know you'll handle it beautifully, though I wish you didn't have to.