Storm Clouds on the Horizon

lake-balaton-847072_1920My daughter’s interim in-home school program has finally begun. Although we can’t call it school because the word causes Katie to have an extended anxiety attack. Despite more than a six-week break, she continues to obsess about not returning to school. I will probably never know the full extent of what was happening to her at middle school, but suffice it to say, it wasn’t a good experience. I’m glad for her sake (and mine) that it’s over.

Now we are embarking on something entirely new.

On Monday afternoon I signed the completed agreement with the school district and on Tuesday morning we began. The first day went pretty well, and then trouble crept in on tiny feet and started looking for a home.

It’s only Day 3 of this experiment, so it’s really too soon to tell how things will work out. But I think it’s safe to say that Katie is pissed that her extended vacation has come to an abrupt halt. She wants to continue to sleep in, eat when and what she wants, and lay on the couch in her pajamas watching movies on the new HD TV. I can’t blame her. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?

Now to Katie’s shock and dismay, school has come to our home. Our home!!! Even worse, Caroline, the aide, isn’t letting her call the shots as I suspect she was doing in her previous classroom. She has to follow directions, eat on a schedule, and actually do work! I’m thrilled, but Katie seems determined to force Caroline out.

You have never seen determined until you have met my child. She gives strong-willed a whole new name.

Katie has begun a campaign of nonverbal communication that makes it very clear that she wants no part of this stupid plan. She’s using words as well. “No school,” she says again and again. “No Caroline. No thank you.”

CrazyThe strange thing is, as much as Katie fights the concept of school, it’s also clear that she is doing far more school work. Freed from the rigid school schedule, she can take short sensory breaks when needed and it has made a tremendous difference. It also helps that she is getting Caroline’s undivided attention. But still, the negative behaviors are increasing and I can sense that in the very near future, my house is going to take a beating.

This would be the same house that Nate and I have spent the past four months working to update and redecorate.

I had thought that we were long past Katie’s property destruction phase—and we are, when she isn’t in school. But I know my smart, creative, and now very angry daughter will use every tool at her disposal to get Caroline and the dreaded school to leave.

I feel a storm brewing, and it’s not going to be pretty.

Until next time,

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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One Response to Storm Clouds on the Horizon

  1. Pingback: A Question of Power, Part 2 | CYNTHIA J. PATTON

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