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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Missed Phone Call From School

Just before my son went to school this morning I gave him his first Adderall capsule, he took it and swallowed it like a pro. I sent him on his way not knowing how the day would go for him. I had medicated my child and sent him to school. I wouldn't be there if he had a bad reaction. I am the mommy that always jumps to the worse case scenario. Some people refer to me as a worry wart. I agree with them.

The day seemed to drag, I had written the teacher a note so she would know what was happening. The phone was right next to me just in case. I had to take my daughter to school and pick her up and it was while I was picking her up that I the phone rang in my house. If I had been there I would have seen on the caller ID that the call was from my son's school. My heart would have skipped a beat or two and my stomach would have felt like I had just been punched. It's a good thing I wasn't there. That reaction would have been for nothing.

The school bell rang and as always I expected to see him run out of the building and start spinning or flapping his arms. Both are stimming behaviors he does when he is over-stimulated or very happy. I watched my son walk out of the school. He talked with a couple of the other children and made his way slowly to the sidewalk. He turned toward me and only then did I see the huge smile on his face (without his happy flapping arms). He announced with a voice full of pride that he had a green day.

His teacher uses a behavior system similar to a traffic light. Green of course is for good or positive behavior. Yellow for a questionable day and red of course for a poor behavior day. I am happy when he is on yellow and delighted when he is on green. Even when he has a red day I know it is usually because the asperger's was in overdrive that day. She also allows the students to earn their way back up to yellow or green for positive behavior. It is a very fair system.

He shows me a note from the Principal about how proud she was about his behavior. He is not yelling or bouncing his way to the car. I was delighted about the day's color and the behavior I saw. He even gave me a big hug in front of his friends. That almost never happens. When we got home he handed me his backpack, there was no throwing it or silly laughter while he tries to play keep-away with me.

It wasn't until we got in the house that he opens his backpack and shows me his behavior chart. This chart is only used when there is a substitute teacher. When he has a different teacher his behavior is almost always negative. SO he has a different behavior system on those days. He has to get a goal amount of smile faces colored green. I looked at the sheet and the smile faces are all green. He then announces that his principal tried to call me to tell me that he was having a fantastic day at school.

I missed that call because I have to leave early to pick up my daughter from her school. I would have panicked when I saw who was calling. My heart would have been beating very fast and my mouth would be dry. Instead I had the privilege of seeing his happy smile and pride covered face. I am glad we started him on meds. I am glad I missed that call.

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