Friday, October 7, 2011

Knocked to my knees

About a year ago my life changed in ways I couldn't have imagined. Actually, that's not true, it started to change about 11 years before, but I just went on my merry way and tried to "bob and weave" my way through. See, I am a teacher and a trained parenting group facilitator. For years I have been busy deciding what the parents of this child or that child must be like solely based on the behavior of the child. I sat in groups once, twice, and for awhile, even 3 times a week helping other parents with tips and suggestions on how to better parent their children. Yet, at home, I had a child who was running the house (the biggest "no-no" out there). He was  manipulative, angry, violent, and much better equipped to "wait it out" than I could possibly be. I wish I could say that the first time he said he wanted to die I rushed him to a counselor, or that the first time he kicked a hole in the wall or ran out the door screaming that I was going to beat him, I realized how out of my league I was. But, I can't. I mean, here I am a "certified parenting expert" and teacher. I KNEW how to handle kids and I had all the tools at my disposal to work with my own child at home. Nobody needed to know what it was really like inside the 4 walls of our house. Then I started a new adventure...

I was hired as a one-on-one aide for a young man who lived in a group home and went to a therapeutic school. He was big, on the autistic spectrum and much too wise about the ways of the "system". As I started working with this young man and began observing the other young men in his group home and also in his class, I was knocked out by the realization that my son had many of the same behaviors, attitudes, and problems that these boys had, and they HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM THEIR HOMES. What a shock! I began to look more seriously at what was going on at home, and really starting thinking about the trauma and, at times, danger my other children were in. A pattern soon emerged that was both disturbing and enlightening. The pattern went something like this, my child would want to do something, I would say  no  and my child would then begin to throw a tantrum the likes of which no one should ever have to witness. The part that was enlightening was the part where I didn't have to try to do this on my own, I didn't have to hide what was going on in my own house and there is help out there for parents of children like mine. Yet, it still took several weeks before I would take a step in the direction of help.

1 comment:

  1. Aspbergers? I think you and I were separated at birth.