This is going to be a major vent post. Not a woe-is-me one, but definitely one where I spill how I am feeling and hopefully just writing this out will calm me the eff down. I need it.
I just had to go pick my son up at school for being aggressive and hitting classmates and the teaching staff. He did that yesterday as well and I was all set to go get him but his behavior turned around and he reverted back to his usual self. Today was different. Both yesterday and today there was a substitute teacher in his class because his teacher was out sick. She's awesome and has a way of calming him down and redirecting him that nobody else in his classroom has. Whenever she is gone he tends to act out more. Part of me wonders if it's because he thinks the sub will let him get away with it.. I really am not sure, but it happens nearly every single time his teacher is out.
I understand that aggression among people who are autistic is very common. If non verbal they often show their frustration with not being able to communicate by lashing out. Sometimes it's an attention seeking behavior or a way to avoid having to do something they don't want to do. I get that but that being said I don't excuse it or think Nick or anyone else should be able to do that and get off scot-free. When he does that he loses the things that make him happy like watching his beloved Spongebob and playing with his iPad or my iPhone. I made it clear to him when I picked him up that this wasn't a reward type situation.. he's not going to have the things today that make him happy and shouldn't be as happy to see me as he was.
Being a hardass and taking what he loves the most away is hard, damn hard, but I feel like I have to show him that what he's doing is wrong and not acceptable in any way. I believe he knows better than that and can control those impulses but just chooses not to for whatever reason. One of the aides in his classroom who was there today reminded me how she told me a while back that she wished that their whole class was made up of kids like Nick. She said that he is generally the sweetest, most engaging kid and she loves having him in her class. To have him behave badly and the total opposite of that is so upsetting.
I love nothing more than when he's behaving like the sweet boy I and just about everyone else knows him to be. The Nick I know is a sweet cuddle bug who gives me more love in one day than some parents get in a week with their kids. To have him behave badly and seek people out to hurt is something that upsets me and makes me feel like crap in every possible way.
He is about to start a month long break from school as of this Thursday. I am not sure if I should send him back to school tomorrow and for the part day on Thursday or keep him home with me. Home with me is clearly where he wanted to be today and yesterday but I don't want reward his bad behavior by giving him what he wants nor do I want to send him and have him behave like he has both yesterday and today. His teacher has the flu so there is no telling whether she'll be coming back before the break. That sweet aide I spoke to took my cell number and said she'd call or text me today if she finds out whether the teacher is coming back or not. As much as I was looking forward to having a day and a half to myself before his long break starts I won't send him if I think he is just going to do what he's done lately. Especially since I went today to pick him up. He got what he wanted by behaving badly. What kind of message is that sending to him?
As much as I live for and love my son and think being his mom is the greatest gift I have ever been given this whole parenting gig is sometimes just very, very hard.