Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Separation Anxiety

I have been bugging my husband to take me on a trip, one that he has planned himself, that doesn't involve visiting family, or going anywhere we have already been. I particularly wanted to see the coast of Maine in the Fall. Well, I got my wish, we leave in the morning for 4 days in Maine. I am so excited, so why have I been tossing and turning the last few nights? That's right, Mary. Mary has been exhibiting a bit of anxiety, knowing we are going to be gone, which she usually does. I also have a little anxiety over leaving her. For some reason, this time feels different. It actually feels like a physical pain, almost to a point that I don't want to leave her. Honestly, as much as I want to go, if for some reason our trip had to be cancelled, I would be o.k with it.

I think it's because I feel like there is so much going on right now. Mary does not have school on Friday, so I know I don't have anything to worry there. We have just started a whole new acne regimen, one I am really hoping works. We saw a new dermatologist, and he immediately said she needed antibiotics. So with that, a new topical treatment and face wash, we've got quite the routine. It's funny how all the testing, medically, academically, and socially, I know not to get hopeful, and feel like I can take any result. This however, has got me really hopeful. I want her face to clear so badly. Maybe I'm afraid it's going to clear up while I'm gone and I'm going to miss it? Nah, I don't think so, although it would be nice, I don't think it works that quickly.

I always miss Mary when I am away from her. I can't remember the last time I felt like I needed a break from her, although I know we both need a break from each other every now and then. When she was little, my husband and I would take turns doing for her, since she has developed, it's just been me for a long time now. Sure there are still things he can help with, but I just do automatically, and so does Mary. I also am the one with the patience. I have never been a patient person, but with Mary, I am. Leaving this time makes me feel like a piece of me will be missing.
I am not expecting much sleep tonight either, hopefully I can catch some z's on the plane. Mary will miss me, but as long as she knows I will bring her home something, she will be alright.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back to Normal

So, it looks like everything at school is calm for now. I did receive a phone call last week from Mary's teacher, however this time, Mary instigated the confrontation. Mary walked past the boy who was calling her names and gave him a look, and a shrug of the shoulders. I know this look perfectly, we get it all the time when Mary is not happy with us. Hopefully, she has learned her lesson, to just stay away! Mary may not like being teased, but she also lacks a certain bit of fear. I don't want her to be afraid of anyone, but I also don't want her provoking anyone either.

On to the medical front. A week ago, we went for Mary's 3 month checkup. We increased the medicine that is supposed to help her with her anxiety and OCD. So far, so good. Since then, she hasn't been obsessively hanging out in the driveway, waiting for her boys to walk by. Hopefully this is not replaced by some other habit. Anyway, on this particular visit, the Dr had just been visited by a representative from a company called Linegean. They do genetic testing for Autism, Intellectual disabilities, etc. This is a $5,000 test, they were offering to him for patients at no charge to them as long as they had private insurance. Whatever the insurance doesn't pay, the patient will not be charged. Good until Oct. 31. So, the Dr offered it to us, a blood test, as opposed to more academic style testing. We jumped on it! Mary was not happy about giving her blood, but we made it through.

This test may not prove anything, as is the case most of the time when it comes to Mary. When we get the results in about three weeks, we will be assigned a genetic counselor who will help us understand what having or not having certain genetic traits will mean for Mary. It will also give us the opportunity to take all the guess work out of all the tests she has taken in the past. Mary is not a good test taker, which is why she has been called an enigma by her teachers. Also, it will determine exactly what services she needs to ensure her success in school and life in general.
I am a little bit anxious to see where this all leads, but not expecting much. I have learned my lesson a long time ago, there is no magic cure. We love and accept Mary just the way she is. I only want to make sure she gets everything she needs and thankful to have the opportunity to give her that chance.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Honeymoon is Over

Well, I don't even know where to start. Life has been so busy here lately, the thought of sitting down to write seemed to take up too much time. Now, I am at my wits end, I have suppressed entirely too much emotion. I should have been blogging this whole time. It seems when things are going good, I just don't want to sit and write about it. Then, when things aren't so great, I go through a sort of denial process. Ultimately, when things seem to be at their worst, everything seems to surface, and I blow. Today, I blew. In the form of a phone call to Mary's school. With Mary in the car. I was still on the phone when I picked my other two up from their school, (A no-no in the carline). Where, after I hung up, I proceeded to bawl my eyes out. In front of my kids.

School for Mary has been going great. There were a couple of times where she mentioned some kid or the other teasing or just not being nice to her. Nothing too too bad. Then, the math homework coming home was becoming ridiculous. That school, and every teacher involved in Mary's education has been made aware of Mary's math disability. I understand they are still going to give her math, etc.. But this was way too much for her. I was spending over an hour with her, on simple addition. So, I send the teacher an email. Ok, teacher calls me and let's me know that by law, she has to expose Mary to the same math as the general 5th graders, but she won't sent anymore of it home for homework. Great, I'm happy, then she hits me with, "you know, Mary has to take the FCAT, same as all the other students." What??!!!! You have got to be kidding me!. What kind of goofy system sets a child up to take a test they are going to fail? All I can say is, no wonder we read about these stupid tests in the paper everyday. The poor teachers don't think it's right but they have to do it, and then, they, and the school, gets graded on it.
So, now I know Mary is really stressing at school because she has to do this, and, they have been taking mini tests, which she fails.

So, I tell myself, not my problem, we will stick it out for the year, get her right back into a private school next year. I now don't feel guilty using the public school system just to get the scholarship funding from the State of Florida. They deserve to be used! Got past that, then......

Mary's complaints of teasing in the classroom are becoming more frequent. One day last week, she completely broke down when I picked her up and said some boy called her a bitch. Then, someone else threw an eraser at her head. Did she tell the teacher? Yes, she says, they got in trouble. Ok, I'm only halfway boiling. This is happening while she is with the general 5th grade class for science. Why, I have asked, does she need to be included with the regular kids for Science? Because, they say, it's the law. All of the special ed students have to spend so many hours a day being "included" in "regular" activities, as opposed to "special". Sorry for all the quotes, Its my sarcastic interpretation.

When I pick Mary up today, she tells me this boy pushed her. That did it. I think I stopped the car in the middle of traffic, had to compose myself before I could think logically. Tried to calm down, called the school. Carried on like a crazy women. I don't care what the law says, I'm her mother, I don't want her included with anyone other than the kids in her "special" class. I am sure Mary did or said something that may have seemed odd or offensive to this boy, but he did not have the right to push her. Mary does not know how to read social cues, she is determined to hang with kids she has no business being near, and she doesn't know how to interact. I'm sure whatever she said or did, was just Mary being Mary. Of course, they try to get all the kids to understand they need to be tolerant and understanding, etc. You know how that goes. When they are done evaluating her, they will check with the principal, etc, etc.. Make it so she does not have to go to the regular class. Whatever. Later on, at home Mary was saying pussy, pussy. I asked her what and where had she heard that. Apparently, that is what this little boy called her. Thank God I have low blood pressure because at this point I think a heart attack was in order.

Of course tonight would be the night the school has it's 5th grade program. We had to go watch Mary sing on stage with the rest of the 5th graders. As soon as we got there, I had three teachers come up to me and try to comfort me. Mary's main teacher had no idea, because the Science teacher was told. The guidance counselors assured me of meetings, and classroom sessions on bullying, and this and that. Whatever. Mind you now, Mary got over all of it right after she told me about it. Typical Mary, got it out of her system, and moved on, happy as she could be. I, however, will be chewing on this all year.

I have so much more to tell, that has nothing to do with school. There will be another blog post, just not tonight. I am exhausted. By the way, the 5th grade program was wonderful. All songs about America, from Neil Diamond to Lee Greenwood. Mary sung her little heart out, with a big smile on her face, and a wiggle in her hips.