Friday, May 15, 2009

Long Week...

I just don't know some days how to keep going. Things haven't been the best in the last few months, but then again, compared to last year they are not near as bad as they were. How do those of you with more than one ASD kids do it? Caleb was dx'd PDD-NOS at 2y9m, and ADHD at 5y7m. Gabe was 5y7m when he was dx'd PDD-NOS, and 6y1m when dx'd Mild MR and a host of other things. Some days are so bad meltdown wise that I wish I didn't even get out of bed. Caleb is a screamer, and since starting school has learned some colorful vocab that he likes to share with anyone that ticks him off. Gabe repeats everything and I do mean EVERY thing that he hears others say. Both are hitters, punchers, hair-pullers. Caleb used to be a headbanger, and Gabe still is when upset.

It's hard enough with one kid doing this all the time, but when they both get going, I may as well pull my own hair out and go bang my own head against a wall. I've run the gamut of responses from other people, the whole "he just needs a good a** warming" being at the top of most peoples lists as to how to fix the problems.

The biggest thing we fight about right now is Gabe and his not sleeping. He is up most nights till 1130 or later, and always -- no matter what time he goes to sleep -- is awake and climbing into our bed by 3-4 am. I've done everything I know to get him into his own bed, to no avail. He starts out the night in his bed (I sit with the boys till they fall asleep or else no one gets to sleep), usually wakes up about midnight or so, and comes down and sits with me while I check email, falls asleep in the recliner. Then wakes again about 3 am, and comes in by us. Hubby leaves for work about 430 am or so, and Gabe sleeps thru till about 830-9 am (thank god for homeschooling, because in public school he had to be up by 6 to get there in time which really wasnt a good thing for him if he had a bad night!). If he has to get woken up earlier than that he is VERY grouchy and not happy for the rest of the day. He has always slept like that though, and naps when he was a baby were horrible. 20-30 minute naps and he woke whenever put down.

Caleb is not the best sleeper either, but he is waaaaayyyyy farther than Gabe, he has a hard time falling asleep, but once asleep he is down for the count till at least 6-7am(assuming that he's asleep by 1030 or so). As I'm typing this, Caleb is settling in bed, the other kids (besides Gabe) are sleeping, and Gabe is crying because he doesn't want to sleep in his bed. I know that part of the problem is that Gabe isn't functioning at *age* level, and doesn't understand some of the things expected of him. But that doesn't make it any easier.

I keep wondering what his future will hold and if I'll be able to handle either one of them when they get older. Gabe is the same size as Caleb even though they are 2 yrs apart, and when angry (or scared) is very strong. He's already started being aggressive (with the other kids and sometimes me) when he feels threatened. It just scares me to think of what might happen when he's older.
He's never been close to his dad, even when I was working and dad was stay at home. Neither was Caleb. But now, he always says for me to make dad go to work, and asks why dad doesn't like him or hurts his feelings or whatever the flavor of the day is. I keep telling him that dad does like him, but he's tired after a long day of work and doesn't want to be yelled at (Gabe has a naturally LOUD voice, almost yelling alllllll the time). He has been telling dad "you dont make the rules, mom does" and "you go away" and of course the all time favorite "you hate me". When he was in public school, he learned the phrase "go to jail", so he also likes to tell dad "you're mean, go to jail" and "I'll call the cops on you". I've corrected him that yes dad does make rules, no dad doesn't hate you, it's not nice to say, etc. But nothing seems to change what he says/thinks about dad. Dad doesn't go out of his way to push his authority on Gabe (at least not as of late), he leaves that to me.

I just don't know sometimes though, he's done so much better since he's been out of public school, but I'm not sure that the trade off is worth it at this point. I'm glad that he's happier at home, and that he's learning so much better here than he was there, but sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice in bringing him home.

Homeschooling is going well, we are getting better with letters and numbers. Now just figuring out how to teach him to read! That's a challenge, because while we are finally past the rejection of all things school related (due to some major issues with things at the public school). he is still very resistant to actively learning anything.

I think the thing that burned my a** the most about his school placement was that they told me flat out that it wasn't about catching him up to grade level, it was about putting him with kids his age.
Some days I wonder what it would be like to have kids without all the issues, and be able to go out and enjoy myself without calling every 1/2 hr while gone to make sure that everyone is ok and not killing each other. At this point, IF I could find a good decent placement for Gabe, I think I might just jump at it. Even though it would be hard for both of us to adjust, and he would probably hate me for it for a while. It hurts to say it but sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it to keep working so hard and pushing to get him to learn. I hate listening to him cry and say that he hates school, but I also hate having to force him to sit and do work with me. At least at school, THEY have to do that, it's not me having to go over and over and over the same things day after day and wonder what's going to stick.

Anyone else feeling this way? I want him to learn, but does it HAVE to be a constant battle?

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