Today is the first day of seventh grade. School has begun and those who didn’t think we had much to say during the summer should have hung around. School always makes our lives interesting. So does Autism, Anxiety, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorders. Em got up this morning. She was totally excited to school. She planned out her outfit and how she was going to get through the day. She couldn’t WAIT to be at school. So much so, she was even talking of staying afterschool today. I hesitated and told her let’s just see how today goes.
And sensory overload wins another first day of school round. She’s home after two and a half hours. It was too chaotic (her words) for her to focus (her words) and she has a headache (her words) to much for her to stay (her words). After talking with the resource teacher it is chaotic (always is the first day) and loud (very loud as I could hear it was loud on the phone with them) and we think that if we had forced her to stay (as I’d offered initially to bring ibuprofen up before the true issue came to light from Em) we thought it would bring about a complete meltdown and she’d have shut down.
This is why I always make sure someone is home all day (me for sure in the morning) the first day of school. After talking briefly with her resource teacher, future IEPs we need to consider an option that will have her there for half days on first day of school. She didn’t make it the first day last year either. In fact, I’m not sure how she managed any first days. I think if she did stay in school, part of it was in a meltdown there and/or in her resource room.
That’s the quiet place she goes. Normally her resource room IS a quiet place for her to regroup. But today is chaotic on all fronts. There are kids adjusting like Emelie and asking lots of questions. The plan offered to her was I’d bring her ibuprofen and she’d hang out in resource in the quieter areas but she was escalating. I’ve learned to listen for key words and tones as red flags and today I heard some of those red flags and her resource teacher saw the red flags she’s picked up on from Em last year. Therefore a tough call was made to allow her to come home, with the expectation that she is aware that the rest of the week, she is to STAY at school.
I’m just fortunate that we have a school that overall works with us. Yet her resource teacher is one of the few that understands how it all seems to Em on days like today. The lights. The noise. The incessant chatter and lockers slamming. Kids yelling to other kids they haven’t seen all summer. New routines. New classrooms and teachers. And that’s what I can think of off the top of my head. It takes so much out of her to hold herself together and cope with these things. It saps her energy. She is mentally and physically and emotionally drained. And it shows.
Frankly, I’ll be honest I HATE the idea of her having to coming home. Yet, I’d rather have her here than in a meltdown or more where it’s something that has escalated to a fight or flight situation. Tomorrow things should be calmer. Things should be quieter. If not, we have a plan to get her through the day. She’s resting now and regrouping for another day.
Transitions are always hard. Eventually it slowly comes to a point that she will thrive. It’s just an adjustment time for her at school. And at home too.
Before School After 2 1/2 Hours