Today I celebrate another year on this earth and I am greedily going to ask for a present from each of you. If you could send this blog to one person and encourage them to subscribe I would be most grateful. I would love to add ten new subscribers today. I think we can do it. Thanks in advance.
We enter his class and it is in a word:chaos. The tiny classroom is literally crammed with people. All the parents jockeying for the best place to take pictures of the kids on their “spot” on the rug. Everyone seems to be talking at once and it is extremely warm. The volume is loud-even for me. Ryan seems o.k. with it, only a little startled. His aide, Kathy, spots us and tries to say hello over the din. He pays no attention to her as I take him to his cubby and help him put away his back pack. He looks only mildly anxious. Until the singing starts. When the music is queued, it is at such an unusually loud level, everyone jumps a little. Ryan, decides to scream. Like he’s never screamed before. But, because the music is near deafening and many other children are crying, he doesn’t stand out that much. Except when he pushes over a few kids, and stiff arms a few parents out of the way to escape the classroom.
I stand in complete shock, mouth open, frozen, unable to process the situation. His aide too, is stuck in what looks like horror. It takes me a two-Mississippi-count to realize he is gone. When my wits come back to me, I run out the door after him. This is not what I expected at all and am totally unprepared for him to react this way. I mean I wrote a story. I grab him as he is running down the hall and pull him into a hearty embrace. This is absolutely the opposite of what he wants, but I have no clue what to do. I hold him with all I have. He is crying and wiggling trying to get away from that craziness. I can’t believe I didn’t prepare for this. All these years of behavioral training should have assisted me in this crisis. Yet, I am completely at a loss. As is his aide. Because it takes her a minute to find us and we both chuckle uncomfortably.
“Wow that was unexpected.” She says trying to find humor. Normally I am the first to throw out sarcasm, but the fight Ryan is putting up has me preoccupied.
We wait until mercifully the music stops and parents start to file out. Ryan finally stops trying to escape my grip, but everything about him says he wants no part of this and we try to go in. We have to literally pull him inside while he is screaming. One girl is sobbing uncontrollably on the rug as her mother is trying to disentangle herself. Looking at her, I don’t feel as bad, but still so unsure about it all. Luckily his aide has the presence of mind to kneel down and talk to him as I am still somewhat shell shocked. She somehow gets him to let go of me and bribes him to sit down. The teacher literally shoos me out of the class and shuts the door. In my face.
And then I am standing in the hallway. Alone. Even the mother of the sobbing child is gone. I am left there wondering if he is o.k., should I leave? I wish Dan were here. Why didn’t we have a better plan, a contingency plan? Why didn’t I go over this in more detail with Dr. Hunter? Because she can’t. This is no longer her realm. We are in this with the school from now on…