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Friday, January 13, 2012

Not An Angel

I'm looking at Kayla's Weekly Behavior Report from school and wonder where my 'angel' of a child is ... you know ... because kids with Down syndrome are such angels, right? Riiiight.

She only had 4 days of school this week and couldn't even get one green face. At least there were no reds, but she very easily could've been marked red on any of the days.

This is my 'angel's week at school:

Hit another student
Not paying attention in class
Ran into woods at recess
Sticking tongue out at other students; not listening

The first thing she tells me when she gets off the bus is that she 'been bad' or had 'a bad day' or 'got a red face' (although this week it was all yellow faces). Most of the time she can tell me exactly what she did, the reason she didn't get a happy face. But when I ask her the 'why' of it ... why did you hit someone else? Did they get in your face? Take something from you? What provoked it? She usually can't tell me, or doesn't have the words to tell me.

It's frustrating not knowing why she does some of the things she does.

See? It's not all sunshine and tulips in Holland.

It's yellow and red faces.
It's being 'bad.'
It's not making the right choices.
It's not keeping hands to yourself.
It's running away to places you're not supposed to go.
It's sitting in time-out every day after school.

Imagine that. She sounds more like any number of typical kids getting in trouble at school.

Welcome to Holland indeed.

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Bea, OT said...

I've worked in the school district as an OT and sometimes there are really good reasons why an angel will act up...change in schedule, new student, frustrated by new challenges, unable to articulate these frustrations, etc. Yet sometimes it seems like testing boundaries. Sometimes it's just hard to figure out.

I'm sure you'll figure it out together! Hang in there!

ckbrylliant said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for posting about this. So often I hear about 'how happy' kids with Down Syndrome are ALL of the time. That may be the case with some but not around here lately. We are definately in the terrible two's, early, and there is A LOT of screaming in frustration by all of us. We are learning and learning quickly. Lack of words and the ability to communicate is so hard for any two year old, let alone one without words. We are learning how to cope and how to work through this without yelling and frustration. So thank you, I needed this!

Becca said...

This is an EXCELLENT post, Michelle!! So, so true. Samantha will never tell us "why" either for stuff. There's apparently an app for kids with Autism and Ds that has social stories invoving "Wh" questions. I'm looking into getting that for Sammi.

To Love Endlessly said...

oh what?!? she's not always happy? no way!! I get that ALL the time, I'm sure we all do. Thanks for the great post on "keepin" it real :-)

Roo's Mom said...

So far this year we've seen great improvement in behavior overall, but there are still tons of not so good days. Roo often gives herself away because she does what I call an "OCD rant" (hope that doesn't sound offensive!).She'll repeat over and over something she did that was naughty all the way home!She'll say "be nice to Katie" "don't push Emma" or something like that repeatedly so I know exactly what she has been doing. At least that gives me an opportunity to discuss it with her, but I sure wish we'd see progress in interpersonal relations!

Anne RĂ¼sing said...

off topic, but please have a look at http://www.change.org/petitions/childrens-hospital-of-philadelphia-allow-the-kidney-transplant-amelia-needs-to-survive and at today's post on http://www.lovethatmax.com/. Signing would be great, spreading the word even greater.
Thanks from Switzerland

Anonymous said...

Yea, it is called being a child and always trying to figure out the every day and what is "expected" :) that is a challenge for every child and yes, every child has their "up days and down days:) Yes frustrating for parents and Kayla is experiencing "typical" behaviors and etc. Yep, she is a child :) love Mom

Ms. Kathleen said...

We had reports like this with my eldest son and found out later he was being bullied - Just an FYI to keep an eye/ear out. So, many times he was defending himself the best he could. Teachers in no way can see or hear everything that goes on. Bea has listed some great ideas as well.

Other than the FYI - yep, she sounds like a normal girl :)

Cindy said...

It's more normal than people think!

Beth also struggles with 'why'. Even today at 27, when I ask her why she did something or why she acted a certain way, she can't really tell me. I've tried to explain the meaning of the word why, tried to ask the question a different way.... but it's hard!

Here's hopin' for more green faces in Holland! :)

Not a Perfect Mom said...

I always joke we didn't get that model...
the happy well behaved loves every baby with Down Syndrome...
Brooke is sassy, naughty, opinionated, and not likely to warm up to strangers...
breaking stereotypes every day...and I love it...
and now I see what her future in school is like...

The Munck Family said...

Yep...I'm in an area of Holland right now too and it ain't all tulips!

It's called huffy attitude, cutting looks, and being 13! Yep, puberty! Long gone are the hugs and smiles 24/7...welcome teens!

It to shall pass and the tulips in Holland will bloom again...after I get rid of some weeds;)

Typical, yep that's what I would say!