The Weird Kid

We visited Crisman yesterday. The school for children with “learning differences.” It looked amazing. We saw the classroom Javan will be in. It was pretty small, but that might be a good thing for someone who can’t take in too much visual info at once. There were four other children in the class, all of whom were happy and excited to see him. They were so sweet coming up to him with big, friendly smiles and wanting to hug him. Unfortunately, Javan’s face said, “Take one more step and I’ll kill you.” So I had to put my arm out in their way and tell them Javan didn’t want to be touched right now. Bummer. I did realize looking at all of them, that in this situation Javan will not be around any typical children. At all. BUT, they teach social skills as an actual subject. Every day. Language Arts, Math, Social Skills…so he won’t be the only kid getting pulled out of the class to have social skills training. He won’t be the “weird kid.” At least not on that account.

The entire day is so highly structured it seems exhausting. But maybe that’s what he needs. It is a pretty long school day, 7-8 hours depending on if I need him in after school care that day or not. They have art/music twice a week, PE every day, and computer class (I forgot to ask how often!). The computer room was the room that made him smile…it will be the highlight of his days. We also saw their sensory room, which wasn’t as grand as I had expected, but again, maybe that’s what a sensory overstimulated child needs. Small simplicities.

Once, Javan ran, and I mean ran down the hall away from us. The teachers at this school are so in tune with these types of kids and their surroundings, every single classroom door opened with little teacher heads popping out to make sure everything was ok. Good sign, I think.

Javan does know he will be visiting the school Monday and Tuesday without Mom. He looks anxious about it, but hasn’t cried or tantrumed about it yet. He told my Mom, in a simple matter of fact way, “I don’t like my school so I’m going to another one.” End of conversation. So at least I know it won’t be a surprise to him and that he understands what will happen. I’m still anxious about the moment when they come out into the parking lot and rip him kicking and screaming from my car. Ouch. It hurts already. And I feel more than slightly guilty that I’m actually looking forward to a day of teaching my other students without him around. Ouch again. But I’ll be so much more free to give them the attention and care that they need and deserve. We can have so much more fun without the restrictions that having Javan around forces us to have.

I guess the separation anxiety goes both ways. At least partly. I’m gonna miss my little man. I wish this situation could have worked out where we could be together for parts of the day all throughout the school day. I’ll especially miss having lunch with him. I’ll probably lock myself in my room at lunch and cry my eyes out. I pray that something amazing will happen Monday and Tuesday that will give me peace that this new school can really help him.

God knows he needs it. The psychiatrist is even stumped over the breaks from reality that Javan experiences. After we visited the school, we went to Javan’s great grandmother’s house for a snack. The pool guys came while we were over, and one of them brought his son. Javan ran right outside to see the boy. I was close on his heels, fearing for the dear boy’s life with him being so close to “Javan’s pool.” To my surprise, Javan was friendly! The boy, Donovan, was nearly seven, and Javan does tend to do better with kids older than him. (He recently told my mom that he doesn’t like playing with kids his age because they’re not smart.) Anyway, they had a pretty nice little conversation and Javan showed him his swingset and everything. Then Donovan wanted to go across the yard and play on the trampoline. Javan went berserk. He kept shouting, “No, don’t blow that up!” He managed to run in between Donovan and the trampoline, pick up a large club (a fallen branch, approximately caveman club size), and rear back. He was serious. I was able to grab the club before it crushed the poor boy’s skull. How embarrassing and scary. I told Donovan he could play on the trampoline and I hauled Javan back inside. I had to walk past the boy’s Daddy to get to “inside.” Knowing that I must be embarrassed and fearing his fatherly wrath, as I passed he smiled and said, “It gets better.” I thought he was being sarcastic at first, but he meant it. He was relating to me as a parent, making it seem less like my kid was abnormal.

I never could figure out why Javan thought the kid would blow up the trampoline, or how. I do know that he meant an actual explosion. But when I asked him how the kid could possibly do that, I just got a blank stare. I hope his new medicines and the professionals at his new school can help sort some of this out.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tamryn
    Sep 10, 2011 @ 13:55:56

    Yay for the dad encouraging you Krista – and for even having a school nearby that Javan can be “normal” at, and for teachers trained and such – can’t wait to hear how Monday and Tuesday go – praying for you guys.


  2. Amy Pruitt
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 20:06:06

    Krista, I have only ever heard the most wonderful things about Crisman. Praying that this is the right fit for Javan. Praying for some peace of mind for you. Hang in there. 🙂


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