School Update

How is school going? I don’t know, ya’ll. I’d say not good, but Javan did get two “excellents” in a row last week, so that’s improvement. Even though the other three days were….not good. That’s a bit of an understatement. I’m now having to have my husband come home from work nearly every day to help me load him onto the “bus,” which means he also has to work late on those days. As you can imagine, that adds stress for all of us in different ways. Javan doesn’t get any work done some days, and other days I’m really impressed by the amount he gets done and I think, “I never got him to do that much work when we were homeschooling.” Most days, he’s frighteningly aggressive toward his teacher and aides, almost never to the other children thankfully, and other days he’s his true sweet heart self at school. We visited with Miss Behavior today, and she commented on his intensity. That’s a good way to look at this behavior conundrum. He’s either intensely sweet or intensely not. Intensely loving or intensely aggressive. Intensely happy or intensely angry.

The same goes for his behavior and moods at home. The ups and downs are extreme right now. We have fantastic times and we have horrible times. There isn’t much on between. At home, I’d say we have more fantastic times than horrible ones, so we’re winning, right?

Miss Behavior also talked about Javan’s processing being off, like he processes slowly and misses a lot of what we say. She explained it this way. If all of us are holding funnels up to our ears to catch words and information, his funnel is turned the wrong way. So the big part is against his ear, and only a little of what we say to him actually gets through the tiny funnel part to get to his brain. I thought that idea was profound and makes processing disorders easier to understand. That visual also makes it easier for me to remember to slow down my words and use less of them. He’s so daggum smart that I sometimes forget he needs stuff like that.

He speaks at such a higher level than he needs to be spoken to. Here’s an example that stood out to me this week. We went to the zoo Saturday and observed a hawk exhibit. Knowing how much Javan loves talking about birds of prey, I asked him if the hawk was a bird of prey. His response was precious. “Let’s check it. Large wingspan? Check! Curved beak? Check! Incredibly sharp talons? Check! Yep! That’s a bird of prey!” I can guarantee you that was parroted word for word from a Wild Kratts episode and said in the exact tones of voice and with the same facial expressions as Martin or Chris Kratt, whichever brother delivered those lines. Repeating language like that is called echolalia. Here’s an article on echolalia if you’d like to learn more. So, to hear my big guy using big language like that and then remember that I need to lower my level of language when speaking to him can feel unnatural, but that’s what he needs.

Speaking of my big guy, I’ve been doing yoga for about three months now and am getting ready to add strength training in an attempt to keep my strength greater than his strength/size for as long as possible. Javan is now 4’10, 135 pounds, and wearing a men’s size 10 shoe…so when he’s having an episode or  doesn’t want to do something, that’s a whole LOT of “I don’t wanna” for me to go up against. I really hope that by next year, he’ll be confidently getting on the bus by himself, but if he still requires “assistance,” I’d like to be strong enough to do it myself.

And speaking of getting ready for school next year, we received some awesome amazing fantastic news this morning! The school has put together an awesome extended school year plan for Javan and a handful of his classmates! He will be going to school for two weeks out of each summer month. Each week that he goes will be made up of three half-days of “school.” It won’t be like regular school days though. It’ll be all fun stuff. They’re even going to have summer field trips! Guys, I am over the moon about this. I was really uneasy about how the summer would go, not only for my own sanity, but also because school provides outside structure for Javan. And now there won’t be this huge “back to school” anxiety when it’s time to go back next year, because he will have had recent (hopefully) positive experiences with school. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to everyone involved at the school who put time and effort into planning and implementing this program to help our kiddos be the best that they can be. Miss Behavior, Mrs. Angel, Mrs. Teacher, Mrs. Principal, I thank you by “name” for always putting the kids first. This extended school year program has put my mind at ease concerning summer.

And, GUYS, Javan got another “EXCELLENT” at school today!!!! Hooray!!!! I love seeing him succeed.

And, for today’s funny, I’ll tell you Javan’s current favorite joke. I had bad acid reflux one evening a few days ago and when I drank a little milk, Voila!, it went away. I was so relieved and I said, “You guys gotta remind me next time that milk helps my acid reflux.” My husband and son then continued to needlessly remind me about every thirty seconds that drinking milk helps my acid reflux. Javan thought it was hilarious and has used every opportunity possible to remind me. He’ll call me after I put him in bed…”MOM!” “Sigh…yes, Javan?” “Did you know that drinking milk helps your acid reflex? BAHAHAHAHAHA!” He and my husband even sent that to me as a random text message from across the living roomy one night and when I looked up from my phone in mock exasperation to see their heads put together conspiratorially over my husband’s phone, we all cracked up laughing. So…I’ll leave you with this note that Javan painstakingly wrote BY HIMSELF today while I did my yoga:


Text reads: “mik heps youre acib reefleks” which translates to “milk helps your acid reflex  (reflux).

I love that kid.


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