This week, Toots’ teacher sent home a note for the class which included this:

And so I was left to wonder if I’d see any of this or if Toots would be different.

Look at those eyelashes!

On Tuesday afternoon, about an hour before school was out, I got a call from the school office. He had an eyelash issue.  School personnel cannot stick their fingers in a student’s eye and neither can the tutor.  He was rubbing his eyes, and turned a clump of eyelashes under the lid where they were stuck.  So, I drove to the school and “right side outed” them and he went back to class.

He’s been tired.  Really tired.  The new school is very good but it’s seven hours per day.  He had 3 hours in kindergarten.

The night of the eyelash fix, Toots was unusually quiet, especially for a child who vocally stims nearly all the time.  At home, he played for a bit and then laid down with half his body under the bed.  I asked if he was okay.  No answer.  Asked if he was tired.  No answer.  Asked if he wanted to go to the doctor and got a very soft, “No.”

He did perk up again within the hour and played some online racing games just before he announced that he was going to bed.  He laid down with his head at the foot of the bed and his feet by his pillow and passed out right away.  He slept through the night.

Wednesday, I got this text from Toots‘ tutor:

My son is not really very verbal about how he feelsIn fact, it is a rare occasion, that he tells me anything about his physical state (hot, cold, pain, sick, etc.).  So, I was surprised that he would have said he “hurt”.  That alone was troubling because it had to be pretty bad for him to find words to express it.

My son has epilepsy, though it has always been confined to sleeping hours per his EEGs.  Anything that is related to head pain makes me worry.  The autism makes it very difficult to get information from my son.  So, the fact that he was verbalizing about his head heightened my fear.  Combine the epilepsy, autism and his asthma, and you get one worried mom.

I brought children’s Tylenol to the school, gave him a dose, and left him with his tutor.  All the while, the paragraph from the teacher’s letter remained in my mind as a possible explanation.  When I picked him up at the end of the day, he was sweaty and tired from PE.  He was talkative, excited, and wanted to go for a walk at home and so we did.

On our walk by the boulders, a favorite topic.

I wanted to chalk the headache up to being tired and stressed. Toots travels 60 minutes a day just to get to school and back home.  Four out of five days a week, he has 1-2 hours after school working ABA programs in our office.  When he gets home, he has to do homework.  It’s tough.  Especially when he has a mom like me who knows how good his work can be when he tries.

And so, it played itself out.  Even with my “different” worries, he was okay.  And so, the first grade teacher was right.  “Drama” came with his first hard week.

But, my lesson for the week was that I recognized that he has to try harder, work longer, hold himself in more, and make entirely new friends without the natural communication of other children.  He’s such a hero.  And while other kids might whine or complain, Tootles just smiles.

Happy to be at school!

Yes, he’s learning a lot in first grade, but then again, I am too.


About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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15 Responses to Drama.

  1. The transition to more hours at school has been a tough one here too. I’m seeing more “behaviors” out of Little Miss that I thought were long gone (or at least minimized). I have my fingers crossed that eventually she’s going to get used to the longer days.

    Hang in there — and here’s to a restful weekend!

    • solodialogue says:

      I’m glad Toots’ teacher included that little note! Otherwise, I probably would’ve been at the doctor’s office this week for “drama”… You hang in there too! I think our little ones are going to be just fine. (knock on wood!) 🙂

  2. Mary says:

    School is stressful for them, isn’t it?

    Freckles has those long eyelashes, too, and they are always in her eyes.

    She was sleeping better after we eliminated pop (since I found out I was allergic to corn…) and even she noticed! But this week she’s had trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep and has ended up in my bed a couple nights. So we’ve started the nightly walks back up hoping to tire her out.

    She’s also complaining of headaches. Could be stress, lack of sleep, fall allergies or the Virus of Dizziness that ran through our house this week. It’s so hard to tell.

    Today we have the Art Club. Wish me luck! I will have 12! 4th and 5th graders to take on a walk to the museum. Yikes!

    • solodialogue says:

      I’m glad Freckles is sleeping better!

      Headaches are symptomatic of so many things! It is difficult to tell. I hope the museum trip was a good one! I bet you will have a lot of stories from that walk! Happy Weekend!

  3. Lizbeth says:

    I think drama is an understatement. The transition back to school is hard. Really hard. You guys are doing great!

  4. Kara says:

    Goodness! That kid has some serious lashes! I think you hit the bonus round for stress this week. Hope you can relax a bit this weekend.

  5. That’s a busy day for one small boy, it’s great that he is so cheerful about it all. He really is a gorgeous looking kid. 🙂

  6. Love the teacher’s note. we have had the drama around here too. The boys are exhausted. Wishing you and T a very relaxing and restorative weekend

  7. savvyadvocatemom says:

    Last year, the drama for SensiGirl went on for a month or so. This year, not so much, she has the same school, teacher and classroom. She has different aides and speech specialist a school but she seems to be taking that in stride. Glad Tootles is getting adjusted. Are you adjusted back to work yet?

  8. Just going to school all day is extra hard for our kiddos – and then to have MORE therapies after? It’s just so much for such little kids. I think a little drama is to be completely expected – I’ve been known to rub my eyes and hold my head in my hands when I have to get dressed 5 days in a row. Haven’t tried the halfway under the bed thing but I’m thinking that’s a good idea – maybe if my family sees my feet sticking out from under the bed like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz, they’ll think I’ve finally lost it and leave me alone for a little while! 🙂

    Also, the pictures from Wordless Wednesday are fantastic. Tootles is just growing up so much – that reading and writing BLOWS MY MIND!

  9. I think the note from the teacher is just one more sign that your son is in the right place.

  10. It’s that awful transition thingy again. I hate transition! I hope things get much smoother for him (and you!)

  11. Sue says:

    Love that smile! Glad you have good communication with the school too. What a blessing that is!

  12. Awww! Poor little guy! But what a gorgeous smile, and how wonderful he was able to express that something was bothering him! I’m so glad it was just beginning-of-the-year tiredness!! My little ones have just had their first day of school today! I’m going to go pick them up in an hour!! I remember that pic you posted a while back of two little girls on either side of him holding his hand… TOO cUte!!! I hope things get easier for T and you and he gets back in the swing of things!

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