Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Moving to Australia

OK so I am not really moving to Australia.  It's a line from a children's book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

And today was really THAT crappy.  Not that the book is crappy, in fact its really a good one - one of my favorites!  It's about a kid whose day goes wrong in basically every possible way.

I'm not even going to blog about the day's minor mishaps, like forgetting my carefully packed healthy lunch, or being stranded out in the surprise rain in my flip flops about a mile from the car repair shop, or about my 10 year old being sick at school while I was busy wishing for the umbrella I had left in said car (thankfully a neighbor was available to pick up my sick little man) I won't even write about the crappy off-and-on cell signal that compounded every problem I encountered today.

Instead, this blog is dedicated to my 15 year old son, whom I will refer to as "Bonehead" for his privacy.  Bonehead has not earned many brownie points with me lately (tomorrow I will take pictures to show you what he did to the shrubs in my front yard).....but today aboslutely takes the cake.

Bonehead took his Swiss Army Knife to school today.


Automatic 5 day suspension, and recommendation for expulsion.  It's called zero-tolerance, and we have had this conversation so many times!  I didn't even want him to have the stupid knife, but he convinced hubby and me that he could be 'responsible' with it, and of course whenever I remind him that he can't take it to school, I get the teenage eye-roll with the exasperated "I know, Mom".

This knife thing has gotten honor students expelled - and my dear sweet Bonehead is NOT an honor student!  Genius, yes (normally).  Like, FREAKY genius.  He can solve a Rubik's Cube in under 30 seconds, no matter how much you mix it up.  His record is 22.6 seconds.  He's incredibly brilliant - and failing half of his classes.

To be fair, Bonehead has not had anything come easy to him in school.  He has Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the Autistic Spectrum.  It's primarily a social disorder, also often referred to as 'geek syndrome' because most kids with A.S. are pretty smart academically, but they are socially stunted.  Sort of.  Anyway, Bonehead has had MAJOR behavior problems in school, mostly due to A.S. related issues.  Among other things, he is a bully-magnet, and until recently, didn't deal very well with any type of stress or anxiety.  He's making progress, and is currently (or WAS, before today) in all mainstreamed classes.  He is still considered a 'Special Ed. Student' and we have an IEP meeting scheduled for next week.  Now the IEP will also be a sort of 'hearing' to determine whether or not he will be EXPELLED from school. 

So, adding to the problems he already faces, Bonehead had a really violent reaction when he came home to discover that all his 'toys' had magically disappeared.  My mom had to pick him up from the school when they called about the knife issue, because I was 2 hours away getting my car worked on.  He spent the rest of the day with my mom, so by the time she brought him home I had removed ALL of his 'fun stuff' from his bedroom - his guitar (which he taught himself to play 4 years ago - yes he is BRILLIANT) his dice and card games, his Nintendo DS, and yes, even his collection of Rubik's Cubes.   I disabled his computer (it was impractical to physically remove it from his room).  So, when Bonehead figured out that he was seriously grounded, he started stomping around and throwing stuff, and literally tore his bedroom door off its hinges.

This is where Bonehead calmed down, as fear took over.  When my hubby sees this, he is going to FREAK, so dear sweet little Bonehead immediately went for Dad's tool bag, thinking he could fix this.  Well, he split the wood, so he CAN'T fix it.  This knowledge set him off, and he took off on his skateboard.  I had already locked up his bike, and it did not occur to me to confiscate the skateboard, soooooooooo

Now Bonehead is technically a runaway. 

He has been gone for 3 1/2 hours, and the only reason I am calm enough to WRITE this blog is that I am good friends with the mom of Bonehead's best friend.  She called me to let me know when he showed up at her door a couple hours ago, and he was super upset.  She promised to get him home after dinner, and I am honestly grateful for everything she does for my son - but I hope she is not spoiling him, AKA rewarding his tantrum!  She knows what he did - but has never actually seen his meltdowns, and probably feels sorry for him.


Bonehead, I LOVE YOU, but seriously - what the #$%^&*(&^%$#@*@! were you THINKING?????


Laura said...

Reading this, I was instantly reminded of my husband. I wouldn't say he has AS (he was never analyzed for it and obviously he's in the military). Anyways, he was technically "special ed" in high school as well.
Not because he was actually dumb or even special needs, but because he was a "problem child".
I met him after he had already dropped out, but when we were sitting down with the recruiter his old school records were faxed over and I saw them. He spent the first 2 years of high school failing EVERY SINGLE CLASS. He had all F's. He skipped school and if he had owned a knife, he probably would be the kid who would have taken it to school...just to be "practical", or as a "memento" or something.
Yet he's incredibly smart. He could bore someone for ages about the string theory or the mathematics behind black holes. He also taught himself how to play guitar. He just has trouble applying that knowledge to things that he deems "childish". School is one such thing. High school was "childish" and because the school refused to move him out of special ed, he was intellectually insulted by the menial class work they gave him just to keep him busy.
Damn school system.
Anyways, I don't really know what to tell you, except I can kind of "identify" with his plight just by listening to my husband tell me about his, and being in a world where you know you're "smarter" (academically speaking) than the stuff you are being forced to learn and do in school.
But I hope he doesn't get expelled, as I can only imagine that causes unecessary stress.

Renee said...

Oh my goodness! Having raised 2 BONEHEADS - I completely can relate! There was always one thing after another ~ we "barely" got them to graduation day. Now, looking back on those days I am sooo glad Pook didn't let me smother them with their pillows when I wanted to! They've actually turned out okay!

I hope the school system can work with him and keep him there! Keep us posted!

This is the story of.... said...

I have a fabulous son, joined the marine cadets at age 11, enlisted at age 17, has been serving in Her Majesty's armed Forces for 11 years now and is facing his fourth deployment... never one days trouble in his life and I seriously mean that. He is super disciplined yet can let his hair down with the best of them. Okay that's him.

My daughter on the other hand? Frack!! She is driving me crazy... failing all of her classes, gets distracted even by a dust particle floating in the air, can text while walking and chewing gum yet still can't solve the most basic math problems and she will be 15 next week. Her friends either have juvi warrants or are in treatment for this or that... but that's half the town we live in... Oh biy, I can feel my blood pressure rising.

Suffice to say, fabulous post, I hear you loud and clear, and feel like I'm the President of that club!!

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