My son is THAT kid

Amy Murray wrote a wonderful post back in November 2014 about THAT kid. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/11/14/teacher-to-parents-about-that-kid-the-one-who-hits-disrupts-and-influences-your-kid/

I knew she was talking about my son as soon as I saw the title.  Reading the article broke my heart because I would love if the teacher could tell you why my son is the way he is.  I would be thrilled if I could send a letter home to the parents of all the kids in his class explaining my son’s issues and behaviors.  Since I can’t I’m putting it here instead.

Please allow me to introduce myself.  I’m the mom of THAT kid.  I’m the mom that:

  • When her kid was finally diagnosed with pediatric bipolar she scoured the internet looking for anYthing and everything she could find on it
  • Will never forget holding the door to her bedroom closed because he was having another explosive meltdown and she was scared of him
  • Is scared, frustrated and sad on his behalf during meltdowns because he doesn’t know what causes them and neither does she
  • Is angry with him and on his behalf because he can’t properly express himself prior to or during a meltdown and she’s tried to teach him over and over and over
  • Spent years and vacation time taking him to various psychologists and therapists and enrolling him in studies trying to find answers as to why he is the way he is
  • Scoured the internet for any and all sites and blogs dealing with his behaviors looking for answers and support (and continues to do so)
  • Took so many parenting classes that she could easily teach a few of them
  • Had him tested before he even entered the school system but was told he didn’t qualify for special services
  • Spent years telling Elementary School over and over TB had a problem and they needed to do another child study
  • Used more vacation time picking him up from school and staying home with him because he had been suspended (or “early released” as the principal called it) AGAIN
  • Was told over and over that because his grades were fine he didn’t qualify for an IEP even though his behavior consantly disrupted class
  • When the principal would call the first thing out of her mouth was, “What did he do THIS time?”
  • When he was finally given an IEP she knew in her gut there was something more to the puzzle that was him
  • Did Elementary School’s job by spending hours on her county’s school website and found Education Center (TB’s current school)
  • Cried on the phone to the Parent Ombudsman of her state Department of Education and principal of Education Center because Elementary School hadn’t told her about Education Center even though Elementary’s principal had said years ago that Elementary may not be the place for him
  • Cried harder to her husband after Education Center’s counselor told them as soon as the principal met and observed TB she wanted him at Education Center
  • Still cries when talking or writing about fighting with Elementary School
  • Will always be waiting for a call from school saying there’s a problem and she has to come get him
  • Has the doctors on speed-dial when it’s bad enough that she has to make another emergency appointment
  • Is convinced she’s never been, and will never be, a good parent because she gets so upset and frustrated when he acts up that she yells at him
  • Is convinced she should know by now what sets him off, how to lessen the meltdowns/explosions and what will help him calm down when he does meltdown/explode
  • Does not hesitate to tell you about TB mental illness and the stigma of it all

And most important:

  • Is thankful she has a partner that supports her 110% because she has no idea how she’d get through this without him
  • Noticed there’s information out there about pediatric bipolar but not many blogs so she decided to start one
  • Does all she can to spread awareness of pediatric bipolar and stop the stigma
  • Has talked and will continue to talk with the parents in all of her kid’s classes about his issues and behaviors
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