Susan's Blog

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No Schedule, Dammit

I got the call I hate to get today in the afternoon: Nat had had an outburst with aggression. He had bitten himself (in the arm) and had scratched and pinched the teacher he’d been working with. Terese, the head teacher (whom I love), naturally had an explanation for this. I didn’t even need one, because I could see this coming, what with the weather and the past two weekends, with Nat commenting on lights left on outside and bags that needed to be zipped up.

Terese said that Nat had been saying over and over, “No schedule, no schedule.” Still, the teacher he was with knew that she had to set up his schedule so that he could begin his school work.
“No schedule, no schedule.” As she got the items she needed off the shelf, Nat screamed, bit his arm, and went for her. Terese told me that he calmed down quickly and went on to have a great day, including going to his job.

Later, when the House called, I heard that Nat really loved basketball practice and was happy all evening. When he got on the phone, he sounded tired and hoarse. I asked him, “What happened in school today?”
He said, “You bit yourself.”
I said, “Oh, Natty! You didn’t want to set up the schedule, right?”
“Oh, Darling. You must have hurt yourself. Don’t bite yourself.”
“Nat,” I said, my throat full of tears and love for this guy who just tries so hard to get it right. “You’re a good boy. I love you.” I didn’t know what else to say. He pinched and bit, but he really is a good boy, living in a very hard world.


Ugh this makes me cry. It is so hard to be a mom and so hard to be our kids. They do try so hard. Hope Nat turns a corner and feels a little more at ease soon.

— added by gretchen on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm

And it's sunny today, so may Nat be!

— added by Susan Senator on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

You said exactly the right thing because you, his teachers and we all know that Nat's pinching and biting has nothing what so ever to do with his 'goodness' and everything to do with how complex the world is. You are an amazing lady 🙂

— added by Sue on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm


— added by Estee Klar on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Susan, I've had the same conversation with my son.

He's been having a rough week. So many great weeks in a row, then a shift. Could be the weather or any number of things. We can't control everything that happens around them or to them.

I'm glad Nat went on to have a great day. I always find it amazing that when we ask what happened, they know exactly what we mean. Jane

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Susan I know what you're talking about, but my son overcame this and so will your with time. It helped him to set up the "tend" I know sound silly but in his classroom they set up a little camping tent…when the crisis arrive, Gabriel goes chill out in the tent and when he comes out, it's all gone.
it took a while for him to get used, but now he does everything by himself and being able to auto regulate himself reduced the outbursts in half. The best luck for you and Nat!

— added by Crocheted Little Things on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 12:29 am

This is my first visit to your blog and you made me cry. I have a 7 year old with autism and with him I know it's coming when he can smell new clothes and tell me what store they are from. Little things begin to infuriate him and the dance begins. But in the end…he's a very good boy. : )

— added by Six Green Zebras on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 11:22 am