Friday, May 07, 2010

Get This Straight!

I'm gonna do a bit of digressing right off the bat here -hopefully, get it over and done with now and not in between or at the end of this post.

I've been struggling -and I do mean struggling too -to work my way through my reader, to get all the posts read and get it cleared out since shortly after midnight this past Monday night. No, I haven't been reading non-stop for the past three days but at times, it did seem that was what I was going to have to do in order to get my reader down to a zero balance.

Why, what caused this backlog I had all week? Monday night, I returned home from a two-day stay at a hospital down in Pittsburgh and when I logged into my reader, I had 304 posts waiting to be viewed, read, maybe even commented upon too. And I has taken me reading blogs, off and on, every day, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning until now, finally, I got my reader cleared out!

Phew! Talk about tiring me out.

Ok. End of digression and now, on to what is on my mind tonight.

Yesterday afternoon when Maya got home from school -and on Wednesdays, when she gets home, I am always the one here then to greet her, to ask if she has homework, to assist her, try to keep her on track and not let her bully her little brother when he gets home and also, to try to get her to talk, to tell me about things she did in school that day, what new things they covered, what she liked, or disliked and learned.

She's usually not an easy little nut to crack when trying to get information along those lines out of her and this week was no exception.

But I persevered, trying to find a topic that would get her to open up a bit, so maybe we could figure out other ways, maybe inventive ones, that would help her deal with the learning, the school process and in particular, the socialization process all kids have to contend with regardless of whether they are considered to be an "NT" or if they happen to have autism.

But yesterday, in talking to her, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma when, to my surprise, I got her to talk a little bit.

The topic that I landed on was if she played during recess with her friends at school. And her answers to me just hit me in a way that I wanted to cry and also, to wrap my arms around her to prevent the hurts I was feeling for her then from ever happening again.

Would that I could just have that kind of power though.

What she told me initially was a simple, short answer of "No."

So I pushed on a bit asking her then why she hadn't played with any of her friends yesterday. I know she has a few classmates that she does regard as being her "friends" and to my knowledge, there had been no problems before with those kids.

She said well, it was because one "friend" -Jessica -had said they didn't want her to play with them.

Now I know all children, regardless of diagnosis and stuff like that, can and often are blunt; that they often say and do things that are or can be very hurtful to another child. Sometimes things are said that are not really all that hurtful but are perceived by the child on the receiving end of such bluntness as being hurtful and other times, the child either is ignoring that factor or simply doesn't see it in that light.

But hearing her say that -well, it hurt me for her!

When I asked Maya why Jessica had said that, had in essence then ostracized her from herself and their mutual friends, she just shrugged her shoulders and mumbled that she didn't know.

Now I know too that social skills is the area in which Maya has the most difficulty. She can be -often is -pushy, bossy, also a bit nasty at times too. Hey, I've seen her and some of the mean things she does to her little brother and sometimes she does it just to make him upset, to get him to cry so why would I think that she wouldn't also react or respond to her friends perhaps in the same manner as she does to Kurtis. Maybe she hit or pushed another child then or some earlier time and saw nothing wrong with her actions then and maybe those kids were responding to some action along those lines? Who knows?

But it still hurt me, made my heart ache for my little baby girl, my sweet, most precious little granddaughter nevertheless.

I asked her if she had been mean to the other kids. Had she done any of the pushing, hitting, bopping another kid on the head, or perhaps said something totally out of line but which she doesn't comprehend as being mean, spiteful, hurting or just plain wrong?

She said no, she hadn't done anything.

Watching her as she responded to my questions, she didn't really seem upset though -but boy, I was. And trust me, I'm not known to be one who always takes the side of my own child -or in this case -grandchild -in everything they do because I do know for a fact how she can do the same hurtful things and think nothing of it, see no reason why some things will bring consequences on to her and not to others, ya know. When my kids -her mother, her uncle or her aunt -did things that ran along those lines to others, ask them what my reaction then would have been?

They'll tell you that they were the ones who had to prove to me that they were truly innocent of any wrong doing and even then, I often felt they were guilty unless or until proven otherwise.

I mentioned this last night then to Mandy when she got home from work and suggested to her that we mention this and Maya's reaction to the "shunning" of sorts to see if maybe Amanda -Maya's TSS -might be able to talk to her and perhaps draw her out a bit more. (There's always the possibility too that Maya is fabricating things as she is old enough -and smart enough too -to do that kind of stuff now too.

So today, Mandy spoke to Amanda about my observations and such and they then, when working with Maya today tried then to elicit a bit more information from her.

They tried to be as subtle as possible in doing that too but after a while, Maya spoke up and said to Mandy and Amanda (the TSS) that she just wished she were just like everyone else.

Now that really felt like someone had just pierced my heart with a huge stake, ya know.

They tried to talk to her about this some more, to draw out her feelings and such and all of a sudden, she got perturbed with their questions, stomped her feet and yelled, "Why do I have to have a TSS anyway? I don't do anything as bad as some of the other kids in school and THEY don't have to have a TSS so why do I?"

Ah so! In my mind this says that there is some undercurrent there going on where the other kids do see her as different, maybe even a bit problematic at times too and she is noticing and feeling the snubbing that apparently is coming her way.

And how then do I or her mother or the TSS try to counter with all that?

If I had an answer to this problem, a way to help her to be better able to fit in, to blend a bit without conceding over the uniqueness too in the process that makes her who she is, I'd try to move mountains if I could to prevent that kind of hurt being imposed on this beautiful little granddaughter of mine.

Wouldn't you?


Maggie May said...

These are very hurtful things to have to cope with and I don't know what the answer is. Sooner or later it *dawns * on a child that they do have a condition that is different.
I used to get so upset if either of my children had others exclude them or be mean to them. I also would fight any corner for my grandchildren. I am not sure if my autistic grandson feels like this or not but I know his brother is always complaining about having to put up with a brother who has special needs.
Hope this blows over soon.

Nuts in May

fermicat said...

Sorry to hear that other kids are making Maya feel bad. Children can be cruel and I have no idea what you can do about that.

As for blog reading after I've been away... I don't even try to catch up. I just zero out the queue of unread stuff and start over from the present.

TechnoBabe said...

It sounds like your granddaughter is learning more about fitting in and getting along with others though and that is always a good thing for her for the rest of her life. Of course you don't want to see her hurt. She will be hurt sometimes and how she learns how to work through these times is how she will be work through things from now on. The good thing for her is that she knows she is loved at home and it is a safe and loving place for her.

terri said...

I never seem to be caught up completely on my reader. You're not alone there.

My heart aches for Maya and this situation with her friend not wanting her to play. My kids have all been through that at one time or another. Some other child decided they weren't cool enough, good enough or not something enough to play with the group and I was left to try to soothe tears and hurt feelings. I think as parents and grandparents, we all know that these times are almost a right of passage for any kid trying to survive being a kid, but that doesn't ever make it any easier to take.