Monday, February 20, 2017

Writing Vomit #4-Love Hurts

I have bruises on my arms. It's fine. I didn't even realize my arms were bruised until about 15 hours later and found the marks and/or bumped my arm where a bruise happened to be. I work with kids with emotional and behavioral disorders. It is expected in my job that kids will act out. The truth is that kids with emotional and/or behavioral disorders often act out for reasons they cannot control.

My 2 younger kids have learning disorders that are often misinterpreted or belittled. A learning disability does not necessarily mean that a kid is "just being lazy" when they seem unable to complete work. Work avoidance is definitely a concern, but telling a dysgraphic kid that they just need to try harder is like telling a blind kid to try harder to see. Handwriting is replaced with keyboarding or pictures as much as possible. 5 years after the diagnosis for my son and we still fight for accommodations. Dysgraphia affects more than just handwriting. Here's a link that describes dysgraphia in more detail if you are interested in learning about it. Understanding Dysgraphia

Kids with brain disorders that cause them to act aggressively and/or other anti-social behaviors are often born into environments that are not conducive to brain development. Though it should also be noted that poor physical health can also contribute to a lack of proper brain growth.

Case in point on the latter issue is my son again. He suffered from several ear infections as an infant. His health wasn't as bad as many children, but it was enough of an issue that he didn't crawl until after ear tube surgery at 10 months. His brain couldn't concentrate on learning to move until he felt better. The same is true if any basic need is not being met. A child's brain won't develop if basic needs are not met.

I think that many kids with these extreme behavior disorders especially lacked at least one if not more basic needs in utereo, during the birth process, as an infant, or as a toddler. Damage during these formative months and years can cause a child's development to derail. But even if a child passes these years unscathed, trauma later in life can cause irreverable damage.

It is disheartening to see how some of these kids are treated by the adults that claim to care for them. I've been asked several times by adults at my school why we "let" these kids be there. What if it were your child? What if something happened that was beyond your control and your child is the one that has special needs? What if you opened your home to a child who had a less-than desirable infanthood? Do they deserve a chance? Multiple chances?

That is a question I struggle with often. It is hard to see full-time mainstreamed kids have to deal with kids that can't handle a regular classroom. It's hard to see them have to be evacuated from a classroom for safety. It's also hard to see kids in crisis. Kids that deserved and now also deserve better.

The kids I work with want and deserve love. Some crave contact, others avoid it at all costs. Each child is valuable, and loveable. Those of us who work with them value them, and they (for the most part) see that. We are their safe place.

Everyone deserves a safe place.

1 people like me!:

Deborah said...

Proving once again what a caring and open heart you have.


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