Tuesday with Monique


Tuesday seems to be a day I have to be ready. Several Tuesday’s last year and two this have required strength I lack. What is with the second day of the school week? As I sat to write this I turned on Pandora and the first song that played stopped me and reminded me what I need is just a prayer away.

Tuesday

This school year has been rough to say the least. Growing up with autism is hard work!!

Week One

Tuesday following Christmas break I had to pick up my daughter Monique because she refused to go to ‘work’. Work is a transition training program with the local high school to prepare her to work/serve in some way after graduation.

Wednesday I kept her home because she refused to shower on Tuesday. Can’t go to school or work stinky.

Week Two

Monday she refused to get out of bed because her alarm didn’t go off, she forgot to turn it on and I forgot to check. She was late but had a good day.

Today is Tuesday!

She was argumentative and forgot her key. I texted her teacher to see if Monique could make it without me bringing her key to school. She has to use a lock with a key because the combination is too difficult. He responded he was home sick and the kids would not go to work. Immediately thinking, ‘I should just go pick her up, she has a substitute aid and now a substitute teacher.’ Before I could decide the school name showed up on caller ID. Expecting her voice I was only slightly surprised to hear the principal greet me.

She kicked another student and would be suspended for three days.

Really what is the point in her going on Friday? It’s one day then the weekend. Then it’s just one Monday away from Tuesday!

Perspective

From the schools side they are looking toward the ten days of suspension mark. Where protocols collide with disabilities at a manifestation hearing.

We already had one manifestation hearing this year. At a manifestation hearing the education team gathers (special education teacher, regular ed. teacher, administrator, director of student services, school psychologist, parents, case manager from county DD, and others).

  1. First determine if the behavior is related to the disability. Absolutely.
  2. Second establish a plan of action to understand, control, or modify the behavior in question. I wish I knew how! This behavior is new and unpredictable.

Silent tears fall. I pull myself together, scrape the new fallen snow from the van, and head out, praying all the way. I pray through the Stages of Grief by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I add Surrender.

Prayer anchors me

I can’t imagine riding this roller coaster without the comfort prayer offers. Is it a crutch? You bet it is because I would never be able to stand on my own. When we return home the tears fall again and I begin gathering support. A call to action, my texts go to family and friends explaining the situation and our needs; wisdom, tools, insights, and clarity to help Monique communicate clearly and express her emotions, needs, and wants less aggressively and violently. Peace for my heart and good decisions. Prayer is the first and best reaction when life blind-sides me.

Response

When we call out for assistance the worst thing that can happen is no response. I had called out, to God, to friends, to my husband. Assurance and support came from those who love me, texts of prayers and encouragement blew up my phone. The most powerful was the response I got from God. It could have gone unnoticed but I have practiced my listening, and I work to maintain connection. Not only did God use people I know but music by Casting Crowns and Brandon Heath also touched my weakness with His strength. I opened a document that held encouragement from my other daughter from 2012.

Do you know someone who has special needs? Autism? Downs Syndrome? Birth Defects? Genetic Defects? Do you know someone who cares or helps support them? Comment below with a first name and commit to pray for them, I will join you and together may God’s Kingdom come into their lives and bless them.

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