I've been meaning to post this update for a few weeks now, but it's just been so busy lately! But get ready to have your socks knocked off!!
Jayden is like an entirely different child! Listening (both at home and in public), talking through his frustrations, reasoning, calmly removing himself from stressful situations without having fits, attending to activities in class, no behavior reports from school in THREE WEEKS!! ETC, ETC, ETC!!
First of all, he is no longer on numerous medications that were not even helping his seizures. He is currently only taking one medication and he takes it at night. He hasn't had seizure activity since January. Also, since reading the Explosive Child, I've learned how to talk to Jayden and how to understand why he does what he does. It has helped to lower my stress level and to help him to calm down. Although I have to admit that he hasn't been needing my help to calm down lately aside from simple reassurance.
One major thing that I believe has helped him is that we placed him in a private preschool two days a week. He's in a classroom with all typically developing peers. Whereas, the other 3 days a week, he is in a special needs classroom with multiple kids who each have different disabilities ranging from severe to very minor. Jayden's IEP marks that he has a developmental delay (speech) and epilepsy. Those are his disabilities. However, disability or not, he needs to be in a least restrictive environment, meaning an environment where he is least restricted to learn properly. Prior to enrolling him in the private preschool, Jayden was getting behavior reports everyday from his special needs classroom. He hit someone, he kicked someone, he fought over a toy, he slapped a teacher, he had difficulty attending. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. The teacher even started writing out paragraphs explaining in detail what Jayden was doing :( He was also kicking and screaming at drop off as if he hated school. And the very sight of his teacher made him scream. On a whim, I decided to enroll him into the private preschool. He struggled the first week. He carried his behaviors from the special needs classroom into the new preschool. He was sent home on both days. To say we were frustrated would be putting it lightly. I contemplated pulling him out and just accepting the fact that my child would not be accepted in a typical setting because of his behavior. The director urged us to keep bringing him and told us that they could see that Jayden wants to be there and that they can work with him. We were told that they would not be calling us to come and get him anymore unless he hurt one of the kids in the class (the two incidents were biting the teacher out of frustration. He never hit any kids.) The next week, he had no incidents. Not even with the teachers. The following week, he was sitting in the circle for story time and napping during nap time. This past week, he was amazing. He enjoyed all activities, and listened to all instructions. A model student. He has since pulled those behaviors from the private preschool into the special needs classroom. His teachers there are floored by the improvement. He comes home and tells us what he did in school. He names shapes and colors. He's identifying his letters again. He WANTS to learn. He's learning at the private preschool b/c he is not as restricted. So this proved to me that I need to be sure that he is not placed in a special needs classroom in August due to his "disabilities". His disabilities do not prevent him from learning but he needs to be in the same environment as his typically developing peers. We will make sure that happens for him :)
Oh and about that behavior chart....the book was right...it didn't work. It didn't work b/c he didn't need it anymore! Everyday he was getting smiling faces (he probably got 2 or 3 sad faces within a month's time)everyday and it soon became redundant and boring for all of us. LOL! I enrolled him in summer camp last week. He earned it for sure!