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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spotlight on TJ

I thought I would tell you a little more about my son.  TJ is 13, he'll be 14 on June 19th.  He has Asperger's and some days he acts 24 and some days he acts about 9.  From what I understand though, that's a peculiarity of teenagers as well as Aspies.  He went to a public brick and mortar school from Kindergarten until two weeks after he started seventh grade.  For years, we would get calls that he had an entire desk worth of (finished, no less) homework sometime in the middle of the year.  I would get so frustrated that they wouldn't tell me when one or even two assignments were missing.   His grades were always pretty bad and he really didn't seem to know what was going on in class.  I could get absolutely no cooperation from the school.

Additionally, I would be informed he was getting bullied but he wouldn't even be the one reporting it.  His friends would tell the teacher that he was being bullied.  So the school decided that it wasn't important if he wasn't going to report it.  We knew something was wrong but had trouble getting his pediatrician to listen.  We also have lots of mental illness in my family and didn't want to see something that wasn't there in my son.  Does that make sense?  I didn't want to look so hard for something wrong that I imagined it was there.  I'm not sure its coming out right.  Anyway, I tried so hard to not see something that wasn't there that we missed a real problem.  There were so many signs.

TJ hated the classroom.  It was way too noisy and he couldn't concentrate on the teacher.  We thought the kids must be talking and causing commotion.  Nope, my kid couldn't cope with paper shuffling, pencils scratching, desks creaking, etc.  But I still didn't know what I could do.  Then he came home with bruises.  Of course, there was the time that some kid was harassing him and he called him a "*igger".  Yeah, its the word you were thinking and he was black.  Is TJ racist?  No, he didn't even know what it meant, he was repeating something he had heard the black kids say to each other that made them mad.  In fact, his black friends defended him.  This kid nearly started a race war in his middle school at 12 years old.  The kid called him a cracker and my literal kid said, "Well, I do like club crackers but I don't know why you are calling me a cracker."

You would think that would be the limit, right?  Almost.  The day they took the kids out to pick up the lawn after they were done with a test and he got hit in the eye with piece of metal pipe.  That didn't get him pulled out either.  I really, honestly, didn't know what to do.  But two weeks into seventh grade, he had had a headache every single day.  Some days he missed school, other times he would get it after school.  A doctor's appointment resulted in him getting an acid reducer because my 12 year old was under so much stress that he had ULCERS!  The school is still trying to figure out how to punish him for the n-word and I have just had enough.  We were going to put him in another school and figured out that that would not change his behaviors.  He still couldn't stand normal class noise and we would still have no clue how he was doing.

I was looking over a local ad of ours and saw something for a Mercury Academy Online School.  I called them up, talked to them, and pulled him out that same day.  And we have never looked back.  The kid that rarely got a B and mostly had C's and D's was all A's by his second semester.  This is his second year with the school and he's never had lower than a B.  This quarter he is headed for another report card of all  A's.  I can sit with him and help him with school work if he needs it, I can check on his progress through my own account.  I can communicate with his teachers by e-mail or pager with a no more than 24 hour turn around time, most times a lot less.  Its changed his life.  I am going to finish this with a Bio-Poem he wrote for Language Arts because it says how he feels now.


Thomas

Hard worker, intelligent, caring, impatient

Son of Michelle Bogart and Tom Bogart

Who loved video games, his two Chihuahuas: Snowy and Peanut, and pizza.

Who hated school (used to), loved visiting his cousins, and loved his room made three summers ago.

Who feared bad grades in public school, feared losing his other two dogs (Little Bit and Docker), and feared pain.

Who got straight A’s first year of school here.

Who wanted to see a future with no wars between countries, states, or the world, who also wanted to see teleportation in the future.

Born in Missouri and living in California

Bogart

5 comments:

  1. I am so glad that TJ is thriving in online school! Please tell him that I absolutely loved the poem!

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  2. This makes me so sad, but so happy that he's doing so well now!

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  3. What a great mom you are! So glad you pulled him & so glad he is thriving! Love the poem! :)

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  4. Good kid=good mom. M

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  5. Your post broke my heart. I'm so happy that your son is doing good now, You are a great mom!

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