Friday, May 20, 2022

Pit Stop

At the end of the day, we take the students to the gate, and we wait for the buses. 

We have a locked gate and a fenced in waiting area, although half the time we'll leave things unlocked as there are staff around and about supervising. Someone stands at the gate to make sure no one wanders off. 

While most of the students travel to and from school via bus, a few are picked up and dropped off by their families. 

On this day, I was manning the gate. The buses had not yet arrived. A woman approached the gate. 

I recognized her. She's Pizza's mom. 

Usually she waits in her car. Pizza looks out for her car and lets us know when he sees it. But Pizza's class hadn't been dismissed yet. 

Apologizing, she asked if she could be let in to use the restroom. Of course I let her. Another teacher went about finding a key to the closest restroom (as we did not have one--we usually use a different restroom). 

It was at about this time that Pizza arrived at the dismissal area. And he saw his mom's car. But he didn't see his mom. 

I pointed her out and told him it would be a couple minutes. 

He accepted this explanation.

But then he was looking out at the car again. Pizza has a tendency to get anxious about things. He couldn't understand why his mom's car was out there but his mom was not.

I repeated that she was in the restroom and would be out shortly. 

He expressed palpable relief when she reappeared to claim him. 

There's a reason these students are at this school. Many times they can seem quite normal. But then something like this occurs, nothing major but a change to the routine, and it throws them for a loop.

Luckily, Pizza is one of the more "advanced" students, so he can cope better with these sorts of things. Of course, "better" is relative, and at this school, that meant that it made for a couple anxious minutes for Pizza. 

20 comments:

  1. It was probably a couple of anxious minutes for you too, wondering if he'd handle his "missing" mom well. It sounds like you do a terrific job with these adults, so patient. Still, it must be exhausting mentally, and from what you mention sometimes, physically.

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    1. I wasn't really worried about Pizza specifically. He just gets anxious, and at this point I know that about him. I knew he'd be fine once his mom returned.

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  2. From what I've seen as the sister in law of a developmentally disabled man (so I've had some contact here and there with advocates, teachers, and people with similar disabilities over the years). it seems that anxiety goes hand in hand with some conditions. For example, if you take my brother inlaw to a place he wants to go and intend to take a different route, you need to give him a heads up. This has really impacted his life.

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    1. Oh yes, very much so. Changes to the routine throw them for a loop. We try to keep things as regular as we can.

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  3. Even a minor change can throw someone out of whack!

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  4. I always wonder what will happen to them once their parents are gone. I gave gad a few in my office and many are lost, spent the inheritance are in debt and don't have the guidance any more

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    1. Hopefully they have siblings that can help them out.

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  5. Poor Pizza. Change and uncertainty is hard, and certainly more so for some than for others.

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  6. I worry about Regis when I retire. He sometime doesn't do well with changes.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  7. A friend has a developmentally disabled son. I worry about the young man when his parents die. He has a sister, but she was raised by her mom and stepfather and isn’t particularly close to him.

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    1. Hopefully they've spent some time considering the situation. It's something to figure out while everyone is young and healthy.

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  8. I so wished children did not have the burdens of things like this that they had to live with. It has to be really confusing for them. Having these sort of issues sometimes it is so hard to get them to understand the simplest of things when those things are not how they normally are.

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    1. Oh yes, it is best not to change things up on them if at all possible.

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  9. it's good you were there to reassure him until his mum came back! :)

    Hope you are having a great weekend. It's another rainy day here.

    Away From The Blue

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  10. Well, it turned out ok and I can sure relate to Pizza's mom, needing to find a restroom. I'm always looking for one when I'm out and about.

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    1. Yeah, that happens. I'm surprised it hasn't happened before.

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  11. My older two have a hard time changing things up. It can be frustrating at times. I've learned to live with it.

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    1. We try to keep things pretty regular for that reason. But sometimes things come up and we can't. They don't like it when we change things up.

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