Monday, September 14, 2009

Taking a Bite Out of the Ordinary

Wow! So, I don't know exactly how to say this. On Friday, I made my usual trek to pick up the kids at school. Nothing was too unusual there. When I got there, Graham and Ainsley were already waiting for me outside. Nothing unusual there either. Ainsley came running to me as fast as she could to jump in my arms. Still nothing unusual.

Graham on the other hand took his time. He walked very cautiously. Now this was certainly out of the ordinary. By the time he reached me, it was clear. The boy had received another yellow sticker.

This time his note read "Bit friend."

I would love to tell you that this was some funny joke. I would love to tell you that Graham had a silly story to go along with this that would make it all seem not nearly as bad.

I don't.

A boy was pulling Graham's shirt. Graham decided to bite him.

The good news in all of this was that no skin was broken and no one was hurt. It is difficult to tell but I think Graham was just using this as a warning bite, if that makes any sense whatsoever. As in, if you don't stop picking on me a will bite you. I don't know that it makes it any better but it may at least give us some insight into what is going on in his brain.

It is getting very old for me to keep saying how surprising this is. It does not seem right for me to say that Graham is unfailingly kind when I witness this type of behaviour. Kids that hit, kick, or bite are not your good kiddos. Those are not sweet little boys. Those are the kinds of things that mean little kids do.

The problem is that I still know that Graham is an incredibly conscientious child. In fact, every word that I have used to describe him is smack on. That is what makes this situation so difficult and so completely shocking and difficult to comprehend. Graham is not malicious. He is not trying to hurt others. But, why he is choosing to act out in these ways is still unclear.

At this point, our best guess is that this behaviour is attention getting. He is trying to make a name for himself. He is trying to get kids to play with him and he is trying to make lots of friends. The problem is that he does not have the social skills to know how to do that - clearly.

As you can imagine, he has had some pretty stiff punishment. Additionally, we have been working with him very hard throughout the weekend. Lynley and I have both role played with him and we are trying to get to the bottom of this and teach him the tools that we hope will lead him through this episode in his early life. Late Friday afternoon we requested a meeting with Mrs. Lewis (his teacher) to see if we can get any further information. I am hopeful we can meet with her early this week.

I still don't know what the answer is but I know we will get to the bottom of it.

That is what purpose is all about.

1 comment:

Vickie said...

I recommend n early Christmas gift for Graham:

Bootsie Barker Bites by Peggy Rathman

It might offer some perspective and alternatives to him.