David continues Becky’s story for us…
I thought I would chat a bit about Becky’s experiences in her school career and to be fair, I think I should mention some of the challenges that Becky brought to her school. Suffice to say that at the end of Becky’s years in school she flourished in her interactions with her classmates and teachers.
But it was not an easy journey for anyone, especially Becky.
Becky attended school in a small, rural school district in Missouri. The school system was equipped to deal with students across various categories in special education. But being equipped was not nearly enough to make Becky’s early educational experiences effective. Due to her disabilities, Becky was delayed in going to school by a couple of years, and when she did start attending school, she had a lot of difficulty adjusting to a structured experience. Structure and Becky are not an easy partnership.
Becky was routinely sent home from school for the first several years due to her behaviors and lack of impulse control. It seemed that no one was able to understand that Becky’s behavioral issues of temper tantrums, banging on desks, walls and herself, as well as her repetitive screaming of words (an example would be “broke, broke, broke” – at a very loud, emotional, frustrating manner), were actually her method of communication.
Becky had a limited language capacity for a number of years, and no one was able to understand that Becky’s behaviors were her way of communicating her needs.
You can imagine the stress that Becky’s outbursts had on everyone — her teachers, her aides, her principal, her parents, and just about anyone who came into contact with her. I think some of the hurdles that Becky and her mom had to jump were really caused by the fear of not having the knowledge base to effectively help Becky.
Interestingly enough, during all those years, Becky was able to learn. She learned that to get out of situations that were uncomfortable for her (and most school situations were uncomfortable for Becky), she only needed to take her actions “up a notch”. She then was able to return to her comfort zone – her home. Of course, all of this added more stress to her mother who by then was a single parent.
Eventually Becky, with the help of some very special and dedicated faculty and staff members at her small school, was able to persevere and make it to the glory land for all students, high school.
And I will stop there so as to ponder a bit on some of the challenges and the many great outcomes that Becky experienced in high school.