“I don’t want to go! I don’t like it!” My single biggest regret in life has been not listening to my 3-year old son when he said those words.
I was in deep. Everyone was doing it. Everyone sent their kids to preschool, why should I be different? Plus, I did my research, spent a whole year doing mommy-and-me classes at the school, and even chose one of the most prestigious private schools in my area. What could go wrong?
As they opened the door to my car Kade starts screaming and holding onto the door as they literally pull him out to go to school. So, why did I keep sending him? I talked to the teachers and the administrators and they all said the same thing: “Sometimes toddlers have a hard time adjusting to being away from home, just give it a month or so.” So, I did. But instead of it getting better, a month in at a conference his teacher tells me– “We think he should see a behaviorist.” A behaviorist? I had just found out that he is acting out in class! The teacher proceeds to tell me that she thinks he has ADHD because he can’t sit still during lessons, won’t follow basic class rules, and continues to ignore reprimands.
But he’s 3, surely some of this is normal???
One day I get a phone call that Kade is in the office because of his behavior. He yelled at a teacher and refused to sit in time out. So, I pick him up. The next week another phone call to pick him up because he’s now hit a teacher. Let’s just sit on that for a second. My 3-year old that has never lifted a hand at home has HIT a teacher. Why wasn’t that a warning sign instead of a behavior issue. This time he’s not sent to the office but I’m to pick him up straight from the classroom. So, I pick him up.
Instead of blaming the school for some horrible reason, that still angers me, I blamed my child. So, I bring him to the behaviorist they recommend. The behaviorist speaks with him, has him play, tests him for ADD, ADHA, Autism… During these weeks he’s still at school and about twice a week now I have to pick him up because of his behavior. My husband and I are on egg shells waiting for the test outcomes. How could this perfect little baby be an “issue“. Sometimes I wish Kade had been diagnosed with something. Then I would have a word. I would have a source. I would have a reason for his behavior. But no, Kade came back normal. The behaviorist explained the many ranges with things like ADHD and Autism and that normal behavior has similar ranges. Since he was in the normal range the next step was for them to visit the school and see if the source of his behavior was from the environment.
And what they found still haunts me today. Next week I’ll explain why I pulled Kade from preschool and how it doesn’t end there.
Continue reading Kade’s story in “Teachers Can be Bullies! Kade’s Story: Continued”