During the fall of last year we had started in the program ran by the state to help children under the age of 3 that had disabilities, or problems with speech, and I don't know what else. I was working at the time as a manager of a restaurant during the day and Connor was enrolled at a daycare/preschool close to the house. He was not verbal at all at the point except for a few numbers and a lot of babbling. Shortly after enrolling he started counting higher and would use his fingers to count, but there were problems.
He had only been there a month and the director was less than pleased with how he was fitting in. He didn't talk (which I told them before enrolling), he had to hold something in his hand at most times and they didn't feel this was fair because the other kids weren't allowed to do that. He wouldn't even try to go to the restroom when the other kids were well on there way to being potty trained. Then questions from all the staff.
"Does he ever say anything?"
"Does he crumble up food and throw it on the floor at home?"
"Why wont he respond when we call him?"
"Why wont he sit during circle time?"
"Why will he not play with the other children?"
The director then told me she was willing to work with me, but we might need to look for other placement. Maybe I need to look at a daycare for "Special needs" and they couldn't move him to the 3 year old room if not potty trained.
My schedule at work was that sometimes I would be off at five, sometimes at two. On the days I would get off at five, Connor would be sitting in someones lap or under their chair. When I would come in he would smile at me and say "Hi!" I started to think that maybe things were turning around. Then the days I would get off at two I would come in and sneak a look in the classroom before making my presence known. Every single time he would be away from the rest laying on the floor running a car back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes I wouldn't be able to see him because he was laying to close to the door or under a table.
He had an OT and Speech therapist coming in every week, they had concerns as well. The classroom wasn't able to facilitate a hiding place for him when things got to be too much. The daycare staff was not consistent with him. Some days they would let him go to the tunnel in the playground that was on the bigger kids' side. Some days he wouldn't be allowed to. The therapists told me they felt the staff had given up on him and decided to let him do what he wanted as long as he didn't hurt himself or anyone else.
I can't tell you how much that hurt my heart. I knew there was a very bright little boy in there somewhere. A little boy that loved to snuggle and give kisses. It hurt that these people that had me convinced that they gave a fig about my boy had just given up and taken the easy way out.
Then one Monday in December I picked Connor up and that night during his bath I saw not one, not two, but three bite marks on his back. They were not just little teeth marks, but rather like the vampire who bite him had tried to suck him dry. They were purplish like blood blisters and no one had bothered to tell me anything. The next morning I confronted the "teacher" of the room. She told me Connor had taken a toy away from another child and then ran from the kid, and that when anything like that happened there was an accident report put on the wall. She then showed me where.
I had never been told about this paper before or showed where it was. I read the report (that was very small on a graph) stating nothing short of Connor being the instigator of a riot and had tried to wrestle with another child. WHAT?! So much for peer interaction. I grabbed Connor and his belongings and we left. I am sure much to their relief. I then called my employer told them something along the lines of, I had no childcare and they needed to find my replacement.
We got his diagnosis for autism on January 4th of this year and that made me even more furious with the people at the daycare. I feel sorry for the next family, and I am sure there will be another because of the increase of autism these days. I hope they have their diagnosis before hand and then they wont be allowed to give this family as much trouble as they gave me.
We pass the daycare fairly often these days, and what use to be a cause of tantrums for Connor seem to be all but forgotten. If only I was as mature. No matter what time of day or night, no matter who might be out front, I always have to give my one finger salute. One day I may grow up and be a good role model for my children. I hope it's soon.