We had a meeting with the Mrs. Saint, the teacher in the Emotionally Disturbed unit, about one of our students, Doughboy. It was time for his annual IEP meeting, and although Mom didn't show (no surprise, she's disabled and it's tough for her to get to school), we had the meeting anyway.
I actually didn't even realize that Doughboy was one of Mrs. Saint's kids until I'd had him for a few months and I got some paperwork for him. He's worked his way out of her unit and is in all normal classes at this point. He does pretty well. He's average in intelligence although he talks so fast it's sometimes hard for anyone to understand him. He's goofy and the kids can usually talk him into doing stupid things, which is a problem. He also has some major anger management issues, but so far has been able to control it this year.
So we were somewhat surprised when we asked Mrs. Saint what his actual diagnosis was and she mentioned that he was diagnosed as psychotic and borderline schizophrenic. She mentioned that he's heavily medicated and fortunately that makes him able to function in the normal school population.
She mentioned that last year, when he was a 6th grader and she first came to her unit, she was just getting familiar with him and he seemed to be pretty normal (for her group of kids). She said that one day he was sitting at his desk, working away, while the other kids were having a bit of a conversation around him. The conversation consisted of saying lines from movies and seeing if the other kids could guess what movie it was. Doughboy isn't participating until he hears the line, "I see dead people". At this point Doughboy lifts his head up from his work and says, "I see dead people all the time too, but now I take lots of medication for them and I haven't seen them for a while." At that he turns back to his work and continues.
Mrs. Saint reports that there was complete silence in her room for a few minutes as the kids digested this interesting bit of information. After a few minutes they sort of shifted away and went to work on something else.
Isn't it interesting the kids we get?