Thursday, October 18, 2007

Disappearing Act

Scratchy had a very bad Tuesday.

He arrived mad because kids were yelling on the bus. We've noticed that he has issues with noise, which isn't surprising considering this is a kid who also hears voices in his head. During First Period he got mad at the kids that sat near him. During Second Period he again showed his intolerance for noise by screaming at the kids in social studies class to "Shut Up! Be Quiet!". He didn't have too much trouble in my class, although he did a lot of squirming, pencil tapping, wiggling, and scratching. (His legs are covered with scabs and bites.) After lunch he got mad at kids in his Fourth period and yelled at them. By this time Mrs. Math could see that he was rapidly reaching his breaking point and sent him to see the Guidance Mom.

Guidance Mom had him write down what was bothering him, which he did. He also drew a picture of how he felt. The picture was of a huge head with fire and flames coming out of the top and the words "explode!" written across the bottom. If that wasn't enough he proceeded to tear apart the stress ball that the Guidance Mom has had for years. He completely shredded it, pulled the stuffing out, and tore every piece apart. Hundreds of kids have used that ball to relieve stress and anxiety and he's the only one who managed to completely destroy it. She kept the pieces to add to the growing pile of documentation we have on this kid who so badly needs to get tested and identified as emotionally disturbed so he can receive some help!

On Wednesday he did not come to school.

On Wednesday afternoon his mother's boyfriend, who Scratchy and Mom were living with (he's also the parent of another student at our school), called Guidance Mom to let her know that he was concerned about Scratchy because he and Scratchy Mom had had a huge fight and she had packed and moved out, taking Scratchy with her. Guidance Mom, who had been trying for three weeks to get his mother to call us to set up a meeting, asked if he had any forwarding information (especially since the cell number she gave us was his). He said that she had another "friend" a county or so away and may be there. That was it.

He was absent again today.

We probably won't even get a phone call from Mom to withdraw him and will have to wait for another school to contact us for records to find out where he ended up. That school will be his fourth school this year. And, like us, they'll have to go through all the hoops before he can get tested and, most likely, Mom will be off with another boyfriend and he'll be whisked off to another school before his testing happens. And on the cycle goes. He will not get help.

Unless something drastic happens.

And that scares me like you wouldn't believe.

Friday Update: As we suspected, Mom didn't bother to withdraw Scratchy, but showed up at his new school and tried to enroll him. She was apparently royally *pissed* that she actually had to follow the rules in regards to paperwork. Fortunately he is still in the district, so Guidance Mom is going to call over there on Monday and give the guidance folks at his new school the head's up and see if she can get them to test him ASAP without going through all the paperwork B.S. Hopefully this will happen and he will be able to get the help he so desperately needs.


Ms M. said...

This kind of thing makes me so sad for kids like that. Even if they are difficult to deal with, they are kids and it's terrible when they aren't taken care of properly.

Anonymous said...

That child has SERIOUS problems!! He could become dangerous to others and himself if he isn't already. He needs more than being in school. His mother is so self absorbed with her own crisis she's blinded to the fact his is far more serious - indeed, deadly.

Bridget Magnus said...

Oh man.

Hopefully the documentation collected at your school will help him get help, although it frankly sounds like he needs to be institutionalized just to get his diagnosis and meds right. At least if that happens it may temporarily put a stop to the frequent moves!

And I hate to sound cynical, but now you and your colleagues can concentrate on the kids that can be educated. Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, as it were. As much as I feel for this kid, I feel for everyone else in your class even more.

loonyhiker said...

When I hear stories like this it makes me want to just hug that child! I hope guidance mom follows up with the new school. Could this documentation be sent to Social Services? I feel so helpless whne I have students going through these kinds of situation.