Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Routines and Honesty

One thing I gathered in a hurry at my job working with James, the boy with Asperger's, is the importance of routines. "What did you have for lunch today, James?", asks Luis. "Did you have pizza or a hamburger?".

James: "I had the same thing I had yesterday and the day before yesterday, and last week and last month and last year..."

In Math class, a paper airplane sailed over to James' desk. He raises his hand at the same time he unwraps and reads the message.

"Mr. Reid", pointing over to the tables pushed together of 4 boys, "they threw this at me and it says; 'vagina'. "

The entire class freezes including myself. I have learned that James can understand the rule that you shouldn't throw things at classmates. But he doesn't think further about how it will turn out if he pronounces certain words out loud.

Students have learned they can BAIT James into doing things they can laugh at. James can not STAND farting noises. He goes into a complete rage and classmates know it. For a good 2 month period this was really a problem and I had to watch out for it. James is a 6'5" big kid and he will fly at anyone who does this. He gives the appearance of a threat when he is mad, basically because he is so big and loud. I have seen school security called after James has been provoked by a series of fart noises. To me this is bullying. My concern is how will James handle irritations outside of a school setting? Can he learn to ignore these triggers?

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