Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 for 21: Incident Report (9)

When I got to Colin's school today (the daycare he attends after preschool), I had an unexpected incident report waiting for me with Colin's teacher.  Typically, she is waiting for me with news about Colin's day that highlights some of the good things he has done.  However, today the news brought with it a report because Colin bit another student.  We have had a very small handful of these (this makes #3) between the two day care facilities (in 3 years) that Colin has attended, and all of them have come when Colin is in a situation where he is unable to communicate what he wants, needs or feels in that moment (certainly NOT to make excuses for what happened, but all of the teachers have specifically told me that in writing their reports).  There were several times in the past where Colin bit when he was wrestling with other students and they were on top of him and couldn't tell them to get off.  

The way it was explained today, Colin was sitting on a couch and another student was too close in his personal space (although I wasn't exactly sure what happened when it was being explained), so Colin's response was to bite him on his back.  Insert sinking feeling here to be standing there being told this by the teacher.  I signed the form and started to gather Colin's things when another parent came into the room.  Her son walked up to her and began crying, she subsequently asked him what was wrong, and he, as well as the other kids, told her that Colin bit him.  

Ugh.

So, I quickly made my way out of the room (that sounds so cowardly) because neither parent are supposed to know which children were involved as the teacher tried to tell her discreetly what happened.  I mean, in that moment, no words could come to mind to appropriately handle this situation without my emotions getting involved.  

When I got in the car and asked Colin if he bit his friend today, this is the response that I got...


I said to Colin that it wasn't nice to bite our friends and then said right? and he responded "no" with this face...


I continued to have a short discussion with Colin about why it wasn't nice to bite and interjected points about using his words and it was pretty clear that Colin understood what I was saying based on his body language.  


And then, I proceeded to cry.  I felt embarrassed that this other parent knew it was Colin, I felt horrible for Colin because he was unable to communicate the fact that he did not want this little boy so close to him, and then my mind continued to race with possible things that this mother could be thinking or feeling about Colin. In defense of my little boy, he has only bit WHEN he can't communicate and it has always been in relation to kids being too close to him.  Although I know that biting can be a problem that parents face with typical kids, it is also a challenge we face because Colin has Down Syndrome and struggles with communicating a lot of things.  

Biting is a BIG no-no in this house, so when we got home, Colin and I sat down and wrote an apology note to his friend.  I worry that this will happen again (although these incidents have been very few and far in between) because I know how little children like to play (including Colin).  This is a new preschool that Colin attends, I do not know any of the parents, nor do I really know the staff as well as I knew them where Colin once was so, I worry about the reaction that may come from something like this (although, biting is a common issue seen in a daycare facility).  This was not the way I wanted to end my day...

However, on a brighter note, thanks to Chris, I was reminded that exactly one year ago today, Colin stood up for the very first time...and today he stood in the kitchen attempting to jump for us after running through the house.  My how things change...

5 comments:

Deanna said...

Oh I'm so sorry! I teared up reading this. I can imagine how you felt, and I hope that this doesn't become a regular thing for you guys!

Julie said...

Kelli - I know EXACTLY how you feel. Mackenzie bit another child 2 weeks ago and I felt HORRIBLE. I tried to ask her teacher who it was so i could say something to the other parent, but of course they wouldn't tell me. It's so, so, so hard being a parent in situations like this. I know you know, but I have to remind you, you are not alone! The daycare director needed to remind me of that! I also decided that if the two children got to the point of biting one another, they aren't being supervised close enough. Mackenzie has never bit Logan (and vice versa) and I certainly am NOT supervising them in my house as well as I expect them to be supervised in daycare! XO

Jenny said...

Aw, I can understand what you are feeling...That second picture of Colin just makes me want to grab him and give him a hug. I know Russell behaves this way also when he is frustrated and cannot say what he is feeling. It makes me sad.
Hopefully Colin won't do it again.

Kristin said...

Max is mostly over his biting phase, but he still bites too, on occasion. Especially when he's wrestling with his dad. It happens (not that it shouldn't be dealt with - but I wouldn't get overly hung up on it, unless it becomes a common occurrence).

Suze said...

Just remember that EVERY parent has that sinking feeling when they get an incident report. And the guilt. And the worry about what others will think. I think if you address it openly and honestly with the parent, it might help you as we'll as the other parent. There was one "biter" amongst the group at GTCA, and the biter's dad was very open about it, at least with me since we were on a similar pick up schedule. Tommy was a "victim" a few times but I knew it was a frustration thing for kids, and really did not think anything of it. But I was of course always more upset if Tommy was the one who bit, kicked, or hit someone, because you worry what others will think,which is so silly since I did not think anything of it when someone bit Tommy. Do not beat yourself up too much. I think most parents "get it" especially at this age. XO