Day #346 – The Trouble With Subs, Part 1 of 2

Not the sandwiches – we have NO problems on that front.

On Day #310 I wrote about Tucker’s struggles with receiving help.  From talking with other ASD parents it seems fairly common. When you add in the nature of adolescence…whew…need I say more?

Tucker actually has a great respect for authority.  His teachers?  No problem.  His Principals?  No problem.  His mother?  No problem.

If Tucker’s teachers are reading this – they know what’s coming.

Tucker struggles with substitutes and teaching aids.  Tucker’s reaction to substitutes is opposite of many children.  He’s NOT thankful for the lack of structure and rules – that is exactly what he needs to succeed.  He always has, and probably always will struggle with substitutes and teaching/student aids.

This became a real issue about two days ago.  I received a message from his Social Studies teacher that she will not be returning this year.  She had a baby during the school year and has decided to take a year off to be with her family.  Goodness…I was so happy for her.

And…so not happy for us.

But…so happy for her.

How to break the news to Tucker.  I decided to just let him read the email.  I could see it in his face as he read…increasing anxiety.  When he finished I simply asked him if he was okay.  He replied, “Mom, Mrs. H. is a good mom.  That doesn’t surprise me…but I’ll miss her a lot.”

Whew…dodged the bullet.  At least for now.

Before I go any further I want to AGAIN write about the teachers we have on our side.  In the midst of this difficult decision she thought about US.  She thought about Tucker.  She knew it wouldn’t be a good situation if he arrived at school on Monday and found out.  She gets it – and for that reason alone…I’m so thankful she was in our life, but so sad we’ve lost her for the year.

But now…onto the problem with substitutes.  With the absence of Mrs. H we will have a substitute.  We’ve been lucky to have these great teachers because most of the time they communicate the use of a substitute directly with Tucker or with me.  I truly believe the issue is like an equilateral triangle.  All issues equally troubling (to Tucker).

Surprises are not good.
There is one teacher that holds power in a classroom.
These teachers (like Mrs. H.) have worked at ‘getting’ Tucker.  They know his triggers and they know how to get him back on track.

Surprise are not good – they never have been.  Remember the time he nearly jumped out of my vehicle because I didn’t tell him we were going to the movie store?  This is real.  I’m serious.  This is real life. Everything planned. Everything structured.  Everything organized.  Everything talked about.  No surprises.  What is a substitute?  A surprise which leads to all types of questions:

Is my teacher okay?
Did something happen in their family?
Did they get into an accident?
Is someone keeping something from me?
When is my teacher coming back?
What is my teacher doing?
Doesn’t my teacher they know I need them?

His brain spins and rolls trying to find meaning to this trusted person’s absence.

Tomorrow?  A continuation on this conversation…


6 thoughts on “Day #346 – The Trouble With Subs, Part 1 of 2

    • Maybe there should be some type of process where the regular teacher leaves a bit of information? I know – it’s probably against privacy laws…but if it ended up with my child having a better day in the classroom – I wouldn’t mind one bit, right?


  1. Pingback: Day #347 – The Trouble With Subs, Part 2 of 2 | 366 Days of Autism

  2. Pingback: Day #327 – Indexing | 366 Days of Autism

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