I personally had a tough time in tonight's Brake shop session. It was raining today, so I did yoga in the morning instead of a walk and it was raining at lunch, so I knitted a sock instead of taking a walk. This resulted in me having some pent-up energy. Then, during the talk, the people in front and behind us were talking. It really bothered me. Oh honestly, it pissed me off. Even the sock was annoying me. (I bring a sock to knit on during every session.)
It brought to mind an image that Dr. Dunc uses, of one's beaker being full. Imagine you have a beaker that holds every little thing that annoys you. In the morning your beaker is empty, but as you go through the day every annoyance, from rainy weather, to a noisy workmen, to a traffic jam, goes into the beaker. Put too many annoyances in the beaker and it starts to overflow. That overflow is a melt down.
I was very close to having a melt down myself tonight and suddenly that beaker image just clicked for me. Now the difference between me and my son is that I kept a lid on that beaker until I was out of the room. Then I let my husband have an earful! And I shook myself, and jumped up and down a bit, and then I had a hug. But Luke doesn't have the brakes to put a lid on the beaker. He probably would have had to remove himself from the situation (I've done that before too).
So I didn't catch the name of tonight's speaker, because people were talking. His discussion was about the accommodations that can be made in school for kids with Leaky Brakes. I'm not going to write out the list, because it was extensive. The key thing is that accommodations must be individualized, doable, and fluid. They must suit the child, teacher and school. It must be something that can actually be accomplished; it's no good saying that the kid can go outside to simmer down if it's the middle of winter in the country. And the accommodation must be subject to change as the child grows or his circumstances change.
In his current situation, Luke has received many accommodations and I honestly couldn't tell you what all they are. I just know they are working for him. Here's some though. He is a "copy kid" in that his homework instructions are written down for him. He gets to use special software at the school to create his written assignments. He gets time with the resource teacher. The accommodations are formalized in a written document called an IEP, or Individualized Education Plan (the link is to a pdf).
I was looking for Luke's IEP so I could share some of it with you, but I couldn't find it tonight. Instead I found my kid's class pictures. Here's Luke in Kindergarten. It made me feel much better.