One Strike –

This is just one example of what the world T. inhabits is like. It speaks volumes about what his experience is in the world every day.

Yesterday I waited outside the bathroom for T. in the main hallway of the school. As his ed tech approached she said shaking her head, “I would not leave him in there. He could lock the stall.”

Me, “He should lock the stall he’s pooping.  No one wants to walk in on that.”

She, “He locked the stall the other day and wouldn’t come out.”

Me, “Well, he must have come out eventually.”

She, “I don’t let him use public bathrooms anymore. He has to use the private ones and I wedge my shoe in the doorway so he can’t lock it.”

Me, “So, he never gets a chance to do it right again? That’s not a solution. He deserves privacy.” imgres

She, shaking her head in what I assumes she thinks is a sympathetic way, “You really have a time of it don’t you?”

“Yea, I don’t know about that”, I said.

She then told me that the day before T. had hid from her in a locker and it took forever to find him.  I am convinced he is trying to ditch her.

I sauntered away casual-like looking for a locker to hide in.

Later I emailed her and the special education case manager (documenting everything here):

Hello, To follow up on a brief conversation I had with ________. Apparently one time T. refused to unlock the bathroom stall for a period of time. Since then he isn’t allowed to use a public restroom and the bathroom he uses he cannot lock. I think ______ you said you put your foot in the door? I think a kid testing the limits is pretty “typical behavior”. Not allowing him privacy never allows him to do it right.  We are requesting T. be allowed privacy like any other student.

Tip: Don’t make a big deal out of it and he won’t have a show to put on for anyone. Thank you.

We had another helpful professional suggest they create a laminated series of cards with the steps of appropriate bathroom behavior to give to him. I sort of wanted to agree to that strategy only to see what those cards would look like (insert smiley face here).

Here is the reality: A six-year-old bested an adult. That shit happens every day.

This entry was posted in Adopting, By Notatypicalmom, Down syndrome, education, Health, Inclusion, Parenting, Special Needs and tagged , by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

9 thoughts on “One Strike –

  1. I want to say something other than this post just makes me FURIOUS and re-enforces that I can’t handle anything other than homeschooling right now. But I can’t. That makes me FURIOUS and I know I can’t trust myself to not get into a fight with an adult that would say and do such disrespectiful things, a fight which ultimately not be helpful.

    *big love*. That’s just… ugh.

  2. A fear of mine has always been that one of my kids (typical or not) locks themselves in somewhere and cannot figure out how to get out. I try to teach them all how locks work and when to use them. It is so annoying that our kids are only given one shot. How does anyone learn if they never get a chance after making a mistake?

    • I know it’s beyond what I would have imagined. I think he was engaging in a power struggle – normal six year old behavior. Why she thought to take it to this level…

  3. My typical (and very bright) 5 and almost 4-year-old sons regularly lock themselves in the bathroom as part of their play. I assume that with repeated admonitions they will grow out of this….

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