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.”
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.