Have you ever had one of those days you just wish hadn’t happened? Not a wish to start it over, but a wish that it just disappeared and never repeated itself.
Yeah. me too. Today was such a day.
I’m sure some of you have read me talking about (writing about?) my kids. I have six children, five boys and one girl, ranging in age from 25 on down to 3. I also have 5 grandchildren. As I’ve said before, I started having kids at age six… honest. 😀
One of my kids more frequently mentioned, if not here, on my FB page, is my son Jordan. Jordan is sixteen but is always going to be my baby. He is the sweetest boy you could ever know. But he is also Autistic, mildly intellectually challenged, has a severe case of ADHD, some OCD, and other things falling into the emotional/mental disabilities spectrum. He has the emotional and intellectual abilities of about an 8 year old. He is sweet, funny, loving & enjoys helping people. He loves to work with tools though that can end up with broken gadgets and bikes and what have you lol. He loves to “invent” things cooking but rarely does anything of it turn out to be edible. Heck, we all know what THAT’S like though huh? 😀 He loves our cats and adores his siblings. He worries about me and wants to take care of me forever.
He also can get overwhelmed when stressed out, discouraged, angry or pushed too hard. He doesn’t like rules and will rebel if he thinks that one is unfair. He wishes he could do everything but frequently tells me that he feels like he can’t do anything right, is stupid and doesn’t fit in anywhere. Those are the days that I feel my heart crack into little pieces. When he is upset and something (usually chaos or being pushed too hard) triggers him, he can also become violent and aggressive. Not in the bullying sort of way. When he is aware of himself and his surrounding, he wouldn’t hurt a flea and has been known to carry flies outside so that they wouldn’t die. But when he gets upset, he is no longer cognizant of how he is acting. he is pure adrenaline. Today was one of those bad days. He has been doing poorly in school, in part, in my opinion, because they are expecting too much academically from him. He is a sophomore who should have extreme modifications in his work but doesn’t. So when he feels like a failure, he doesn’t try and acts up to get out of working.
Today, something happened that made him lose control. From what I have been told, he sat in the wrong chair in class and rather than say the obvious “oh well, what does it matter? and let him sit there (it was a chair for petes sake!), it was turned into a control issue by the teacher and others were brought in to “help”. It ended with him being restrained (way bad move with an autistic child who doesn’t like being touched other than to be hugged), his biting and spitting on a teacher (again; think young child and temper tantrum) and him being suspended. Now, I agree with the suspension. He can’t be allowed to do that and there have to be consequences. But it didn’t end there. The school is pressing charges of assault against my 16 year old Autistic, mildly retarded, IQ of around 75 boy.
I want someone to explain to me what they think will happen to an extremely vulnerable mentally challenged boy in jail or juvenile detention. He isn’t the type to be able to fend off someone who wanted to hurt him or do other things to him. He would cry, he would beg for me to help him though I wouldn’t be there, he would fight as well as he could but ultimately he would lose. The problems he has also have led to poorer than usual muscle tone and strength. But they want him in jail. They want to take him and put him with men or boys who have REALLY committed assault, have raped, have committed armed robbery, have done drugs, abused parents or siblings and God knows what else.
I want this day to disappear. I want to hug my children and hide them in a cave so no one can ever harm them. I want him to be whole.
There is no subtle way to lead into a recipe today so I won’t try. I’ll just post it.
As Scarlett O Hara said, “After all, tomorrow IS another day”. Dear God, I hope so.
Savory, Onion, Swiss & Sausage Bread Pudding
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 9 cups thinly sliced onions (about 4 to 5 onions depending on size)
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1/3 cup dry red or white wine (I prefer to use a CabernetÂ in this)
- 1 loaf (about 12 ounces) French or Italian bread, cubed (I use the garlic/Parmesan loaf that many stores carry in their bakery section.)
- 4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 cup grated fresh (not the dry nasty kind) Parmesan cheese
- 1 10 ounce package Tyson Italian Sausage Crumbles (or just use regular Italian sausage that you have cooked and crumbled)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream or a mix of cream and half & half
- 1 cup whole milk (you could try this with low fat milk and even use that instead of the cream too, but this isn’t supposed to be a diet dish lol)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt 5 tablespoons butter with the oil in a large pan. Add in the sliced onions and the shallots. Cover and cook over low heat until the onions are tender and limp.
- Uncover, turn heat to medium and cook the onions until golden brown and nicely caramelized. About five minutes before they look done, add in the garlic. Stir well and continue cooking.
- When browned and cooked, pour in the wine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is gone.
- Butter a 13×9 inch baking dish, preferably a glass one.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread, sausage and the onions.
- Melt the last 5 tablespoons of butter and pour it over the bread mixture.
- Add the cheeses.
- In a small bowl, mix the cream, milk, salt and eggs.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread and mix well. Stir this well for about 2 to 3 minutes to make sure all the bread has a chance to start soaking up the cream mixture
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 350 until it is golden brown and cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes. To check doneness, poke a butter knife into the middle. If it comes out wet or dripping, it’s not done. It should be the consistency of a cooked cheesecake. Firm and yet still creamy.
- Let cool for about ten minute before you cut this.
- This is an awesome side dish for a company dinner or a great light meal with a salad for the family. It’s also great for a weekend breakfast. It’s gooey, crispy at the edges because of all the butter used in it and cheesy and oniony and oh my, it’s SO good. One of my favorite side dishes in fact.
Oh, Janet – I’m SO sorry this happened…..I hope that tomorrow does bring better things and hugs to you and yours.
Oh my dear Janet, I am so sorry this is happening. That is just awful. I sure hope they come to their senses.
Oh, Jan, I’m so sorry. As the mom of a child with a disability, I can completely relate. Katie sees things in black and white…and it’s difficult for her to compromise when she thinks she’s right. This is not a Jordan problem, this is a teacher problem. Structure is fine, but there has to be some give when episodes like this occur. Sending you a virtual hug, my friend…you are being a wonderful advocate for your child. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world and you are tops in this category…and don’t you forget it!!! xoxo
PS…fabulous casserole…hubby would go nuts for it!
Oh Janet, I am so sorry. Where is the justice or compassion in treating your son this way? My heart aches for him and I’m praying that this will be resovled in the best way for you and your family. Please let Jordan know that there you have friends that are wishing and praying for the best for him. My grandson is Austistic and I know our family’s hearts would be in knots if he was in this situation.
This recipe does have some goodies in it and love the fact it is all cooked in one big pan! I will take this as a meal-it needs to be enjoyed all on its own. Yum!
I’m so sorry to hear about what has happened 🙁 That’s truly horrible! Gosh, and I thought I had an incredibly bad Monday… This whole situation is really ridiculous and shows how little understanding there is in this world — I hope that whoever decides how things go from now will see this and that the problem will be quickly resolved! Wishing you all the best!
Oh Janet, I am so sorry to hear what happened with your son. I’m working on my Ph.D. in developmental psychology and I do a lot of research on children like your son and how these types of issues impact their performance in school and I also have a younger brother with developmental issues and severe ADHD, so I understand how frustrated you must be right now. It sounds like the school is not giving him the help that he needs. I can’t believe they are pressing charges. Do they offer him any support whatsoever? I don’t know where you live, but it sounds to me like he should have an IEP (individualized education plan) where he receives support from this school.
Oh dear Janet, I wish I had words to make you feel better or could make this go away for you and your son. I will say a little prayer for y’all and send positive thoughts your way. My heart goes out to you. Get a good lawyer!
Thanks looks so amazing! All of my favorite things on one plate! Nom nom nom!
Jan, I’m so sorry all this has happened to you and your son. I wonder if the teacher in question has any training at all to deal with and be teaching special needs students. I some how doubt it. I think the punishment (suspension) is more than enough. Special needs students are not something “to be tolerated” because the state says the schools have to, they should be nurtured just like any other student. The teachers should be finding ways to teach them (special needs) just like they do any other student that has trouble grasping material. If they don’t have the patience or ability to do that, they are in the wrong business and need to get out.
Hugs to you and your family and I’ll be saying a prayer this all works out (without the court’s involvement)
Oh Janet! That is just awful! My best friend’s son is austistic, and he too has had many struggles with people who just don’t understand how to treat him. I agree with Shay – get a GOOD lawyer and fight it! Sending lots of virtual hugs and warm wishes your way!
Wow.. this post just broke my heart, Janet! I feel so bad for you, your family and your son!! What is wrong with this school? Why can’t they see that he is a special needs child and not press charges and make a big “legal” ordeal of this whole thing? You really should get someone involved because it is plain wrong that he is punished in such a way. I will keep you and your son in my prayers and hope that tomorrow does indeed bring a big sunny, rainbow filled day for you. I hope the school gets a clue and gives you and your son the help you both deserve and gives him the education he deserves. God Bless you. ~ Ramona
Your day brings tears to my eyes. I am keeping you and your son is my prayers.
Most of what I would like to write would be unpublishable .I do not understand the lack of understanding for some kids issues. I really hope for a better day for you an cannot even imagine how stressed you are.
Are there any advocacy groups in your area that may be able to help you?
I’ve never tried a savory bread pudding before, but your post makes me want to try it out sometime! Thanks for sharing, looks delicious! Have a good one! =]
I am so sorry to hear this story. I hope some more people with sense come into the picture. Things will get better tomorrow!
I’m not usually a fan of bread pudding, but you’ve made this look so delicious!
Oh wow! I don’t even know what to say. I am on the verge of tears thinking of this happening. How can a school not be more understanding. I truly hope that this can disappear for you and your family!
I had to comment again on this….I was discussing this with hubby and we wondered if the ADA and their legal team can help you. I’m glad other folks agreed…get a lawyer if they don’t drop the charges. I hope everything works out and sending more hugs your way!
I have tears in my eyes. Wish there was something I could do to help you.
Hope everything works out for you. Will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
I’m so sorry for your bad day Janet. You and your son are in my thoughts and prayers!
Oh, what a mess. I am so sorry for you and Jordan. I sure hope there is a positive outcome.
That bread pudding looks mighty comforting…
I’m so sorry Janet 🙁 I just want to hug you! and Jordan!!
Oh Janet. I am so sorry to be reading all of this. How awful for your son. It doesn’t sound like the school handled this well at all. And I am so sorry for the stress you and your family are going through. You guys are in my thoughts and if I can help you in any way please let me know. Hang in there!
Our thoughts are with you and your son. Hopefully people will realize that pressing charges isn’t the answer. On another note, we love the idea of a savory bread pudding. Yum!!!
Janet, I am a new reader and am already in love with your humor, food and now your family. My heart breaks for Jordan and tears are falling. I hope that the charges are dropped when someone at the school wakes up and realizes how ridiculous they’re being. Please keep us posted, I saw your post about losing some subscribers because of being too personal but I think there are many of us that enjoy the human aspect you provide. If people don’t want to read anything personal they should buy a cookbook, not read someone’s blog. 😉 Many hugs to you and Jordan!!
Hey Babe, check out a movie called ‘murder in the first’ with Kevin Bacon.
The school was not the victims of assault, they were the creators of it. Falling victim of to a situation of your creation removes you from victim status and simply makes you an injured, embarassed idiot. That is the reason for the criminal charges. They are hoping that it will deflect attention away from their inexcusable behavior.
There is never, ever, a reason that a professional educator should be unable to find a non violent solution to an issue with a child, particularly a special needs child. They wanted to prove a point to him and the other students in the class, and when that foolish plan blew up in their faces they decided to grovel and cry foul. What a sad group of unprofessional, childish, dilusional people attempting to call themselves educators. I hope you make this cost them a lot of money.
Improperly taking a seat is not an aggressive act, putting their hands on this boy to remove him from that seat was, and all that fallowed falls on their plate, not his. And to do so to someone in a population known to react poorly should be criminal, as it most certainly is malicious and damaging.
This child should never have been allowed into the care of people that have no idea how to deal with an autistic child. You have to accept some responsibility for that. But having accepted him, and the additional funds that come with educating a special needs child, they then have the responsibility to provide him with the resources that he needs to be safe, and succeed. Neither of these things happened.
I have a 15 year old autistic son and I can tell you this; to allow him to be taken from home and put into ‘the system’ is no different than state sanctioned mental/emotional/physical rape. Should they ever come for my son on such bullshit they had better bring food, friends, and lots of ammo, as I would never allow this to happen.
Do not allow your boy to be further victimized. And please, for the sake of all of our autistic children, do not allow the school system to once again pretend to the role of victim to cover their failures.
Your story about your son is a nightmare to even imagine it…let alone to have to live it. I am so sorry this is happening to your family. I’d like to offer some advice and I hope it will help you.
You may be able to find an special needs advocate lawyer in your area. They will be more familiar with the laws regarding your son’s abuse in the class room and may be able to either get the charges dropped or file a countersuit. There may be some wording in your son’s IEP that will give you a leg to stand on and prove that the problem was not your son’s reaction but their approach to resolving the issue. Often times, there will be a condition about offering the “least restrictive environment” or something along those lines that may be of use. An IEP is as legally binding as any contract and if there’s something in there that can help, a special needs advocate will find it.
How is it possible it didn’t even occur to anyone to just exchange the place of the chairs? Surely he was more attached to the seat that the space it took up in the room.
As parents of autistic children, when it comes to the public school system, we are certainly at the mercy of the uneducated, the ignorant and uncaring “professionals” who are supposed to have our children’s best interest at heart.
Don’t feel like you have to tackle the school district all by yourself. Please, please look for an advocate who can help you. The school district is obviously trying to make an example of your son. A good advocate can help you make an example of the school district. Prayers and good luck to you.