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6th grade, neuroatypical, feel trapped

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  • 6th grade, neuroatypical, feel trapped

    I’m a 12 yr old girl in Northern Virginia. I have aggression and defiance issues, along with obsessive behaviors. I am highly gifted and taking tenth grade math and science. I’m in an extremely restrictive special ed school. I’ve been enrolled for over two years now. I hate it, the only good thing about it is that they give me math on my level. I’m stuck in a class with kids who are below grade level and can’t hold a conversation with me. I’m not allowed to participate in any decisions about my IEP or behavioral plan or anything like that, and yes, I’ve talked to my parents and teachers about it. I’ve read my moms email to see what’s in my IEP reports. It’s infuriating. They think my behaviors are a disability that needs to be restricted and treated, not an inherent part of my personality that needs to be accepted. They think that forcing kids to do things and taking away everything for something as simple as refusing to do a writing assignment is therapy. They think I should be able to socialize with kids my age without over controlling the conversation or getting mad at them. They think I should be able to control my emotions rather than pushing them down until I’m in a relatively safe place to full out explode. They think I should connect with people normally, when I either hate you, are completely indifferent towards you, or possessively love you. They think that being a 12 year old with mental issues makes me incompetent in every aspect of life. They think being unable to control my emotions means I’m unable to function independently. A lot of people don’t even realize kids with behavioral issues can be gifted! My parents never take me anywhere actually cool beyond an ice cream store or something, because I have sensory issues that stop me from doing personal hygiene tasks, and they’re afraid I’ll have an ‘outburst’. They definitely won’t drop me off anywhere. I might have a screaming fit! Or break a rule! Or even slap someone! Sleepovers? Only with my grandparents. I’m treated like a ticking bomb rather than an actual girl. I‘m allowed to stay home alone, but not go anywhere without an adult, because my behaviors are mainly social. I lose myself in the Internet or in my own fictional universes for hours on end because I just want to escape. My main character is a girl who got out of the special ed system with telekinesis, so yeah, escapism prone. I stay up late, sleep late, and don’t get dressed on weekends because there’s no point to it. I don’t have any friend because nobody can accept me the way I am. The only person like that was my school bus attendant who sat next to me for my 2 hour long bus ride and we’d talk about fictional characters. She had to move to Pennsylvania because she couldn’t afford to pay rent. So now I’m stuck in a class full of kids who are even stupider than usual, with adults who don’t trust me to do anything, and vague answers if I do ask about getting out of special ed. It will take a while, it has to go through the system, you need to be more consistent. I have been consistent. I haven’t had an outburst at school since like August! And there’s no reason I should need to change my behavior at home to go back to public school, but they keep telling me I do. I need to get out. Out of this school, and out of my house, and just out of everything! I don’t want to be normal, and I don’t want to be treated normally, I just want to be accepted as I am. And maybe I need to go somewhere else, alone, to do that.

  • #2

    Thanks for reaching out today. It sounds like you’ve got a lot going on, and not getting the acceptance or understanding that you need. It’s totally understandable that you would feel frustrated by being so restricted and not being included in making decisions about your own well-being, especially since you’re functioning at such a high level. It’s great that you have an outlet through creating fiction.

    You mentioned wanting to be back in a traditional school setting, but your parents want you to stay in the special ed school. It can be really challenging when parents don’t see eye to eye with what you see as your needs. One thing you could try is discussing with them exactly what the expectations are that would make them feel comfortable with you going back to the traditional school, and having that written down somewhere. Since you mentioned that you haven’t had an outburst since August, this could be a great piece of leverage in getting them to have that conversation with you. In this kind of calm discussion, they may be more open to your input about what sort of behaviors should or shouldn’t be expected of you and you could start to be part of the process of decision making. If you give us a call, we can talk more about strategies for having difficult conversations like this and what that conversation could look like for you.

    As far as actually going somewhere else, we’re not legal experts here, but the only likely legal avenue for this would be if you were being placed in a different home through something like the Department of Family Services. It’s unlikely that they’ll place you somewhere else for this kind of situation. Since you mentioned that you are allowed to go to your grandparents sometimes, you could try talking with them about maybe staying there more often if you’re feeling ignored or frustrated about your lack of independence. This could provide some short term relief while you work through the issues you’re having with your parents.

    If you were considering running away, we could always talk with you if you call and discuss what that would look like and how you would ensure your safety. There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about this, like how you would support yourself, ensure you have food and shelter, and being cautious of any person who may want to cause you harm. If this is what you’re considering, give us a call and we’ll talk through all of it with you.
    It can be so hard to feel ignored and like you’re not being accepted for who you are. You seem like you’re doing your best to better yourself, which is the most anyone can ask of you. Hopefully things get better at home and at school, but know that if you are ever feeling overwhelmed by it, you can give us a call any time. We are available 24/7 and we’re here to listen. Our phone number is 1-800-RUNAWAY.

    Best, NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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