He has certainly had a number of these incidents at his previous school; most of what Anthony does goes unwritten here because this blog isn't meant as a comprehensive "web log" as much as it is about highlighting new issues without being redundant. But the school staff knew him well and had a general idea of what to expect. We have found that, even though we are specific from the start about the danger with Anthony, it seems each organization has to see it first hand to truly appreciate what we have told them.
In that sense, this is a re-hashing of something I wrote a few years ago after he sent a staffer to the hospital and we were then told they could no longer take him, though they had initially assured us they could handle him even with our cautioning. The difference now is that we are quickly running out of options.
Another recent issue is a morphing of an intermittent problem. We have more than enough of most kinds of clothes for him thanks to the past generosity of people at church, but lately he has started ripping his coats. I am sure that some of this is due to the change in his routine, not being at school, and being with two different service providers (one until 2:00pm and another after that into late afternoon) each day; I believe he has lost the sense of obligation to forbear doing something that provides stimulus to him. Whatever the reason, it's more serious for us than ripping shirts or pants (which he still does); it isn't as common for people to have spare coats hanging around at home as it is for other clothes that have fallen into disuse.
As he has been destroying his coats while in the car with his second service provider in the afternoon, I informed her of this new jacket (that I hoped would be much more difficult to rip) and asked her to take it off him and put it somewhere he couldn't easily reach it. But it turned out that he tore apart this new one, sturdy leather and all, at his first service provider, the same day he head-butted one of the staff there.
Ultimately, I know that both problems would be solved if we could keep him home. It seems like a simple thing, but I'm pretty certain that Anthony prefers to be with us. Likely because we understand him better, his behavior is better with us whether it is at home or taking him outside to run errands. And I do like taking him with me to go places as long as he isn't in a questionable mood. Because he doesn't speak and it's difficult to tell exactly how he feels, my relationship with him isn't the same as what I have with my other two kids, but there's still something of a quiet joy to it that I would be happy to have more often.
On another note, I have felt for several years that I needed to write a book about Anthony once he was out of childhood, and that time is now here. This has been the plan while acknowledging the unlikelihood of such a book finding an audience of any particular size. If, however, the planets somehow align and it ends up on a book club reading list or two, that just might be enough to give me the freedom to venture into another line of work that allows me to keep Anthony home. Here, then, is to inexplicable celestial phenomena!