Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 11- Therapy School

We started Tanner in therapy at the beginning of last summer. We were having a difficult time learning what situations caused him to over stimulate so we decided about the middle of the summer to put him in intensive therapy school for the rest of the summer. He went to school three days a week for four hours a day. During that time he was exposed to a variety of over stimulating situations.

About two weeks into school we starting getting our answers.

I went to pick him up one day and they asked me to come in for a few minutes. He had been asked to complete a task that he thought was boring. So he refused to do it. After a back and forth "yes you will, no I won't" he exploded. In an angry rage he started throwing chairs in the principal's office, ripping up paper on the principal's desk and when the principal tried to calm him down he spit in her face. It's so hard to describe the looks that he gets when he is in a rage. His face gets red, he grits his teeth, straightens his arms down by his side and squeezes his hands in fists towards the ground.

This was their first real experience with his anger and rage. And I often wonder how surprised they were to see it. They on that day were able to realize for the past three years the hopelessness we had felt, not knowing what to do. They also knew he was in the right place and we as parents were more than ready to start helping him.

After it was over, we sat down and analyzed what happened. Why did it happen? What set him off? What can we do next time to help him? How can we avoid this situation and still get him to take care of his responsibilities?

I think for me this was the first time in a LONG time I felt relief. These were experts, they knew the questions to ask us and him to figure out exactly what was going on in his mind. They had just then seen what caused him to come unglued and knew what we could do to help him. They knew just how smart he was and they believed that he was a great child. He just had sensory and social issues that we needed to work on.

So, now for about six months, we have worked hard on those issues. We have made tremendous progress, but I continue to realize that there will be mountains and valleys.

Right now we are in a valley, but with the communication we have between us, the school and therapy, I believe this valley will be small and soon we will be back on top of the mountain, focusing on his strengths and pushing in the back of our minds, the weaknesses.

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