therapy turned V into a brat

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Yesterday afternoon was not a good one. We went for V's playtherapy which he enjoys. She had told him from the start: "you're the boss" and V was very surprised but liked the idea. After 1 month of going there, I asked her what she saw and where things were going (as I'm not in the room).
    She answered briefly saying she is still establishing the trust and observing.
    Keep in mind that V does not create world's of imagination. he either chases people around, wrestle, position his animals/cars around (don't actually line up to often but put them around the furniture, lamps,etc) or make his vehicles/animals fight. She said that V does not include her in his play (typical) but she will still be able to learn what he does and it will reflect his inner feelings. Minor and subtle differences will be revealing.
    I then read her pamphlet about the theory behind her therapy (she forgot to give it to me a couple weeks ago). It states that the child takes the lead and limits exist but are not voiced out unless the child decides to cross them. She wants the child to experience it and then be able to stop himself. It is supposed to make the child feel in control in a safe and understanding environment. Then the child will work his inner feelings through play (just like adults do through words).
    It seems all nice in theory, although V does not have "issues" to work out. But instead he needs to learn to accept other people's feelings and perspective. Think outside his bubble like husband would put it. Don't get me wrong, V is very caring as long as it does not come between his needs and wants or what he thinks should be.
    Now yesterday, V came out of the session laughing really loud. At first I smile and say out loud "that's nice V, you are laughing", but then the therapist tells me with a smile and soft voice "we had to put limits today, didn't we V (who is still laughing). No hitting me (he smashed her toes), no breaking toys and no hurting ourselves". She tried to make V say it, but V would laugh and shake his shoulders so she finished telling the rules herself.
    AT the time, I did not say much but just thought V did not get it because her tone did not match the severity of his actions. At home: aggressive behaviors are a big NO and he is sent to his room right away if it happens (we had some issues with agressions a few months back).
    On the ride back, V was wild! Laughing, saying he was going to slap himself and actually did it hard. Since I was on the wheel, I just used my big voice and said "that's enough. we don't act like that. no slapping." More then the words, the intensity of my voice usually stops him.
    We came home and he was still wired. I was tired myself and asked the boys to please just give me a break. For 1 hour, I kept on saying, play nicely I'm tired, I need a break. Don't come to me for a little while and go play downstairs if you want to be loud.
    V kept on going after his brother, wrestling him until eventually they got so wild in the living room and V knocked the plants down with dirt all over...
    I lost it and screamed quite a bit :( Made V clean up the dirt and Partner pick up all the toys. I'm sorry I snapped, I needed a break and with a 1, 4 and 6 year old I can't just go for a walk on my own.... I still need to surpervise.
    But then I also blame the playtherapy for it. Aren't kids supposed to walk out calmer???
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Ugh, what a day. Do you like this therapist? That type of play therapy seems more for abuse survivors than for kids with daughter.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hate to sound cynical, but I think this is true for perhaps 98 per cent of the human race... :)
    Sorry you had such an unpromising day. Therapy is such a tricky thing, in general, I think - so useful when it is the right person and approach, such a waste of time when it isn't. What is your gut feeling about this therapist and her approach? What does she see as her goals for V?
    Hope today is better.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    My kids went through play therapy after the abuse. It was GREAT for that. I don't think it will TEACH him anything AT ALL. That is not what play therapy does. Personally, if it weren't for the abuse, it would have been a waste of time. sorry you had such a tough night.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    TeDo - that's my understanding of play therapy, as well... for known challenging PTSD-type experiences (I know kids who needed play therapy because they were in a major accident, and one parent seriously hurt)... The kids can't verbalize their feelings, but they can "work" through it.

    None of which applies to V.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    I was reading this and wondering why V was in this therapy. Does not sound like what he needs. As the others mentioned AND the therapist pamphlet mentioned, this is for kids to work out heir feelings - this is not an issue for V. in my opinion you need to find a new therapist or get this therapist to do something that will be practical for V.

    I'll say that therapists can be a very strange bunch. The last ones I worked with told me they could help my kids with all their various issues. I went in believing this could be true so was open to the idea. In reality, the only one they were able to help was DD2 - she's my "easiest" most neurotypical child. With the other two, they were pretty much useless. It wasn't that thye didn't try, it's just that they had "their way" of doing things and didn't adapt to my kids.

    Anyway, the point is that this method does not seem as if it will do any good for V. In fact it could even set his behavior BACK a few notches. Is this therapist even aware that V needs help with BEHAVIOR and not feelings?
  7. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    It seems all nice in theory, although V does not have "issues" to work out. But instead he needs to learn to accept other people's feelings and perspective

    this kind of sounds more like speech therapy for pragmatics to me...i dont know who teaches theory of mind, but i'd doubt it was a behavioral therapist--maybe a psychologist....what are her qualifications for that kind of thing?

    i have the same understanding of play therapy as the others--its more a way to work out what cant be verbalized.

    but like keista, i went into the goofiest therapy of all time thinking it would work (sand tray therapy)...dont ask me why because i'm generally skeptical of the whole profession. it quickly became evident that it didnt do a thing for mine...and the "characters" she chose for the therapy were hardly based on real people and things to work out--she picked things she knew, things that were sparkley, things that were cats, etc.

    i quickly moved on.

    because she thought they were cute.

    sorry it was so rough yesterday.
  8. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I read the pamphlet after coming home, and that was exactly my question: how does this apply to V?
    I a bit confused with the therapist, she says she'll use some "teachable moments" but yet does not intervein or guide the child's play.
    V's problems are neurological, not circumstancial. I believe he needs active teaching for his lacking skills: learn to say "I did not understand" instead of becoming agitated, learn that everything is not about V, that plans change and it's ok, etc...
    I guess there is one things he always experience: frustration. But unless we tackle the lacking skills, the frustration will not go away...
    I need to talk to her again next week.
    If it were you, how would you try to achieve those goals? I know they seem broad, but I really don't know how to handle (that's why I was seeking terapy for him to begin with). I need something VERY practical, functional.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Mommy gut is right.
    You need a therapist who understands Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) - even if V ends up not "meeting diagnostic cutoffs", he may well have some traits - and the kind of interventions that work for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are probably a better road to try, then traditional play therapy. (JMO)
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Does she work with kids who have autism? Q sees a counselor and it is the first time I haven't fired one in 15 years. If a child does not have representational play skills, can't take the perspective of others then that is the type of therapy angle needed. His play (positioning things up ---true they dont all make straight lines, one kid I know put all animals with antlers facing eachohter, Q makes parking lots around the house and piles up "guys" to have parties when he watches NASCAR etc.)--does sound typical of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). (inc the liking to be with others, but doing chase games etc... our preschool autism class was filled with that kind of play and each kid had the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)).
    Q's counselor works from an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) teaching perspective, using social stories, cartoon scripts to teach about feelings and perspectives, board games with practice answers, etc. LOTS of visual cues to practice how to calm himself and recognize levels of emotion. Learning coping skills, like squeeze relax (they squeeze their hands and relax... Q has done that since preschool) and other Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) types of skills (blowing pretend candles on his each one is blown then the finger goes down so they are doing deep breathing...and counting...) etc.

    Can you ask if there is anyone who knows how to work with kids who have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) characteristics?
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    As one who has been through waaaayyyy too many "useless" therapies, I feel for you. In my experience, quitting these therapies makes it look as if the parents aren't giving it a I almost think you need to go to another couple of sessions - and THEN ask the therapist if she thinks you need to try something else. If V is hitting her, she is seeing first hand some of the difficulties. It shouldn't be long before she sees that her therapy is not working. Maybe she will be able to refer you to a more appropriate therapist?

    I would say that V would probably benefit from working in a social skills group - learning how to take turns, give and take in a conversation, that sort of thing...
  12. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Exactly. And to be honest, I do want to give it a chance. At that point, that is the only option we have left locally. I'll probably keep my mouth shut next time and see how V is when he walks out. My parents are arriving from France tomorrow, so I know he will be a handful for the next 3 weeks (maybe more, after they live). It will be interesting to see how she deals with V then.
    At that point, I don't believe she can truly hurt him. But I will not accept for him to walk out transformed into a little brat every single session.
    A social group had already been advised by another therapist (the one who ruled out Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), go figure...), but it does not exist where we are...
    It is becoming more and more obvious that I will be the most important player in his gaining functional skills. I just wish I had someone in real life to guide us a little.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hey! I know you have a TON of free time, (OK I am clearly kidding about that) but I will say, I applied for and got a grant for 3000 one time and used it to fund a social skills play group. We sent out emails through the schools and met as families... all kids welcome including sibs, bought some toys...including high interest cards, games, art supplies, squishy stuff like playdough, etc... so that it did not have to be organized games... and met at playgrounds or in group rooms (I even brought my swing/tripod to use for a sensory thing) and we all created our own social skills group. Lots of parents there who had experience in working with kids who needed support, PCA's came too, and we really did have a good time. Not exactly therapy but it was a great way to practice skills they were learning in other settings, and it gave us a chance to be with people who got it...without having to find care for those who had sibs they had to bring along.
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    It would be good if you could find out the name of that therapy for autistic children based on constant stimulation because one of the reported benefits was greatly improved social functioning... All the therapy was with adults, but learning to interact appropriately with adults must extend to interacting with other children. I wish I could remember the name of it...
  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

  16. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Thanks Malika, I will check it out! When I have 5 minutes to myself, Ha Ha.
    Buddy, I'm not sure about doing our own social group, but I have implemented a lot of your suggestions (just last night, V used his task board for the first time and he LOVED it) and it always amaze me to see the results. I have limited the task board to 8 tasks (2 in the morning, 6 at night: put diaper in the garbage, get dressed, take shower, clothes in laundry, put diaper on, brush teeth, pick up toys, go potty). It alse made me realize of how many more things I asked from him (obviously way too much for now).
    As I learn to teach him, V learns to understand what is expected from him.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    LOL! you dont think you have a bunch of extra time for that??? HAHA, I kind of figured. But it can be done much less formally if you ever get to a place where you need that social practice time and a way to do that there are such easy email groups people can just say meet here or there and families can show up. For now, you have enough on your plate!

    So glad the task board works... those kinds of supports can really be brought into school and therapy too.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Share this with the therapist. Involve her, engage her in your brand of problems. She also needs to know how things went after you got home. She needs to see that she des not have the cure-all. From there, you could be in luck - once she gets it, she could be in a position to either refer you to someone more appropriate, or she may be able to adapt to his needs.

    It is scary, but I came to the conclusion years ago that I know my child best and in the absence of professional services which can meet his needs, I am the best option. Where no therapies existed then I invented something myself. It is interesting now to see easy child 2/difficult child 2 using my techniques on her autistic student that she is an aide for. She has found some of my techniques repeated in textbooks, but a lot are not. I reminded her of a couple last week and she is trying them.

    Role playing games are really effective, suggest them to the therapist. Tea parties are a good way of teaching turn-taking and good manners. Might not work so well for boys... doing a puzzle together, each of you taking turns to put a piece of puzzle in place, is another good one. Rolling a ball to one another - if you don't roll it back, you can't receive it again! Board games are good. Card games (Go Fish). Chess, for older kids who can handle it. They all involve turn-taking and some level of strategy.

    When I was especially bedridden, I had a game I played with the kids that involved a balloon. I would be lying on the bed and could use any part of my body to hit the balloon back. The kid had to stop the balloon from landing on the floor. Hitting only, no holding the balloon. One kid at a time otherwise it is too challenging and the game is unbalanced.

    Reading books together is good - one of us would read the speech tags as dialogue and put on different voices, while the other read the narration. We would swap over too, and I loved to hear difficult child 3 put my intonations and expression into the readings, he learned to read with expression that way. We would snuggle on the bed and read the same book together. A special treat. Wish he'd do it now, but at 18...

  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I know you are whalloped with information but I will share one more with you. I have actually talked to this man and it connects well with Greene's stuff....

    RDI is called Relationship Development Intervention. It is by Steve Gutstein and the difference is that activities are provided for you to do at home. It was partially developed in response to criticisms of ABA (which I am not against but it is not for everything) it starts where they child is lagging in skills and helps develop the motivation and understanding of social communication. Several other therapists and I started incorporating many of the activities and games into our preschool communication and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) classes. We then started moving to higher levels and using it in elementary and mid. school. Q and I did lots of this stuff.... (and by that I mean there are ways to just walk side by side that become a game, you go on levels and it is easy to do stuff AT HOME) this is important because you are right, WE are our children's number ONE therapists....what we learn in Occupational Therapist (OT) and SLT should be things we can carry on at home.

    IT is really a nice way to work on social communication. The website used to list activities and have boards where even people with autism would talk about how the activities helped seems to have changed over the years but you can purchase the books and assessment checklists to know where to start. The idea eventually is to hook up with others who are doing it and match the students so they can practice their skills. That may not happen for most but I found the activities to be really really easy to do, with common household materials and daily activities. Turns everything into a learning opportunity. I bet there would be some fun things you could angle for SweetPea too. by the way, this is used for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), yes...but was developed for kids with any social communication deficits including Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), ADHD, Social/Emotional Disorders.....etc.