difficult child has a sticker chart!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, May 24, 2012.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    difficult child just called. He has been working whole week with the specialist his team wanted to hire to help him. Either they were really quick on scheduling (difficult child just told he was okay with the idea last week) OR the team had already scheduled him a month ago and just didn't tell difficult child and gave him time to change his mind on needing this service. They did after all tell me they considered forcing the issue if difficult child wouldn't change his mind.

    Anyway this guy has talked with difficult child, his coaches and other personnel, some of his team mates and observed the situation. difficult child called because they want to have a meeting with all the concerned parties to go through this and they want also me and/or husband there. I feel like when waiting one of those dreaded school meetings we so often had with difficult child. And I already hoped I would never again have one of those. But it seems that we will have, enhanced with five to six hours in the car to get there and back. Lovely!

    But this specialist has also already started with some practical solutions with difficult child 's problems. And indeed he has a sticker chart again. It sounded like difficult child wasn't sure if he should be amused or affronted by that.

    It is for the tidy locker problem. They took a photo of ‘perfect locker' and now after every practise difficult child is to compare the photo and his locker and play ‘find the 7 differences.' After that he can take a sticker from the certain place where service personnel leave one for him before the practises and put that to his sticker chart. If he forgets, he is not getting the sticker. He was advised to keep the sticker chart somewhere there he can see it when leaving (on his dashboard in car, the back pack pocket with his bike keys etc.) so he can still turn around if he has forgotten and go back and check his locker and get his sticker. Idea of course is to make it a habit to check the locker every time and that way eliminate the tidiness issues.

    He even has a big reward promised to him after he collects enough stickers. There is some stuff he is using, that can be either cool or generic. It doesn't make a difference on his performance, but cool is of course cool. And more expensive. Last year when they were acquiring this stuff for difficult child he was still considered junior and for juniors they get generic stuff if parents are not paying the difference. Most do, but we were not feeling like treating difficult child any way a year ago, so he was using generic stuff last year. For their men's team they buy the cool stuff. But they decided that difficult child is only getting the cool stuff when he shows he behaves like a pro and takes good care of his stuff i.e. after he has collected enough stickers.

    Though it may be that this ‘big reward' is not much of the reward for difficult child. He learned last year that uncool can be the new cool if you carry it with enough swagger and he is not totally sure if he even wants the cool stuff. After he told me that, I was very quick to point out that if he wants to tell them to ‘stick it' for putting him to sticker chart, the perfect way to do that would be collecting the stickers, giving full sticker chart back to service manager and telling him he doesn't want ‘the cool stuff.'

    And then the oddest thing happened: difficult child in fact laughed at me and told he is not twelve any more and I don't need to do that. That he knows he is doing this for his own benefit and is not planning to self-sabotage just to be oppositional. He may not like having a sticker chart again, but if it helps him to get this issue under control he can live with that. And it is executed so that others don't have to know about it.

    At that point I was not sure who this man was I was talking with and what has he done to my difficult child. :tinfoilhatsmile: No whining, pity party or melodramatics. The voice was the same but that certainly didn't sound like my immature little boy at all. :faint:Well, it will probably be temporarily and he will soon be throwing temper tantrums again.

    So all in all:
    Pluses: my overgrown little boy may indeed mature and turn to the man one day and seems to be taking steps to that direction. :happyguy:

    Minuses: I will have to attend one more ‘IEP meeting', and sit up to six hours in the car because of that. :groan:
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Yay!. I'd say the car ride is a small price to pay to see this "stranger" in action!
  3. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Enjoy the moments of clarity and maturity! It sounds promising and I agree with Keista that the car ride is a small inconvenience to see difficult child maturing and in action.
  4. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    It sounds promising. Enjoy the small triumphs. Hopefully they will evolve into large ones. -RM
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Well, hit the nail on the last sentence. :sigh:

    Not the temper tantrum though. And maybe not that bad, just very typical for him. He called again. He had forgotten that this specialist would also like to talk with me to get the more complete picture. At least that meeting will not require long car ride. I have nothing against meeting the guy, in fact I'm curious. I have found rather limited information about him, only that he has official credentials to work as psychologist and also physiotherapist, his thesis deals with body-mind issues and he has apparently quite some time ago worked in the therapeutic school setting for severely and complexly disabled kids. Other than that I have heard (yes I have also asked around) that he has recent years worked mostly with athletes and sport teams and is highly thought of.

    But that that forgetting from difficult child's part is so his typical M.O. He has probably lied or omitted something he knows I will tell and when this guy wanted to talk with me, difficult child couldn't deny it, because that would had seemed uncooperative. So he just forgets or misunderstands and hopes no one follows through. Didn't work this time, I guess.

    But yeah, it has always been the bumpy road with him and I'm not expecting anything else. This does not take away those signs of maturation he has shown and I shouldn't expect him to turn responsible adult over the night. It will take time even in the best circumstances and I should probably just enjoy every step forward he takes. And at least it seems he was promptly called out of his bs this time.
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    WOW! Didn't see that coming at all. How hopeful he sounds. I know it is a process but still, clearly there are more synapses connecting up there!
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    It is odd what a roller-coaster of feelings difficult child can put me through. And without even trying. At least I don't think he plans all this just to torture me (though, there were days in past I did half seriously think if he did it on purpose.) Okay, he has this power over me because I love him so much. But I love my easy child the same and also husband almost as much as my boys and they never make me go up and down like difficult child.

    And the thing that made me think about what a roller-coaster this is has absolutely nothing to do with difficult child. It was just that something very tragic happened locally. In the town very similar to my difficult child's home town and a kid, who had a lot common with my difficult child, got killed. And hearing that news just rattled me awfully. My kid was safe hundred miles away from this place there this happened, but I still feel very strongly that it could had been my difficult child just as easily. And so in three days I have gone from happy and hopeful to very miffed to just wanting to get my kid and hide him from the big bad world. :sigh:

    And in reality all I can do is to watch from sidelines, try to guide him a little bit and pray. And that is so very, very hard!

    Maybe best I can do is to try to concentrate on positives and praise and encourage that. Getting miffed probably doesn't help at all.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    sorry for that child and family, how awful. I was affected like that when I heard of the child with autism who was shot and killed by police when he had a butter knife and was trying to open a lock in his basement. He lunged at the cops when they were around him and they shot him! They knew the situation, had been there before, had used tasers, and knew it was a butter knife. I have had only good results with our local police but I sure do hesitate to call them.... I'd love to run to an isolated farm and just keep us away from the world. A lake home would be better! But he has to learn and grow.

    You are doing an amazing job of supporting him and giving him every chance to grow. Glad you are here!
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    That is truly horrible. I can't even start to imagine how that child parents or caregivers are feeling. They called to get help with and to thei child and ended up with the child killed by those exact people they hoped would help them. That has to be unbearable. So very sad!

    We, luckily, have anything but trigger-happy police there we live. Sometimes our tv channels buy a bulk of cheap programs to broadcast outside their prime time and during the summer and some of those tend to be different kinds of reality shows from US. So at times we have these reality cop shows there they show a real feed from how police works in USA. I understand they choose more dramatic stuff there but still the difference is huge. We also have our local reality police series and it is really very easy to notice how different strategy they use. In US shows guns are often drawn, tasers are used, they give clear commands and suspects etc. are commanded to the ground etc. In our show in the same kind of situations the cops behave like kindergarten teachers with four-year-olds. That is also how our cops often refer to themselves, kindergarten teachers for drunken adults. We do have much less handguns around and our patrol police's always work in pairs so that makes it possible for them to use different tactics, but it is also philosophical difference. Their main goal is to de-escalate and calm down the situation and they are educated to use verbal judo as their main tactic when dealing with public. And it is amazing how well they usually do that. And if that doesn't help, it is usually a wrestling match that follows. Only if they know the suspect is armed and likely to use the gun (mainly if they are against biker gangs or bigtime drug suspects or other organized crime) they tend to use harder measures. It also helps that police is very trusted and respected by general public. We have a family friend who has been a patrol officer in our biggest city 20 years. At that time he says that he has drawn his gun twice outside of practise grounds or dealing with animals. Haven't shot even once expect to emergency euthanatize an animal after it has been hurt and has used taser on human three times.

    But yeah, there are so many dangers in world and it is so hard to let your child go and try themselves. I can't even imagine how hard it has to be for you or other parents who have especially vulnerable kids. My kids, even difficult child, at least should be able to recognize and understand the biggest dangers and be capable of trying to avoid them. Of course they, especially difficult child, are prone to foolhardiness, and could get themselves killed while trying something totally stupid. I do worry about driving etc. Luckily our kids are not allowed to drive before they are 18 (I would be so freaked, if my easy child would be allowed to drive a month from now then he turns 16) and difficult child's first car is through his team. The team has sponsorship deal with car dealership and players can get leasing cars with very affordable co-pay from themselves, but cars are in team colours, has team logo and the player's name on it as well as name on car dealership. It isn't very tempting to speed or do other stupid stuff with that recognizable cars, especially when living in the smallish town where almost everyone knows them and at least knows the team... And the team management also knows their boys well and that they are in risk of being foolhardy (not just my difficult child, goes with most of them, competitive young men tend to be like that.) So cars available for them tend to be the ones that really don't tempt them to for example try how fast you can drive (they are mainly compact cars like for example Ford Focus or Honda Civic.) So that lessens my worries some. But of course difficult child is able to come up with so much stupid stuff...

    I wasn't at all religious before I became a mother (your basic European secular protestant, who is member of their church for tradition and to support service work etc. but doesn't really practise expect going to church for Christmas and family affairs and doesn't know if they are agnostic or maybe believe in something) but after that I have found that at times my only solace is a hope that there is a God and my boys are in His hands.
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    When I was little and police came to show and tell days that is how it was....they said that they and their fellow cops had never even had to draw their guns. Now, especially on highways or in the cities/suburbs of cities, the chance that every day citizens have guns that are stolen or to be used in crime situations is so high. We have police officers dying or hurt so often, I do understand that the training needs to be different now, BUT having a cousin who is a cop in a large metro area....I have heard awful things. He says they start out wanting to help, be there for the underdog, etc. They see creeps they pick up over and over and o ver released to victimize people again and again and they take the law in their own hands to some degree...they start to get too rough. They ARE stressed about dying and are taught once you think you are in danger you shoot to kill, not to hurt. In our former city, where we lived years ago...Q went on a field trip to the police station and they showed us guns that they had actually taken off people in our safe little suburb. It was amazing! everyday items were converted to terrible weapons, not just knives...but guns. Things you'd never know were guns. I was stunned.

    In our current city, the police we have met SO FAR have been very reasonable. The crisis center for our county said that our city's police dept is one they especially respect. The first time I h ad to call t hem I told them he had his Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) worker and some high school boys walking with him to calm him down and that if he saw their cars he may escalate again....they pulled backwards behind our garages and just hung out to help if needed. The last one told Q he would never hurt him. He just wanted to help him but that meant keeping everyone safe so if he had to go to the hospital then we would do that. I only met one older guy who talked to him too fast and as if he was a typical teen just mouthing off ("have I had to deal with you before??? etc.) but he was not mean, just clueless.

    I wish (not being political here, just a wish) we did not have a hand gun problem here in the USA. But in general I think the police can be trusted if you really need help. For mental health issues, I really think they dont have enough training and can be very hurtful. My cousin was part of a group of cops that ended up killing a woman with their cars in an accident...after a chase and she was very psychotic. I thought in the end it would kill him. He was devastated. I wish it was how you describe in your area. But I am grateful it is not the corruption level that it is in for example many south american countries (and other places). We have some dirty cops as they say....but not the general feeling here anyway.

    I am much like you on the religious front. In Oct/Nov I had a real faith crisis. But now it is my comfort. I am still not tied to any one religion (was raised Catholic) and I am one who believes there is more than one path to God....but I do need that in my life now.

    oh here is that story: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/calu-m13.shtml

    Have a good day
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    What a devastating story to all involved.

    Yes, we are indeed lucky there is much less handguns going around and it really makes a difference from police perspective, when there is not much reason to be afraid of concealed fire weapon (we do have our fair share of hunting guns, but you can not hide them that easily.) We have also been lucky that we have not had that many police casualties in last decades (in fact we had much more of them at 30's or 50's than now.) It makes it possible for police to use softer tactics. And I do believe that most police officers have chosen their job for the right reasons in almost everywhere at least in developed countries. Our police officers tend to be from that same group who go on to become teachers, physiotherapists, sport coaches, fire fighters, EMTs, clergymen, nurses, doctors etc. Good kids who don't want to sit behind desks and move papers rest of their lives, want to work with people and help them. Unfortunately some of jobs are so, that many get very cynical during their years in service.

    I know many this type of people partly because my kids being so involved with sports. Now even my easy child has professional coach, but when younger most of their coaches were volunteering. And big percent of them were members of those professions. Also the many, many professional coaches used to be something else, before being able to coach professionally. Some of course were pro athletes themselves but most have had also a day job at least in some point. And most typical professions tend to be: elementary school teacher, kindergarten teacher, Special Education. teacher, psychiatric nurse, police officer, fire fighter etc. It has always amused me to think how large percent of our male kindergarten teachers in fact end up being pro coaches in some point. It has to be high because we don't have that many male kindergarten teachers to begin with and I can think several whom have ended up pro coaches in just difficult child's sport alone. Same job description in the end, I guess :rofl:
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    LOL that is true. I have never worked with a male early childhood teacher come to t hink of it, (birth through K) and certainly yes, a few elementary school teachers. Most of the m ale teachers I worked with are at the middle / high school levels.

    I think the sporting system you are involved with is so interesting. Supporting up and coming athletes by the organizations, cars and all...wow. And how you describe that they are interested in his overall well being (I am sure there is a pay off for them but surely there are enough kids that if they really didn't care they could just cut him without trying to support him, right?). We barely have things like that even for olympic athletes. (not a big sports person, maybe others can tell me if that is right). I think most up and comers have to pay their own way totally. (I think the really good ones get sponsors???)
  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    We have quite a lot male elementary teachers, but male kindergarten teachers are really rare. I'm not sure if I know anyone, who isn't a coach, LOL

    You in USA have very unique athletic system with college sports. An American kid in my son's position would likely be scholarship athlete in college and train rather professionally there. To be honest I don't know much about American pro sport scene expect the big leagues (we are not able to miss NBA or Super Bowl or World Series even here, even though no one even really plays American football or baseball seriously here) and little bit of Olympic athletes in the disciplines I know more about. But at least in Olympic disciplines your up and coming athletes tend to be college athletes and have good services from their colleges. After that they make it mostly with sponsorship and price money. And some i think are more well-known and popular here at Europe than at home. I for example think that Lindsey Vonn may be much more a household name and superstar here than in most parts of USA.

    Here we have sport federations that offer services for top young Olympic individual sport hopefuls. And they are usually able to get enough sponsor to basic living costs (or parents help them.) Also their sport clubs help but it is not a fancy lifestyle if you don't get into the absolute top. If you end up winning Olympic medal or be close to that, your sponsorship money will be good. And of course also price money starts to be also really meaningful at that point. In team sports it depends from sport. Some sports are almost totally hobby based, some have one or more levels of pro leagues per country (different sports and different amount of levels depending the country.) In some sports and some leagues the revenues are obscene (mainly football - or soccer, like you call it) and same goes with player's pay checks. But also that depends from country and level. And there are also many other pro team sports in every country.

    My difficult child's situation, hmmm... even with costs of extra supports he comes cheaper to his team compared to what they would pay to someone else to do the same job (average pay in his league tends to be around the average pays of engineers, difficult child is closer to minimum wage.) And if he is lucky and makes it to the higher levels, the team will be nicely compensated. They could cut him, if they wanted, but they would need to pay more to someone else to do a same job. And they would probably not be able to get someone with difficult child's 'future potential' to his spot easily, someone with his current performance level, yes, easily, but that someone would be older and considered less of the future talent. difficult child really only became 'available' because of his troubles. And having kids who could have the potential to higher levels is both the status symbol and draws some good publicity and spectators. And his current team doesn't have many (or really any) kids like that. They of course do have bigger stars, but they are older players who are now close to the peak of their careers and while they of course are the main draw for audience, many also like it a lot when they can watch kids, who could maybe 'make it big' some day, even when it is a awfully long shot, like it of course always is. So currently both parties are benefiting nicely. It is a good fit for difficult child and they are happy to have him. But teams also like to pride themselves in taking care of their own, so there is also that and it is not solely about team saving money.
  14. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I had a long chat with this specialist difficult child's team has hired. Interesting guy, very varied background and work experience (yeah, I did ask), very good listener and sympathetic. Gave very good impression. I liked him a lot actually.

    He seemed very interested about difficult child's childhood sensory issues and even said that he believes they are still coming to play more than we have probably thought of. He asked a lot about difficult child's school struggles and difficult child's history in various peer groups. He also wanted to have my take in difficult child's tendencies on 'flight, fight, freeze'-responds and exact situations where those have come up and how. He also told me several different made up (and rather odd) scenarios and asked me how I would think difficult child would react. When I asked why, he said he is trying to figure out difficult child's typical behavioural models and responses to different situations and stimulus and somehow also my estimates to those far out scenarios were supposed to help in that. I don't know.

    He also asked if difficult child has, to my knowledge, any trauma history.

    Liked the guy, but don't know what to think about all that. Maybe it becomes clearer after that 'IEP meeting' we will have next week. (I told him that me and my husband have referred the meeting as IEP meeting, he found it amusing.)
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This guy sounds pretty good. I think that at times, the people who have less obvious issues, even beyond what we think of as "hidden disabilities" suffer so much. They often end up developing their own maladaptive coping strategies no matter how hard we tried to fight for them because no one else sees it. They are far too aware and proud to want to seem "disabled" which of course they are not....but in thinking of your son....I imagine it could even be harder because he is in a sport. The strongest, toughest, most clever, win. Those are the guys who get the glory. I hope this guy can help him to see how it might be connected so he can even become a role model for any kid who has to struggle a little harder to show case their talents. Wouldn't that be a wonderful dream?? Mostly, I just hope it will help him to get along and succeed in a positive way though. That is reward enough.

    To a lesser degree this happens to my son because he misinterprets what "tough" is and gets ideas from tv and parts of social situations that he doesn't understand (different situation from your son but ends up the same) ...so he tries to act cool and is obviously doing all the wrong things. Sad to watch for those who love them.

    Have a good IEP meeting.....LOL