today's therapy appointment

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Lot's have been discussed today.
    She started by telling what she observed in the classroom last week: very good social skills! V was able to play with 2 different friends (not simultaneously) for about 20 minutes. And he had appropriate emotions along with it (smiles, laugh). So that is good.
    She read a book about feelings with him and she admitted that V, indeed, has no concept of emotions (his own or other's). Which I knew already... I am not sure what it means or what kind of impact it has on his life (our lives!). I have tried a lot of different techniques to teach him but just kept on hitting a wall and gave up on it for now.
    She kind of busted my bubble and said I will be his main and probably only source of real help. That it was indeed very stressful and I should brace myself for the long haul. There is no quick or easy solutions. If there was, I would have found it already. She made me talked about a similar situation of constant stress, kind of to show me that I have it in me. She also asked what my biggest coping method was. My immediate answer was husband and the fact that we are very united in our battles (including dealing with V). I guess she called a relationship mechanism (or similar term..). She thought it was a healthy way of coping.
    She mentioned that she could also help me build on my skills in order to not be overly affected by V's behavior. I'm all for it but I also reminded her that V also needs to learn in the process. We can't keep on accomodating him without teaching HIM the necessary skils he is lacking.
    That lead to a lenghthy discussion on V's triggers, what we should tackle first and how to be realistic in what can be expected from him. There are going to be different expectations for V compare to his siblings (which I explained was already the case and gave some examples). But we needs to make V understand that those expectations are different for now but not forever.
    She wants me to start doing some reflectology (?spellling?) with what V tries to tell me. She explained that I don't need to understand the meaning, but simply repeat his words in a nice and clear tone. This technique is for the long run and I should not expect any results in the short term. It will help V's communications skills and help me understand is world better. She said I could try to find an interpretion of what he tries to communicate but to always let him know that he can say "no, that's not what i meant".
    I did agknowledge not knowing what V tries to tell me 75% of the time. Unlike Partner who I always understand. She smiles and said that Partner was a very linear kid, kind of a little adult. V, on the other hand, is very abstract, more than most kids. I'm not quite sure what she means by that... any insight?
    We have an other appointment in 2 weeks. Which I'm glad we don't have to wait 1 month (like originally agreed). She will also see V at school next week.
    Basically, she will be working with V weekly. It does reassure me that she is up for the challenge.
    And last, she could not give me any advice on wether to pull V out of school or not. V benefits from the social interaction that school offers but is much worst at home. on the other hand, she knows we are an active household and that keeping him home would provide enough stimulation for him, but I would not have any breaks. Kind of a catch 22.
    Please, wise people of the board, share your insight! :)
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    It sounds like you have a great therapist there. She is willing to work with you AND V. That is awesome and hard to come by. As for the "abstract", my guess is the opposite of black and white and literal and concrete. I think it means that he thinks very differently than most people and it's going to be harder to figure out what he means. As for pulling him out of school, that is such a personal choice. The way it sounds, either would be okay for V but it needs to be ok for YOU too. YOU are the one that will be with him 24/7 and YOU will not have the reprieve like you do when he's in school. YOU need to make a plan on how to take care of yourself even more if you decide to homeschool.

    Interesting info.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like a good appointment. She really seems to have a good handle on V and the entire situation. I hope you know what a HUGE blessing that is.

    Repeating V's words back to you helps him understand what he is telling you. I know that sounds odd - how could he tell you something and not understand it? It will help make sure that what he is thinking is what his words are conveying. That is one of the goals for this. Often our kids don't fully grasp the meaning of the words they use and they say things that do not accurately reflect what they mean. t can be super frustrating. I would push for speech and audtory testing to help identify problems in those areas as they are HUGE stumbling blocks.

    not understanding emotions is not as uncommon as you might think. One thing that can help is a feelings poster. We used a flip book instead. The poster has pictures of different expressions and the emotion under each. We found a flip book version when Wiz was about 9 or 10 and would have him change it to show how he was feeling right then - it let us see what he felt inside when he couldn't tell us any other way. We also did exercise with it where we used it to try to show how a character in one of his books was feeling at a certain point. That might not be helpful to V though. Wiz was very very very verbal and read a ton, many years above grade level, and this was a way to help him figure out emotions and that other people actually had them, that he wasn't the only person in the world with feelings that mattered.

    At V's age I would really push the sensory stuff and the emotional stuff. Given that he is an abstract kind of kid, not a linear thinker, this is going to take work. Social stories may end up being a super useful tool. You can buy them or write them yourself to fit whatever is going on.

    As you delve into all of this, remember that the more senses you can involve in learning something, the more the brain is going to absorb it and be able to use it. If you are doing math, use beads, toys, macaroni, recipes. If you are working on letters, cut them out of different material, write them in pudding, anything you can think of. If he is a texture kid, create alphabets out of different materials. cut letters out of sandpaper and glue them onto cards/boards. Cut them out of sponges and get them wet and cold or warm, cut them out of anything you can think of.

    Maybe to help with identifying emotions, get pictures of his face and the face of people he knows when they are expressing that emotion and make a book. A cheap photo book from the dollar store that you can stick pictures in will work. I used to LOVE being home iwth the kids because we could do this stuff. If you need ideas, let me know the skill or goal and I wll brainstorm.

    Follow your instincts with him. When we had the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation with thank you I was really really surprised. 80-90% of the things she recommended that we do with thank you were things we were already doing because he liked to do them. She suggested various craft things and out of the list that took 2 pages single spaced I spent less than $10 because I already had that stuff because he and Wiz and Jess liked that stuff. We used some differently, but the kids led me in the direction they needed to go. I think most kids do this if we pay attention and turn off the electronics. But that is the challenge, Know what I mean??
  4. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Susie, I know exactly what you mean with the Occupational Therapist (OT). husband and I had the same comment "but we already do all of this".

    As far as the emoton, we do have a home made photo book of emotions (V, myself, Gpa and Gma representing different emotions) because the posters or anything else was just too abstract for him. After going over them a million time, he can name the pictures with appropriate emotions but never in context (as in "how do you feel right now" "how does Dad feel right now"). I should pul them back out and give it another round.

    I am glad we have this therapist because she does seem to get it. She even had a comment yesterday about how traditional methods simply don't work with kids like V. Isn't it what we have all been saying all along?!
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Goodness, what a good therapist! Can I visit?
    I have no insight except that you are definitely on the right track. Many hugs and BRAVO!
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think those are great ideas! I hope it works out for you . You know, Q will say (if I say I didn't understand)... what did you hear me say mom? so I say it how I heard it... he says...OH that is why you didn't understand??? and then often just says it the same again, but he will work on it, lol.