Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On The Home Front

Summer is here.  The kitchen is open 24/7.  Soggy pool towels and swimming trunks litter the kitchen and bedroom floors.  The dog is smellier.   New reasons to loathe my body as more parts are exposed because wearing a wool sweater to the pool doesn't work.  The noise level is much increased as the boys are annoying each other for sport.  

Movie Man hit a wall when summer school started.  It was ugly.  His anxiety is debilitating and as his mother it is time to find more aggressive and therapeutic approaches to relieve his pain.  I signed him up for two summer school classes at the middle school he will attending next fall.  The thought was that time spent this summer in his new school would help alleviate some anxiety in the fall.  I carefully chose nonacademic classes so he could find ways to shine and demonstrate his love and knowledge of things he has skills.  So Movie Man is taking Leadership in Film and Digital Editing.  Perfect for him, right?

Nope.  Hub and I have had to literally pull him out of bed, carry him to the shower, put him in the shower and dress him more than once.  Movie Man gets so irrational he is unable to even express his worries.  It is all just a bundle of intensely uncomfortable feelings he has no language for, no maturity to understand.  All he knows is that he has to fly.  Adapt, move on or die.  Flight or fight.  Hide under your bed, make outrageous emotionally charged statements in hopes your parents will feel so sorry for you they will let you quit or run away.  

Well, none of it worked.  While my heart broke for him, I knew I had to see him through it to the the other side.  I had to show him I believed he would be OK.  I had to show him he could do it.  

So after days of very troubled and upsetting mornings, he now goes off to summer school barely on time, but anxiety free.  With patient persistence and acute observation and quick calls to his teachers to check in so we could correct Movie Man's perceptions of what was going on, we were able to learn more about Movie Man.  His learning disability and processing speed make him feel he is going to miss important information.  And he does miss important information.  But once he has the information he needs, he is very capable, insightful and a wonderful contributor to his classes.  It is that space between what the teacher says and when Movie Man is supposed to respond or perform that he gets lost in the abyss of anxiety.  The anxiety then makes it impossible to listen and understand.  The cycle is relentless.  It is debilitating.  It is paralyzing.

Add to the summer to do list.... get a good cognitive behavioral therapist for Movie Man and a good pediatric psych for a medication consultation.

Superman is now taking piano lessons from a lady in the neighborhood.  He looks so absolutely autistic when taking his piano lessons.  Parent Smackdown!  All that autism affect kicks in when he is in a new place and it is not pleasant to watch.  But, I am learning how to help him.  I sit next to him in his lessons and the teacher is a dear.  She is willing to stick with it, wants to learn how to help him, and is very flexible.  I love the methods she uses and we are sticking with it.  30 minutes is too long.  So I take the visual timer with us to the lessons and set it for 20 minutes and put it on the piano.  We practice in bits and pieces throughout the day in short little blips.  I have learned that once Superman is shown what to do, he does it flawlessly.  It will be slow going.  It will be challenging. We will all benefit.

And best of all... Movie Man and Superman can be left alone for up to 2 hours!!!!!  Oh the freedom!  

I am off to lunch with my best friend.  The boys are engrossed in making a movie.  I know they will call me a hundred times while I am away.  That's OK.  We are clearly moving forward and that is cause for real celebration.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Although I am dangerously opinionated, I am a flexible thinker and welcome your thoughts.