So today is the day the process officially begins. A new team Michael will be forming to add to an already amazing team Michael. I and our Psycho Educator will be meeting with the same psychiatrist that diagnosed my son with autism five and a half years ago to discuss a new home program to help with Michael’s challenging behaviors. As I’ve mentioned before, things have dramatically been improving in the last month. I think the fact Michael has learned new skills from his school psychologist is playing a big part, but I also think that mine and his father’s eyes have been opened by what we can improve upon as parents.
However, the honeymoon, as I have been jokingly referring to it, ended a few days ago when for the first time in over two weeks, Michael was aggressive towards himself and me. It’s normal. I think he was afraid at first to upset me, and worried about the “new team Michael” coming, so was being super good not to get on my bad side. But then he got comfortable, and one thing about my son, is that when he gets comfortable around you, he lets it all hang out. He also tries to negotiate terms for rewards. The other day for listening at church he tried to negotiate a toy at the Dollar store. Quite funny. But anyway, he was feeling comfortable with me so began testing. He got angry at something I said so slapped and hit me. I am proud to say that I was firm, told him no hitting and insulting. And before I could say another word about deep breathing and apologizing, he looked at me and in a sad voice said, “I’m sorry Mommy. I’m going to calm down.” He proceeded to sit down on the kitchen chair and deep breathe for a few minutes. This type of scenario happened a few more times. Sometimes he did need the deep breathing and apology reminder, but it worked. He is now able to calm down quickly, realize his mistakes, then tell me he is learning. He will say, “I won’t do that again, Mommy.” I tell him I’m glad, but I know he will do it again, for a little while at least. Don’t we as adults say that all the time when we make mistakes. It’s rare that we don’t need to make the same mistakes again though, before we finally say enough is enough. I know it will take time, but we are getting there.
The issues we have with Michael are usually at home or at an event where he is not quite sure what is happening and acts out of discomfort or stress. I am looking forward to getting a plan in order, a way to work with new professionals to help come up with new tools to help Michael communicate his fears and stresses better with us. It doesn’t excuse the bad behavior, of course, but I am seeing that tools for stress, discomfort and sleep issues are what we need. I am excited and nervous at this next step we are taking, but as I told Michael, we will see if it is working. If not, we try other things. I want to make sure the people that work with Michael are a good fit for him and us. It’s only then that we can all help Michael learn to be the best he can be.
Exceptional Parents, what are your Exceptional Children’s teams like? Is there a good vibe, or do you feel something is missing? Remember, if yours or your child’s wishes are not being respected, it is time to seek help elsewhere. The people on your child’s team must be as much in their corner as you are, or it won’t work. We have been fortunate overall, but I always have my antenna tuned in to make sure the absolute best people are helping me see the whole Michael, not the behaviors. Good luck to you all on your journeys. Let your child, as always, be your guide. Until next time.