Our last day of therapy was uneventful at best. We went through the same motions as we have always gone through. Again, I was suppose to fill up Turbo's cup so that it was overflowing with sensory issues that he and Ms. Renee had to work them through in their session. Alas, I could not. Try as I might, I could not get him to explode at a level 5 volcano.
Thinking I somehow failed her when we arrived, she looked at me and smiled and said,
"That is a great and encouraging thing to hear!" Taken aback, I realized what was happening! Turbo had self-regulated himself even in times of frustration where he would usually explode! And looking back at the last 4 months and 30 sessions + 2 Parent Education classes and one consultation with a psychologist, we have come a LLOONNGG!!! Way!
The two went about their morning. Ms. Renee was not about to let the puppet play session pass without acknowledging it. Their first scheduled pit stop was to play with the puppets. He did, and he didn't complain. He cooperated! Ms. Renee suggested that maybe when he doesn't want to do things that are new to him, and might be a bit overwhelming, that it could possibly be that his anxiety is getting the best of him. But when presented later, sooner rather than later, a second time, he is more apt to trying it and experiencing it.
She suggested that using puppets or even pretend kits such as a Doctor Kit, Dentist Kit, etc. anything that he might show anxiety over, to play with to help him have a positive experience first so that when he experiences it in reality, he is able to rely on his past positive and emotionally positive experience of the play time, rather then not being able to process all of the sensory stuff and input that would normally come with it. Unfortunately, I seem to think that because of his need to seek any kind of sensory input such as climbing to the tallest of heights and dropping 7-8 feet from a tall slide, that he doesn't fear anything! But he does. He just doesn't fear that things that I think he should. Paradaigm sift for me and hubby in our ways of parental guidance.
They moved on to playing on the zip line and his play a favorite game of his. He was presented with a certificate of completion at the Star Center, but that really didn't peak any interest from him.
We will return in a couple of weeks for a hour's worth of evaluation tests to see how far he has come since the middle of September. Then after Christmas, both hubby and I will visit one on one with Ms. Renee to discuss the results and if needed, any further thearpy or recommendations.
There have been times during this whole thing where I wished we weren't doing it. Then when I hear thinks from friends and family about how much change they see in Turbo, it helps me to stay positive and keep trucking on.
The top three things learned from this time of therapy for me:
1. Unfortunately, Turbo operates on plans. Plans for everything! But he won't always. In order for our family to have a good day, plans are necessary, but also brings about positive interaction with each other. And, if the current plan isn't working, it is perfectly acceptable to change it and come up with a different plan.
2. There will be days where Turbo cannot self-regulate himself, and that is where us as the parents HAVE to step in to offer suggestions, and not expect him to do it himself. It is my job to recognize the difference between that and him just being a spoiled 5 year old boy.
3. There are so many tools out there that can be used to help him. So many opportunities for him to get help. But in the end, it comes down to us as a family unit and friends who are the ones who will get him through all of this "stuff" with understanding, education, prayer, patience, and of course, grace.