Just like I knew the dark days would come, I knew we would see sunshine again. We’re in a good place right now. We’ve been here the past couple of weeks. It makes sense….We’re back in routine, our days have structure, we’ve slowed down all the extracurricular activities, we see the therapist once a week every week. I am forcing myself to live in the moment and just soak it up. He still has his angry moments. He is bouncing back from them more quickly. Instead of tantrums, he just lashes out, we calmly intercede and remind him that is not okay, and he usually recovers within a few minutes. This is such a huge relief. I’d be kidding myself if I thought he was done with tantrums. But I will take this – we are moving in the right direction. We have been teaching him that while it is okay to get angry when bad things happen or things don’t quite go the way we planned, it is not okay to throw tantrums, lash out, scream at people, pitch fits.
Our mornings have been easier. The “jobs” cards plan finally kicked in. There hasn’t been one morning in the last two weeks I’ve had to almost toss him out the door, late, or with something not done. All his morning “jobs” are written on cards. He can do them in whatever order he wishes. When all his jobs are done (and we have time left before go-time), he has reward cards to choose from. This is not to say that I don’t have to do any prodding. He is frequently reminded he still has stuff to get done, that he cannot play with the cat, read his book, or play with his Legos until all the cards are handed to me. But once again, progress.
Today came my proudest moment. There is a reading comprehension program at school. They read books, take tests on what they’ve read, earn points and get rewards at set point-intervals. Now Ethan reads at about a sixth grade level. But he couldn’t give a rip about taking the tests much less the rewards. We haven’t pushed it because a) he does read, a lot; and b) we’ve just had bigger fish to fry with him. Quite honestly, I think he was afraid to take the tests. He has very little self-esteem. If he believes he will fail, he won’t try. That fear is overwhelming for him. However, he apparently started taking tests on the sly, because today he came home with his lanyard. That means he has earned 25 points!! This is so huge. He was proud of himself, which made me smile even more. For him to even care is huge. For him to try is huge. For him to succeed is a gift for both of us. Another positive note was hearing from the school social worker today. She is starting a social skills group for 2nd and 3rd grade boys needing this help. Ethan will be part of this group. Relief!!!! He needs more than just the one-on-one therapy. This is such a big bonus.
We are moving in the right direction. We’ve seen so many changes in him, positive changes. His therapist is happy with his progress and the direction he is moving. I know we won’t always be in the sunshine. Routines don’t stay static forever. But we’re here now. And I plan on soaking it up for all it’s worth.