Thursday, June 30, 2011

Having to Remind Myself

About an hour after my post on Floortime went up yesterday, the psychologist who coaches us on Floortime gave us a call. She didn’t see the post; rather, she called because she had just observed our son at school and then spoken to the school’s program coordinator afterward.

In speaking with the coordinator, she said that she realized how difficult it must be for us parents to hear so many varied thoughts about our son. The school uses one approach, various therapists advocate others, and some of those may be different from our personal philosophy.

She said that she understood how confusing it must be for parents to get so many distinct, and at times conflicting advice from professionals.

Hah, it was like she had read my mind, or at least my blog.

She wanted us to know that it’s okay to adapt the different approaches to fit our personal beliefs. And that certain approaches may be more appropriate for one situation and not another.

Then we talked about one particular example of where Kai had difficulty in school. The situation was that after eating his lunch, Kai threw the plastic food container in the garbage. A teaching assistant (TA) reminded him that it can be reused and that he should put it back in his lunchbox to take home. Kai reacted by hitting the staff member.

The psychologist said that she might have used a more positive approach. So, in this instance, she would first thank Kai for cleaning up and then remind him how important it is to recycle his containers. She said that Kai is quick to anger when he feels that he has done something wrong, so a more positive approach may help.

At home, I could see myself in that same situation, reacting with impatience. I might have raised my voice that he threw away his container when he should know that he shouldn’t.

But I have to keep reminding myself that parenting a child with special needs is often much more complicated than parenting a typical child. I think a lot of my frustrations come when I forget that, and don’t remember that I need to react differently than I would with another child to situations like the one I described. A simple thing like being more positive may make a world of difference.

And so I welcomed the thoughts of the psychologist. Her timing was perfect.

I learn, grow, and adapt.


  1. I know the feeling. I sometimes react in a way that is impetuous. I very often feel so bad that I had acted so rashly. My son is very forgiving...fortunately. However, when it comes to safety, or an incorrect act that is repeated too many times...I have to yell a little to ensure it never happens again. Even though it does, in fact, work...I constantly strive to keep calm, rational and seek a more constructive avenue. I, in fact, have become far more patient with him...hmmm...who is the one being conditioned? :)

  2. Hah, that is a funny thought. I think that I, too, am more patient than I used to be. Though it comes and goes. I have to find a way to realize when my patience is running short and be able to regain it before too long.


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