Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Safe Month, and a Good Start to May

Kai stayed safe at school on Tuesday and achieved another challenging milestone for him – a safe month.

In the three plus years he has been attending his therapeutic school, this is only the third time he has gone a whole calendar month without a major incident. Many of his classmates have been able to accomplish this, some fairly regularly, which only made it all the more frustrating for Kai.

“I can’t do it!” he has said many times.

Well, he did it. And hopefully that gives him confidence to know that he can do it again.

And he did get off to a good start on the first day of May.

Yesterday, his school had a fire drill.

Fire drills, and similar disruptions, have been very difficult for Kai in the past. Besides just the break of the routine, he would get very nervous, as if he were afraid that a real fire was happening. He would not be able to focus on the academics, and sometimes might lash out at staff or engage in unsafe behavior.

To try to reduce his anxiety, the school started giving him advance notice of fire drills. But they stopped that when it became apparent that the early warning only made him anxious for an even longer period of time. He would be anxious for the several hours until the drill occurred.

Yesterday, he received a heads up only a couple minutes before the drill. I’ll let his teacher’s email describe what happened:
“I just wanted to contact you about how amazing Kai was today during a fire drill that was unannounced to both staff and students. Ms. B___ did come in about 2 minutes before the drill to inform Kai (because of his past anxiety lasting for a few days from the surprise lock down drill a month or 2 ago). Kai started to tense up and get nervous but right when the fire drill was called he lined up, was quiet the whole time, and was a role model for the rest of the classroom. In addition, we told him there was going to be no alarm sound; it was just going to be called over the walkies. However, there was a mistake and the alarm went off. Kai remained calm and put headphones on until we were outside. I was so proud of him and gave him a ton of positive feedback on how flexible he was and how well he followed directions. Just wanted you to know how wonderful he was in a situation that is sometimes hard for him. Have a good night!”
It was great to get such encouraging feedback, and we are grateful to Kai’s teacher for thinking of us and sharing the news.

And, of course, we are happy that Kai seems to be on a good track right now.

He is making progress right before our very eyes.


  1. That is wonderful!! Those alarms can grate on the nerves of all of us! So glad he had a safe month and a good start to May! Yay!

  2. Terrific news! That made me happy to read!

    1. Terrific indeed. Thanks, Suzanne.

  3. Success will continue to build upon success. Pretty soon, it will be the norm. Everyone is doing the right thing. Praise success...success will come.

    1. Yes, that is what we are trying to do... we want to keep building on the success!

  4. Fantastic!! Those school fire alarms are particularly jarring and unsettling. If he can learn to tolerate them, he is well on his way to tackling even bigger challenges.

    You rock, Kai!

    1. It was nice to learn that he was able to handle what normally is a stressful situation for him and come through so well.


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