Friday, May 18, 2018

Success Assembly

Kai's school has a Success Assembly a few times each year. Invariably, he has had some of his worst days on these occasions.

Kai never receives an award - his behavior at school is not worthy of recognition. But rather than be understanding that he is responsible, he gets very angry with the school staff and at the students who are awarded. Many times he becomes disruptive during the Assembly and has to be escorted out.

The latest Assembly was scheduled for Thursday of this week, and from Monday Kai was already upset. At our family therapy session with our private social worker, Kai was seething about how terrible the day would be and how undeserving some of the winners are. Our therapist noted that Kai was feeling very jealous.

We all spoke about how he should go into the assembly ready for disappointment. He cannot control the results. He cannot change the results. He just needs to accept them.

At home, we had him talk out some strategies for coping that day, and then had him write them down on a sheet of paper. One thing he said and wrote was "cover my mouth with (imaginary) duct tape."

I suggested was that he should pretend that my wife was at school with him... I asked him how would he act if that were the case. He said that he would behave as a gentleman. I thought that it might be good to have a physical reminder of Mom that he could take to school with him. And so my wife and I found a photo of Kai and Mom that we cut out and attached to the list of coping strategies that Kai had written.

We reviewed the coping strategies with Kai every evening this week. And he took them to school yesterday along with the photo of he and his mother.

But would that be enough?

We were really nervous that this would be another terrible day.

And so it was with some anxiety that we opened the email from school yesterday afternoon.

It said that Kai "did a great job during the assembly and was able to sit through the entire time." He even seemed to be a good sport as he "was extremely proud of our class for having the highest number of award recipients!"


We were very happy to read that, but probably feeling relieved than anything else. Especially so when we read that an administrator from Kai's future high school had been in attendance as well.

And so, though Kai did not win any awards, this Success Assembly was a true success for Kai. And looking forward toward high school, gives us hope that maybe Kai will be ready for his new environment in the fall.


  1. Forward motion is perpetuated through small forwards steps. It is a mountain with many peaks and valleys, but so long as the climb is upwards, he will eventually reach the top. Self mastery is the most difficult of challenges to conquer, but a necessary one. Kai, be happy for other's success, for they are showing you what is possible for you. If they can do can you. Focus on your future, and this will guide your actions in the present. Take it slowly and build success upon success.

    1. Yes, we try to remember that progress is not always linear, but you must keep trying to move forward even if it is a small step at a time. Hopefully this one little success will help Kai see that he can do it, and will be something to build upon.

  2. Wow!!!! This was just wonderful to read. Great planning and strategy! So glad it went well!

    1. We often try to plan and strategize, but it usually doesn't turn out this well. Nice that it did this time! :)


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