Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Zack's tough afternoon

We have speech and occupational therapy at Courage Center 3 days a week.  The transition from the car to the building is fine -- no problems.  They walk right in, generally the therapists are waiting for us in the waiting room, and the boys take their hands and walk right back to the work rooms.

Transitioning back to the car after they are done has been a bigger problem.

The waiting room is fairly cramped and busy at every half hour, with people coming and going.  The therapists want to talk for just a couple of minutes to tell me what the boys did.  The boys don't like that.  They aren't much for chitchat.  They think we should leave, immediately.

So when we don't, random people in the waiting room end up getting pinched and sometimes there's some screaming.

I thought I brilliantly solved this problem when I decided that, instead of the therapists bringing the boys out to me in the waiting room, when their shift was over I'd go back to the work rooms and find them.  We can talk in the privacy of the therapy room where the boys can play and be a bit more secluded.  We put our coats on back there, and when we walk through the busy waiting room, we don't stop -- we just keep on walking until we're out of the building and on our way to the car.  It's usually pretty smooth. 

They still don't like the chitchatting, but at least there's only a few of us in the room.

Today when they were finished, Zack got to watch some of his favorite videos on You Tube while his therapist and I talked.  I could tell right away when I walked in that he was overstimulated.  His cheeks were like little red apples, and he jumped and jumped and jumped.

With Zack, Aliza, AJ, and 3 therapists in the room, 2 of whom are talking to me, there wasn't much I could do with Zack at the moment.

When the speech therapist told Zack his time was done on the computer and it was time to go, he blew up.  She got pinched, hard, and he screamed like we had set him on fire.  I pulled him toward me and he struggled, reaching out to pinch everyone.  AJ looked at Zack nervously and backed into a corner.

I handed the coats to Aliza to carry - neither one was going to wear one.  It was above freezing outside, sunny, we were parked really close, and Zack obviously needed to cool down anyway.  I took each boy by the hand and we got out of there as quick as we could.  Zack screamed the whole time.  AJ watched him, worried.

I think we all learned a lesson.  Zack needs to be warned before time is up.  Although by the time I got there, he was so overstimulated, I'm not sure there was any good way to end the situation.

Notice the "I tried it!" sticker -- I don't know what he tried.  I'll find out tomorrow.

Luckily, Courage Center is no stranger to kids with behavior issues.

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