Sometimes with Daniel's group therapy they get homework. The week before Memorial Day they got a homework sheet about being afraid. I talked about this in my Belle Tire Cares post. I thought that was funny, not funny ha ha, but funny in that strange 'look how the universe works' way. This past Monday we turned in his homework and this is what it looked like:
I don't know if you can see it. But the top picture is the bee he drew which is too cute for words. The bottom is the gazebo we built as the way to solve our problem. The interesting thing is when I took out this homework to work on, he got very upset, hands over ears yelling no no no. I said "Daniel we'll just talk about bees" (I knew he was afraid I'd bring up Belle Tire) then he yelled, " I don't want to talk about the Belle Tire guy". Excuse me, but that is HUGE. That is the first time those words have ever crossed his lips. Granted he was panicked, but he a. explained why and b. said the words Belle Tire guy out LOUD. I considered that a HUGE step forward. I had finally convinced him we were only talking about bees (hard to do when someone is plugging their ears the whole time) and finished the homework. I stayed true to my word, only talking about bees, which is VERY important, so they trust you. If you break that trust, forget it. It would take so long to build it up again.
At therapy, I pulled her aside to tell her what happened and, GET THIS, she had a kid on the spectrum before who's greatest fear was Belle Tire! I couldn't believe it. She has actually dealt with this before! After I explained it, they went into the group. Daniel shared his bee page during group. No one else did their homework except us (typical) so they all talked for a bit about if they are also afraid of bees. Then that tricky therapist said, "does anyone else have a fear of something else? Maybe something you might see on T.V.?" She said that Daniel's hands flew up to his ears and he said he didn't want to talk about it and excused himself to go to the restroom! I think that is HUGE progress. Maybe I'm easy? or delusional? but I actually think we are getting somewhere. Baby steps. He seems to be dealing with it a tiny bit better. He's still panicked, plugging his ears and refusing to come into the room if the TV is on an unapproved channel, but I'll take what I can get and keep pushing along, slowly but surely. But I feel like the surface has been cracked. Just what I needed. Something to keep me pushing through. Ahhhh progress.