Thursday, June 4, 2009

Progress with Fears

Fears. Everyone has them. But for some reason it is the thing taking center stage for us right now. I don't know if we make that happen or it somehow evolves on it's own. However it comes to be, it is here and the problem set forth is in front of me to "solve". It's what I do. Something is presented and I spend all my time thinking about it and trying new things and working it out. Usually, I actually get it done. Think about the bike riding, the baritone etc. It doesn't happen over night, but I WILL make it happen. Maybe it's a good thing I am so stubborn? Maybe it is what I was meant to do all along? It doesn't really matter, because it's what I'm doing now.

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.

6 comments:

Laura Grace said...

This is so important, that you are documenting these events, as well as your response to them. Not only for you & Daniel and your family, but for all of us. Even those of us who didn't even know what "The Spectrum" was want to learn...

Amy said...

I think it is great progress. WTG, Daniel.

PS. I bought the kids passes for the outdoor pool. I am out of town until Mon., but if it is warm I hope to bring Joe either thurs or Fri afternoon (net week). Want to join?

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

It IS huge that he can now verbalize what's upsetting him. You're right - the surface has been cracked. It will probably still take him a while to work through that fear, but the progress has begun. Cheers for both of you!

mama edge said...

I'd call it a ginormous baby step! And how funny that Daniel's fear is shared with another spectrum kid. Wonder what the trigger is for them?

rhemashope said...

Go Daniel! Seems to me he handled the situation in group better than most people I know!

I have a friend who has a son on the spectrum and he is TERRIFIED of bees. He seems to get better with being outside as the summer wears on.

Bobbi said...

Wow, that is great. He reminds me so much of Parker, the way he covers his ears when you talk about his fears. His fears have to do mostly with sounds.