Wednesday, January 30, 2008

X-pression

Jaysen has always been "headstrong" to put it mildly. I have recently implemented the use of timers to try and give him an end time to activities and to aide in transition. Jaysen's language skills have greatly improved over the years, but he still lacks the ability to express himself, especially in times he's upset.


Conversation last night:

(timer rings) Jaysen is still playing a video game.

"Jaysen, it's time to turn the game off."

(silence)

"Jaysen, the timer went off. Time to turn the game off."

"No."

"Jaysen..."

"I don't want to turn it off."

"Well, it's time to."

"I said NO!!! Now go away!"

"Jaysen- do you want to get in trouble, or are you going to listen?"

(pause)

(crying)"I don't want to get in trouble!"

"I don't want you to get in trouble either, so you should turn off the game."

(Turns off game and stomps off to his room)


Now- this may seem like a normal interaction with any bull-headed 6year old, but let me explain why this was a breakthrough.

A couple of weeks ago, Jaysen would have persisted and gone into meltdown mode. But he didn't. No, that's not the part that's huge.
Look closely.
Closer.
There.
Do you see it? Right after my vague ultimatum.
Jaysen said "I don't want to get in trouble".
This was the first time Jaysen used his words instead of having a meltdown.

In the past, he would've started throwing things, hitting and kicking.
I'm thinking now, that he may have done those things not because he was mad that I wanted him to do something, but because he didn't want to get in trouble.
(By the way, I don't even know what "trouble" is, but don't tell him that- whatever "trouble" is in his head, is probably much worse than whatever I could come up with.)

I was thrilled. Thrilled that he actually turned off the game, and thrilled that he let me know that he was upset (crying) because he didn't want to get in trouble. Oh happy day.

As far as a school update, his substitute teacher did start yesterday. He walked Jaysen out at the end of the day- Jaysen kicked him in the shin and promptly told him "not to come to school tomorrow". Hmm. No love for the sub.

When I dropped him off at school this morning, I got to meet him. He's uber-tall (around 6'7"), and very cute. Like *wow* kind of cute. Anyway, Jaysen walked in and Mr.Sub gave him a minute before saying "hi, buddy!" Jaysen just glared at him, he looked at me, chuckled and said, "he loves me". Awesome- at least he has a sense of humor. I explained a bit about Jaysen, and how humor is the way to reach him, and he said "great, we'll get along fine then." So I have faith that once Jaysen feels comfortable, he'll do very good by him.

Only thing that sucks is, now I have to start doing my hair before I drop him off at school. ;)

7 comments:

Casdok said...

Well done Jaysen!!

awalkabout said...

Substitutes used to be automatic meltdowns for our boy, too. Thank the stars he's finally realized the world doesn't come to an end because it's a different teacher. Good job, Jaysen!!

mommy~dearest said...

awalkabout- the sub is for Jaysen, in lieu of a parapro. He's in addition to the gen.ed teacher.

Update- I received a letter from the principal addressed to all the parents, announcing a meeting in the cafeteria tomorrow, with the Head of Special Education and the Superintendent...regarding "the frustrations and concerns around MissR's classroom environment."

Nice. A day's notice? I'll be there with bells on. One mention of my son by name and they'll all meet Momzilla.

misha_k said...

What a great step for Jaysen not having a meltdown. J is back to his "I don't want to do what you say even though I did before!" mode so I can understand how thrilled you are.

A cute sub, huh? I'd probably make sure my hair was done too. Things sound promising for Jaysen.

As for that letter you received and it contents, I'd be ticked and ready to pounce. That is so unprofessional. grr!

LAA and Family said...

Hi, thanks for visiting my blog!

We get lots of use of out timers and "counting down" around here. We used to use cards with the numbers 5 down to "0 - all done". Now we can most often count down just verbally and Samuel accepts it just fine. We count down in "minutes" and can often start with 2 or 3 minutes now.

I'll need to catch up with the rest of your goings on at school when I have a chance to read.

Nice to "meet" you!

Marla said...

That is a breakthrough! I love moments like that. It shows what a wonderful mom you are in helping him gain these coping skills.

Elissa - Managing Autism said...

That's fantastic news about the interaction without the meltdown - well done Jaysen!! What a breakthrough!

(And that's a bugger the Sub's so cute.. there'll be no rushing out the door at the last minute before school!!!)