Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rules, rules, and more rules

I try to keep things positive with Quinn. Before we brought him home, we were lucky enough to have breakfast with awesome psychologist and author Dr. Kevin Leman. He lamented how he hears so many parents walking into Walmart while telling their kids, "You had better not act up! You better not touch anything! You better not ask for any toys." When you do that you're just planting negative ideas, he says.

So we keep it positive. But in our desperate quest to help Quinn stay at the school we really like, we've been blasting him with a barrage of rules. "Don't turn on the microwave." "Don't bang into any friends." Actually, it seemed to be working - he wouldn't do whatever thing we told him not to do, but the list kept getting longer as we added whatever had trouble he'd gotten into at school that day.

Then at lunch last week, I noticed him mumbling and I bent down to hear what he was saying. This is what I heard: "Do not pop anyone's bubble. Keep your hands to yourself. Keep your body to yourself. Do not put pebbles in your friend's mouth. Do not kick any friends on the slide. Do not touch the buzzer. Do not touch the microwave. Do not touch the green button. Do not bump into any friends."

Well, that was just about enough to make me cry. Poor kid. Who could keep straight that litany of rules? No wonder he was getting into new trouble each day. With so much negativity bouncing around in his head, honestly, what other outcome could we expect?

So you might think that this was a wake up call and I immediately changed my ways. You would be wrong. That didn't happen until the next evening, when I was telling Quinn that Miss Leticia said he did a good job of stopping a negative behavior when she told him to (believe me, that was progress!). He looked up at me and said hopefully, "Was she proud of ya?"

By George, she's finally got it! Let's get back to positivity! So on Thursday and Friday we kept telling Quinn how proud we were that he was trying so hard to stay inside his own bubble and how we knew he was going to keep doing better and better.

And guess what? GUESS WHAT? He's doing better. So much better that when Tom picked him up from school Friday Quinn's teacher pulled Tom into the classroom so he could see all the good things Quinn had done that day.

As always, who knows if we've cracked the code? Who knows if this will last? But positive certainly feels better than negative. To all of us.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Swimmin' Quinny

He may still get his pronouns mixed up, but at summer's end this kiddo can now go hold his breath and go underwater. Just enough knowledge to be a danger to himself, his swim teacher says. So one last cute video before the pool goes away for the season:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A new school, a new worry

Quinn's new school is fabulous and his new teacher is terrific. Under her care he's already made so many strides - he's participating in songs, listening at story time, noticing (although not quite playing  with) other kids.

And then.

On Thursday, he had an absolute nightmare of a school day. So bad the teacher sadly told us that the (private) school might not be equipped to handle him. In retrospect, I shouldn't be surprised. Before school even started that morning, I saw him refuse to move when the teacher asked him too - VERY unusual for Quinn - and get right up in a little girl's face even after she asked him not to do that. Once inside the classroom, he was running around wildly, banging into kids and knocking them down, knocking over block towers little kids were building. He went down the slide before his turn and hit a girl already on it, and later he poked a girl in the eye.

It was about as bad as it could be.

And then.

On Friday, he was back to his old self. I hope - I pray - that Thursday was an aberration. That he was just out of sorts. We had messed up his schedule by pulling him out of school for two days to visit my brother. Also, we were out of milk so he had an unusually sugary breakfast of blueberries and a waffle with syrup, with none of his usually Cheerios and milk. Maybe one of those two things put his nervous system out of whack. Maybe neither had anything to do with it.

So we're on high alert, role-playing good behavior and talking about proper actions and reactions. But, Lord is this scary.

I would do anything to help Quinn achieve everything he is capable of achieving. I just wish I had a clue of how to do that.