Over the last year, T had\s become more aggressive and unpredictable in the manner in which he reacts to disappointment and change. When told they can't watch TV until later, B and G might whine a little. But a gentle reminder that a.) it's not that long to wait and b.) continuing to whine will result in loss of that privilege altogether is enough to smooth that out. They make peace with it and move on.
But for T, the whining is quickly replaced by yelling, shouting, name calling, cursing, verbal threats and - in some rarer cases - physical attacks. (He's a pretty large pre-teen, so these are no longer easily handled.) So we've enlisted the help of a new resource: a local foundation that provides wrap-around support to families who have medicaid coverage.
Here's the catch. The evaluation requires that T be observed "in his natural habitat". School, community, and home. He does not act out in school. He does not act out at community events, like scouts. So on the first two observations - at which he was unaware of the observation occurring - all that was seen was a bit of 'distractibility'.
Next stop: the in-home evaluation. So the evaluator should get an eyeful, right? Well, not necessarily. T almost never shows these reactions when strangers or family friends are around. While discussing this with the evaluator, I mentioned that I almost think I need to catch him in the act on video. She thought this was a splendid idea. So - starting yesterday, I now roam the house with my smartphone at the ready to engage audio or video recording to catch him in these moments. He knows I'm doing it, and insists it is because I want to embarrass him and that I will post it online.
I have become an undercover police officer. A private investigator. The creator of a sting operation in my own home. I now get the 'pleasure' of reliving these moments while I edit them together for the evaluator's viewing. I only hope that this foray into the world of behavior modification stakeouts is helpful in securing the help we most desperately need.