Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"I like camp!"

It's 3:48 pm.
I hear the minivan pull up outside.
I hear the front door open.
I rise and head for the stairs to intercept T on his way up to his room...bracing myself for the tirade that is sure to come about his second day at his therapeutic camp for other children with ASD.
I turn the corner and there he is - stopped midway on the stairs.

And I hear the words: "I like camp."

Wha? How? When? What?

"Stop messing with me", was my reply.

"Nope.  I'm serious.  I love camp.  And it only took one day.  And I met a friend.  Her name is Astrid*.  We played WII together.  And kickball wasn't that bad.  And Rick* is my friend too - we're the three amigos."

I've never actually been dumbfounded before in my life.  Never.  This one takes the cake.

So we hugged, and I held back the tears while thanking God outloud for the blessing of a great day at camp!

*That's not really their names...all names are changed to protect the Aspies.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

First Day of Therapeutic Camp

"It's worse than a concentration camp!"
"I'm not like those retards!"
"I refuse to go back!"

On and on and on.  For 15 minutes an 47 seconds.  I know, because I recorded it for review with the therapist later.  The entire duration of the ride home from the therapeutic social skills camp T began today.

"I'm done with you until you take me out of this camp!"

The entire thing feels a lot like an intervention with someone who refuses to acknowledge their addiction.

"There's nothing wrong with me now!  I was bad when I started at the last school, and the kids there just never forgot and hold it against me.  But I'm FINE now!  All I need is my mobile therapist and behavioral specialist - I don't need this DAMN camp!"

Over and over I calmly explained that we're doing all of this - including the camp - to help him to improve the areas in which he still needs help.  That he did indeed make huge growth in his 8 years there, but that he still needs to work on some really important skills.

"This is ruining my life!  This is taking up my WHOLE summer!"

No - three hours a day for 5 days a week for 6 weeks.  That's only 1/8th of your entire 24-hour day.

I'm thinking/hoping this is taking on the form of the stages of grief.  In fact we went through three of them on the ride home.

  1. Denial.  "There's nothing wrong with me now!"
  2. Bargaining,  "I'm okay with all of the other stuff these people do - the wrap around services are fine - just not this camp.  Take me out and I PROMISE I'll do the stuff at home."
  3. Anger. "I'm done with you ALL until you take me out of this camp!"
  4. Depression.
  5. Acceptance.