Monday, December 14, 2009

Enforcing Rule #7

Please read the earlier post for details on rule #7

Can life continue as normal when you never push the walls of the box? I have to argue No. In fact, I would say if you never push the walls of the box,life would cease to exist. But, can life continue as normal when you are always pushing the walls of the box?? Again I would have to answer NO.
There is a careful dance preformed every day with Crash. A give and take if you would. In the back of my mind I am aware of the decisions that are made throughout the day and if they seem to be limiting or expanding the box. I have to "give" if I want to "take." Crash can choose the pants, and I choose the shirt for example. I have to be aware of the shirts that have been worn that week and be willing to capitalize on the opportunity to expand the walls of the box by choosing a non preferred shirt. But, I have to acknowledge his resistance to the shirt, let him verbalize why he doesn't like the shirt and then come up with a solution. Something like, I understand that the shirt is scratchy and you do not like it. Please keep the shirt on for 5 minutes and if it is still scratchy we will change it.
Crash needs to learn to verbalize his feelings so he doesn't act out. I also feel he needs to have his feelings legitimized (even though I can not understand the feeling he is going through, it is real to him and therefore accepted by me as a feeling). I want him to one day be able to say I don't think I will like that shirt but I will try it. I am sure there will be bottom lines that he will not cross, but there again I hope he will be able to verbalize and explain. I just can not wear that it makes my skin feel like bugs are crawling all over it. That's a pretty clear picture to me about how awful that is and I would not push an issue like that. I just want to push to continue to expand the possibilities in life. At 3 years old, it is just to young to begin to limit everything.
I have noticed lately emotional outbursts when events do not occur as "planned" as well. Maybe he is just three, but he has a hard time if a friend decides to go play in a different room and will burst into tears. The unpredictability of the event to Crash was not manageable. He has a hard time decoding some of the social cues that most people aren't even aware they are following. By taking through situations that happen with Crash we are hoping to help him begin to understand some of these cues. Your friend wasn't trying to make you mad, he just wanted to play with the toys that are in the other room. Each person can decide the toys they want to play with and friends do not always play with the same toys together.

Rule #7

Rule #7: Life occurs outside a box

Life is never predictable. Just when you create a plan for the day something happens and the plan (or at least part of the plan) goes out the window. It happens so frequently that the little changes in ones life don't even affect us, we just adapt and continue. Take for example getting dressed in the morning. One of two things usually happens
1. I have already pre-decided what to wear.
2. I walk into my closet and look over the wide assortment of
clothes and pick something appropriate.
If something that I wanted to wear happened to be in the wash or the weather had changed and was no longer appropriate I quickly move on to another option. Life continues even though my plan changes. I adapt and my world continues. I may choose to go out for coffee later that afternoon with one of my friends. As I pull into the parking lot, I get a call that she has to cancel. One of two things usually happens
1. I go ahead and order coffee for myself
2. I continue on with my errands for the rest of the day and
reschedule coffee.
Again my plans had changed. I may be a little disappointed I can not get together with one of my friends, but again I adapted with little to no effort. My life is easily lived "outside" the box.

Crash on the other hand would prefer to live "inside' the box. It is quite all right with him to only have a small handful of acceptable outfits to wear, and even more acceptable to sit naked in front of the washing machine as one of THE outfits gets washed so he can wear it for the day. It would even be ok with him if this happened every day and he only had one outfit (as long as it was THE right outfit). If Crash were to have a preplanned activity canceled or changed at the last minute it would result in hysterical crying. After the recovery it would be quite all right with him NEVER to schedule a similar activity again.

Notice the walls of the box closing in??