Who would have thought this statement would be music to my ears. The clouds have parted and the angels are singing an Hallelujah Chorus. Well that may be a bit extreme, but it about explains my enthusiasm when I was on the receiving end of that statement.
We have been working on with Crash for what seems to be forever on using his words and not screaming when upset or problems arise. Seems like a reasonable request for a two legged human being. Can you imagine your co-worker screaming at the top of their lungs every time something didn't go their way? Absolutely unacceptable right? Well, it is also unacceptable in our house.
We have been modeling ways to express feelings, using social stories to express feelings, and scripting situations to allow Crash to begin to use his words in these tense situations. Fill in the blank sentences like this have been helpful...
I feel_________ When __________ I want to _________.
We have been using this in situations that become overwhelming to Crash's sensory system as well and have found it can also apply to meltdowns. We are trying hard to acknowledge the feelings that he is experiencing and looking to him to come up with a solution. (Not that that will be an acceptable solution, but it is a starting point.)
He is our encounter from the other day.
Mom: Crash, I need you to do X Crash: No. (and proceeds to do Y) Mom: Crash, that's 1 (working in a little 1,2,3, Magic) Crash: Continues to do Y Mom: Crash that's 2. You need to do X Crash: NO! Mom: 3 Time Out. Crash: Throws Y and starts screaming. But sits in time out. Mom: You are in Time out for throwing Y and not doing X. I know you are mad because you want to do Y, but you have to do things that you are told first. Then you can do Y. So if you do X, then you get Y. Mom walks away. Crash: Screams I AM VERY MAD AT YOU. I WANT Y. Mom: Thank you for telling me how you feeling. It can be very frustrating not to get what you want. When you are ready to do X, let me know. Crash: 2 min later. I want X.
I love it when the process actually works. It gives me hope that we are progressing on our journey towards becoming a functional human being.