School has been such a big issue for us for the last two months and Monkey is also having some sleep issues so we made a couple of appointments to talk to the experts.
Yesterday, we visited with Dr. G who is a psychologist. She is going to be helping us with the school problem. The appointment was to give her a thorough explanation of the issues and answer her questions. Monkey was there hanging out while we talked. He was trying to interact with the Dr. without looking at her or actually interacting…it was really cute. He kept putting his markers on the table she was sitting at and rolling them in her direction so she couldn’t write, lol. He was pretty persistent but did not make eye contact.
Anyway, the Dr. gave Duhdee and I some homework and believes that we’re dealing with stimulus generalization. Basically he experienced a scary event (teacher dressed up) and has been generalizing it…scary things happen at school…and generalizing it again…scary things happen when I get in the car….and generalizing it again….scary things happen when I put on my shoes, etc. She said this shows that he’s very smart (well, duh) and is very good at learning. Now we need to help him UNLEARN the associations he has learned, this is the tricky bit. She is going to gather more information from the teacher and Monkey will have therapy with her once a week for the next 6-8 weeks.
I have to say my initial reaction was a bit of skepticism. Really, how does one do therapy like this in a clinic setting and not in the home or at school? How does one do therapy with a non-verbal 3 1/2 year old (since dad will not be in the sessions, he will be waiting in the waiting room)? Duhdee and I discussed this but Monkey really likes Dr. G (we’ve met her before) and we’re desperate for some help so we’re game.
This morning while we were getting ready for and driving to school Monkey whined at all the typical times (putting shoes on, walking out the front door, turning on to the street, getting out of the car, walking into the building, walking down the hall, walking into the classroom) but he never broke into tears. Not even when I gave him a hug goodbye. He did not cling to me. He let me go and went on to have one of his best days ever at school.
So maybe this will work!
The next appointment is still not set up. We’ll be meeting with a psychiatrist to discuss the sleep issue. Monkey is able to fall asleep easily with the melatonin but he’s no longer sleeping through the night every night. Since kids with FX commonly have sleep disorders we need to make sure we’re addressing this properly if he falls into that category. Lack of sleep (on his and our parts) really is affecting our quality of life these days. We shall see what happens there.