I waited until Tuesday to speak with our psychologist to report last Saturday's visit. I also wanted to hold off until I had an update from my sister on Monday's therapy session. While my visit was mostly uneventful, my sister had a more interesting story.
Somewhere between the time Colin came home from school and his appointment with his therapist, the lawn crew showed up. Lawn mowers have been the source of my son's biggest triggered reactions at our house. Instead of retreating, Colin went outside and jumped on the trampoline for a while and didn't show any stress at the nearby mowers. We don't know if the jumping helped offset a reaction or if he was able to control his distress for a short period of time.
The prior week, Colin managed to stay in the library with the therapist for 4 minutes of her playing a recording of windshield wipers and was about to leave when he was told he only had one minute left to earn his X-Box time. Despite the fact he acts like he doesn't hear his therapist, he ended up staying the extra minute.
This week, he was unable to last even a minute of the same recorded sound. We theorize he may have been worn out from facing down the lawn crew.
The strategy I discussed with our psychologist for my next visit to the house was that I would attempt to work in my birthday by having cake and have similar visit as the week before.
On Wednesday, I celebrated my 55th birthday. My husband and two oldest boys took me out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants. We had a nice meal but I was a bit subdued. I did not feel in a celebratory mood.
After six months of Colin not living in our home, it feels like I only have two boys. I feel guilty at family gatherings not having my youngest son represented. Only a few close friends and family members know about our youngest son's situation.
My sister called with birthday wishes and as she approached my son in the hallway, he said "No!" and ran away as a preemptive strike before she could ask if he wanted to say "Happy Birthday". We made arrangements for me to come out Sunday for cake.
Not only was I curious how my son would react, I wanted to see how he would handle having left over cake in the house as a reminder of my visit.
Hide and Seek
Today, when I came out there was a lovely chocolate cake with my name on it (literally!). My sister also picked up a cute floral planter. My son, however, was no where to be found. I looked all over the house but Colin was not in all the usual places. My brother-in-law told me that Colin had asked him earlier in the day if I was coming out. He clearly was hiding from me.
My sister and brother-in-law sang to me and we had cake. My nephew came up to join us after he finished up his video game. I ended up having a nice chat with him about his cousin. I am concerned that my son has no one that he will confide in and we need to make plans for next year when he goes to High School.
Colin has a choice between two schools; the public High School near our home or the private, all-boys Catholic school that his brothers go to. Currently my son has indicated to his guidance counselor that he does not know where he wants to go. He had recently received a schedule from the private school and missed the deadline (a week ago) to confirm his desire to attend. I am hoping that his cousin can help Colin make the choice that is best for his needs.
Later in my visit, just before I was ready to go home, my brother-in-law helped me look for Colin. He was hiding under a pile of blankets in a lower-level (basement) closet. His uncle was not amused and sternly told Colin to get up and that he was going to have to clean up the mess he made. After a few moments my son did get up and made his escape out of the closet and ran through the game room and outside in his bare feet.
I decided it was time to go and went to a few places that he might be. I went to the garage and in a loud voice said "Goodbye Colin. I'm leaving!" I also announced my exit in a few other areas he might have been hiding and then left.
I took half of what was left of the cake home (see photo) and left the other half at the house. It will be interesting to see if my son will touch the cake.
I called my sister upon my return home and found that my son had reappeared. He was reprimanded for the mess of blankets on the closet floor and was told to clean it up. I told my sister I would check in with her either Monday night or Tuesday to get a report. I will then call our psychologist to form a strategy for next week's visit.
Time continues to fly by and school will be over in a matter of weeks. Lots to be done!
We are a Work-In-Progress!