Wednesday, August 26, 2015

School Daze

I woke up this morning at 4:53 a.m. My husband was rustling around and slightly awake. I told him that Colin wanted to be woken up at 5:00 a.m. and was told to let him sleep. At 5:10, I crawled out of bed as I heard my middle-son's alarm going off. I peaked in his room. My 17 year old was a bit groggy but in the process of getting out of bed. I then proceeded to go downstairs.

The dog awoke and was stretching. He followed me to the top of the basement stairs. The lights were on but I did not hear any signs that Colin was awake until we started to descend down to his room. Half-way down, I heard his voice.

"I'm awake!"

We turned around. I took the pup out for a pee and then gave him his breakfast. Colin scurried up the stairs, wide-awake, fully dressed for school and seemed to be in a good mood. He cheerfully greeted his dog and went about eating his breakfast and packing his school lunch.

Soon it would be time to leave for the first day of school!

The Send Off

Last Wednesday, Eldest left to start his freshman year at a university that is two hours from our home. We had a family dinner the night before at a nice restaurant and then milkshakes from Sonic for dessert. The younger two were in great spirits. They have been plotting on having a great school year now that middle-son would be a senior and the designated driver to school.

Wednesday evening while hubs was helping our oldest move in his dorm, the other boys came with me to pick my niece up from the airport and shuttle her to her new dorm for the year at a college near our home.

We had a nice dinner at a campus pizza joint and then on to the dorm. Colin stayed in the car with me while middle-son helped his cousin check in.

There was a bit of a key-card snafu which resulted in my being stuck for a half hour in my car with Colin in the back seat. He was surprisingly chatty.

He told me he had the best day. When I asked why, I found out that he slept until 4 p.m. He was up until 2:00 a.m. and had 14 hours of sleep. He continued to talk about the upcoming school year and his class plan. He wanted to change from Pre-Calculus to Calc AB and would need parental consent to do so. Truthfully most of the conversation was not that memorable. What made the strongest impression on me was the fact he seemed relaxed and happy. I was reminded of the good old days when my son was able to sit and talk to me. My heart was full!

Weekend Visits

I was feeling guilty about not helping with the move and being able to see my eldest's dorm room. I decided to take a trip Saturday to go visit. Originally Colin said he thought he'd like to go. He was interested in seeing his brother's campus and room. When the time came to leave, Colin was groggy and decided to stay home with the dog and his middle brother. Maybe next time....

Sunday, my brother and his wife came for a short visit after helping their daughter with her dorm room. We had a nice visit other than the house being in a shambles. We are in the middle of a kitchen and half bath remodel. Colin was fairly social and the difference in his demeanor from a year ago was remarkable.

The First Day of School

Back to the first day of school which started so very early. The day seemed to be a success. Both boys were exhausted. I did get enough information to know that all went well.

I am so very hopeful for a great rest of the year. It has been a struggle but we are finally starting to see the fruits of our labor.

As always.... we are a work in progress!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Gaming Theory - Part 2

We had yet another rather successful weekend.

Saturday afternoon, I packed up Colin, the dog and Eldest and headed out. We dropped Eldest off at his job and then ventured on to my sister's house. I wanted to get some pool time as well as drop off a bucket of tomatoes from the garden.

After we dropped eldest off, Colin asked politely if I could turn the radio off. Eldest likes to listen to the radio and will take control of the stations. Colin has a healthy respect for his brother and is reluctant to give any signs of being bothered. His eldest brother is convinced that Colin is fine now. Unfortunately I know better. At least Colin seems able to cope.

I looked for any other signs of distress during the car ride but found none. The trip and visit went smoothly. I got to visit with my sister and her swimming pool and Colin spent most of his time with his cousin playing video games.

Sunday was another family day. We spent time with my husband's family. Colin went with his eldest brother early so that they could swim with their cousins at a club. My husband and I went later to his sister's house for dinner and some time with our visiting relatives.

Another great day. Colin seems to be more comfortable with family gatherings and appeared to have a great time!

Yesterday morning I heard another segment on NPR while driving the pup to daycare. I am really excited that my theory about complex video games may have some merit!

As always....We are a work-in-progress!

This story is about video games to help with neurological disorders applying for FDA approval.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Gaming Theory

Another successful week and weekend. Time has been flying by and school will start soon. This past weekend was a tax-free school supply holiday and I tried to take advantage of this. I took eldest on Saturday night and Colin on Sunday (yesterday) afternoon.

As I continue my policy of minimal intrusion with Colin, I am seeing results. Other than a few shushes when he is in a "mood" and does not want to hear talking or a "get out of my room" when checking in on him, our sparse interactions have been pleasant. Colin said "Yes" to a shopping trip yesterday afternoon and later that evening we went out to eat with eldest and my husband. Middle-son was tired from work and wanted to nap. Colin was in a relatively good mood and both events were enjoyable.

I've had several parents in my Parent Support Group ask about our method for helping our son improve. I mention a few things: 1. The Sound-Proofed Room  2. Allowing him to get a dog 3. "Detachment Parenting" (ie. leaving him the hell alone as much as possible) and 4. Video Games (Colin is able to play video games in the noisy part of the basement even when the laundry machines are going).

This morning I heard a story on NPR which reinforces my crazy theory that when engrossed in an activity that is enjoyable and requires a high amount of concentration, triggers can be tuned out. While my son refused to try Neurofeedback, I feel that video games may have the same effect in helping with triggers.

As always, we are a work-in-progress!