Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Adventures in Assessment

This morning I took Judah to Mom's work where her co-worker had planned to do an assessment on Judah. Judah was very excited to be there. He hasn't been to Grandma's work in a long time. All of the staff came around to greet us. None of them had seen Willow since she started walking! In the middle of the large waiting area, surrounded by offices and classrooms, sat Robin at a table filled with coloring books, a hat, stuffed animals, blocks, etc. I had expected us to be in a closed room. She let me know that the room she wanted to use was taken by a teacher earlier.

Robin greeted Judah. I found coffee. My mom took Willow into her office. In no time I was chasing Judah down the halls pulling him out of classes, while at the same time trying to practice the new parenting methods that Robin had taught me (especially since she was there!). Her methods are hard, but they work. When he starts in on a tantrum I am basically supposed to ignore it. I don't let him touch me. I make sure he is safe and give him time and space to get through it. Immediately upon his calming down I give him lots of rewarding hugs and kisses. Another method is to just give him a bear hug until he calms down, but that's usually if he is going to hurt himself or someone else.  This was not the optimal situation for her method.

Robin came into the picture periodically to rescue me. It took her a while as well, but we did get him back. She was able to do somewhat of an assessment on him. She told me that he very clearly said, "Let me go!" when she was holding him, haha. She rewarded him for positive behavior. When he threw a block she told him to pick it up and of course he would not. He would get upset. But eventually he picked up the block.

At one point he was log rolling across the entire waiting area, which I didn't even know he could do! He kept sticking his hands down his pants the entire time we were there. When I finally figured out that his diaper was falling off it was too late. I fixed it but 5 minutes later he is standing in front of my mom and her co-worker, pulling his diaper out of the bottom of his pant leg. They are all facing my direction but nobody notices what Judah is doing. I interrupt Robin (which is hard because she is intimidating) and run over to get Judah.

This is when it got really bad. I had to go get diapers from the car. My meter was also up so I had to fill that as well. My mom decides to give me a pile of stuff to take to the car. I run out into the rain to get all of this business done. I head back into my Mom's office to find Judah having a gigantic tantrum because I had left. I went to put his diaper on and realized I had not gotten them out of the car! My mom was not happy, "What??!!?" I ran out again, which upset Judah more. I came back this time to find him with no pants on, Robin is in the room holding him down and apparently Judah has wet his pants (a lot) which also left a puddle of urine on my mom's carpeted office floor.

Robin gave me lots of advice while I was there. I was eventually upset about Judah being such a spectacle. At the time I was just trying to make the best of the situation, but now I realize that I should have gotten him out of there much sooner. I would never wish for my mom's co-workers to find out this way. The looks were hard to deal with.

Honestly I never realized until I met Robin how much our parenting skills were not allowing Judah to have full opportunity to progress. Discipline has changed. He's even going to time-outs now. I never even knew that was possible. Repetition, repetition, repetition.. on top of that he is a smart kid. He knows what's up.

Mom wants to hire Robin to work with Judah. I don't know if she will do it but it would be an amazing help to Judah and the rest of the family if she does take it on. She used to be a speech pathologist, but let her license run out because she was fed up with how crappy insurance companies treat people who need speech therapy. She is now a professor teaching Special Ed law. She raised 3 kids, one of which was autistic. They told her it was severe and that her daughter would never progress. That daughter now lives on her own and has a job. In fact, all of her kids are hugely successful. Robin is a hard worker, as a parent and as a person. She lives on a large farm with all kinds of animals. She and her husband take care of the farm. She works full-time at the college at the same time.

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