Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Unexpected Victory

For some time now, I have had suspicions that there might be something going on with Caleb. After all, haven't I heard it enough from teachers and such?
In the past month, more than one person (non-professionals) has indicated that they thought he may be autistic, something that I don't believe. However, I have been wondering if maybe there are some ADD/ADHD tendencies present.
And then, I made a behavior chart.
Just this simple act of doing something visual that he can see and know what is expected of him has made him into a totally different child. I honestly did not think that it would work, but after a particularly difficult few days wherein I tearfully called his pediatrician and even a possible counselor for him, I sat down and constructed this chart. I came up with 5 behaviors that we were having a difficult time with, picked out some rewards and had him choose punishments. I'm not exactly sure why this worked, but it did. He's not perfect and still has some difficult moments, but what 5 year old boy doesn't.
Birthday parties have been an issue for us. Just the mere mention of them makes me break out in a cold sweat and we have even skipped out of some just to avoid the behavior that seems to come out during them. I would say, jokingly, but somewhat seriously, that I thought that the places of business were pumping in some sort of stimulant into the air and giving my son an extra dose, because he would just be cr-azy. This past Saturday, Caleb was invited to his friend's birthday party and I just made it very clear, ahead of time, that if he didn't act right and control himself that he would get all x's and no smiley faces (BIG time punishments!) on his chart. He was a different kid at this party, having loads of fun, but not acting like a crazed maniac.
I'm not conviced that this chart is the magic bullet for him, but I think it might make a huge difference. It has for the past week, so I'm thinking we maybe on the right track. I'm holding onto the psychologist's number though.

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