Happiness vs Progress……?
July 26, 2011
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Now Reading: Happiness vs Progress……?
July 26, 2011
Typical text back & forth between me & wife…
“How was the ride to school?”
“You don’t want to know… but once he got there he seemed happy…”
“How was his day at school?”
“They said ok til the last hour, but they survived it”
“Leaving work now, should be home 630ish”
“Good, cuz I’m going to sleep as soon as you get home. Rough afternoon…
So that’s currently a typical day in our lives with Mr. Kyle these days.
The key words are rough, survive, and happy.
My big question of the day is how can Kyle make any progress if he’s not happy. As I’ve stated in previous FB Notes, Kyle hasn’t made any real progress is years. And people (including you guys 🙂 are always saying you should do social stories or you should do PECS or you should try this or that.
But I feel before we can try anything we need to get a somewhat happy cooperative kid who kinda wants to learn…or at least wants to sit still for more than 9 seconds… or at least a kid who has some real reinforcers that he will work for.
When Kyle thinks you are asking something of him, making him work. Even something he knows like “point to eyes”, he gets this pained look on his face and he starts breathing heavy and he will try to get out of the situation.
So much of our lives the past few years are let’s get past these stomach issues and then when he’s in a good place for awhile we’ll start _____ . Fill in the blank (potty training, dressing skills, etc). Let’s get past these tantrums and get back to a happy kid and then we’ll start _____.
And the school kinda does the same thing. “Kyle had a great day” doesn’t mean he mastered 3 things in ABA or pointed to his name in circle time. It means he was happy all day, didn’t tantrum, and ate all his lunch.
It’s kinda been going along like this for the past 2-3 years in school and at home. He does do a little better in school, but the skills he learns in school rarely if ever make it to our house.
So the question is… should you ever get to a place where you give up on “teaching” and just work your hardest to have a happy kid? I don’t mean forever… but how do you expect to see any progress during the crazy times? And what happens when the crazy times take over?
This note is all over the place. I’m gonna end it here. I might have more to say. If I do, I’ll add it in later and/or add it to the comments…
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Written byFrank Campagna
I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).