Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 3 of methylB12

So he's regressed back to his horrible park behaviors from last year.  Last night he tried to push a little girl off the slide.  Dan removed him kicking and screaming and took him back to the house.  Later on I asked him why he did it.  He told me 'it feels good when he pushes kids'.  BINGO!  He's now got the communication ability to explain why he is aggressive.  The good sign is that he is noticing all the kids in the park, and trying to socialize, but when he doesn't get a warm response, he resorts to physical connection, cause it feels good.  He's not mad at the kids, he just needs to connect and provoking them physically gets a response, but he doesn't have the empathy to be concerned about a negative emotional response.

He wanted to go to Hillcrest Park today. I prefaced our visit with a clear consequence.  If you touch/push/throw sand we will go home. Just use your words to ask kids what their names are, and if they want to play with you.

I followed him around to facilitate social interactions, and he was pretty good, except he threw sand at one girl.  When I had my back turned and was putting Clara in the stroller.  He punched and spat at a kid.  The dad totally freaked out at me.  I asked Charlie why he did it, and he said he wanted to go home.  DOUBLE BINGO!  I suddenly realized that I've been unknowingly re-inforcing his agressive behavior.  What I thought was a consequence (home or quiet time on the bench with me) is actually a reward. Home is his favourite place on earth.  Sitting on a bench with me is also a big reward, away from his peers.

As I walked home from the park, I wondered, WWGCD, (What Would Geneva Centre Do).  The answer is a reward system. One that rewards good behavior with things he enjoys.  After lunch, I told him that if he could be gentle, and not hit/push/crash/throw sand/spit other kids and his sister, he could go bowling. 

He immediately wanted to return to Hillcrest Park (yikes the scene of the crime) to earn his bowling reward.  For the afternoon, he did not show any agression, and when he was ready to leave, came up to me and asked to go home, so he could go bowling!!!

While Dan took him to Kipling Bowlerama (it was a special needs bowling league night by co-incidence), I came up with a reward system.

He will get one marble for everyday without aggression towards other kids and his sister.  If he gets 5 marbles in his container, then he gets to choose from a selection of special activities.  I cut out pictures from the Toronto Parks and Rec FunGuide, and the MEC catalogue and the Globe and Mail Travel section.  Pictures of bikes, rock climbing, canoeing, fishing, hiking, Ontario Place, The Zoo,  bowling, yoga etc.  I laminated them, added some velcro and made a choice board on a small accordion file folder.

Dan has selected 4 activities he is willing to do this weekend, so Charlie gets to choose his reward for being a gentle friend who uses words not his body to interact with kids.

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