Friday, December 26, 2008

Day Treatment, days 2 and 3

We had some electrical issues here at home that prevented me from blogging days two and three, and we're giving the day-treatment staff a well-needed break until Monday, so here's how things are going so far.

Day 2 was sketchy, and the second evening at home was a complete disaster... but I stuck with the program and she lost enough points to sink to "Level 1" during day 3. Level 1 means they can't do extra-fun stuff like use electronics or television, they can only read books or play board games or card games for fun.

I spent a long time talking with one of the social workers there, and she recommended that I institute the point system among the other two kids at home as well. I thought this was a capital idea, so that's what we've started doing as of this morning.

On the point sheet, each kid has three goals, and they get points for meeting the goals during each divided-out time period of the day. It's a TON of work for me, certainly, but the kids have shown enthusiasm for meeting their goals. When they start to get upset or out of control, they have to do a "sit-out" in which they use a "coping plan"... they think of happy things, or just use the time to calm down... and afterwards they make amends if necessary (apologize, etc.) and move on to the next thing.

Basically we're trying to train her to respond constructively to her anger instead of lashing out. We have done forms of this throughout her life, actually, so it's working pretty well so far because she's had practice. While this is helpful, it doesn't really solve the problem -- but that will come when they start working on changing her meds.

One thing it IS forcing me to do is to be a bit more organized and forward-thinking, and that's a good thing. I need that, desperately. I'm spending more time considering mealtimes and together times, and making a plan. I've never been a planner by nature.

Providentially, our dining room table that we bought back last summer finally arrived on Tuesday night and is in the dining room. It is the perfect excuse for having a full sit-down meal together. It's a large square table that seats eight, it's counter-height with two tall chairs on each of its four equal sides, and it's dark wood and very minimalist in design. There's a big lazy-susan in the middle as well, which is a terrific feature. I am very happy with my choice... it seems to work perfectly for us, and it dovetails right into our new routine.

We've had some extremely constructive family talks together around the new table already. It seems to be a great place to talk through things that happen and plan through things that haven't yet happened.

We've kept the old table and it's pushed up against the wall. I may use it for art projects or other messy things, since it's pretty messy already. This house may be a big drafty barn of a place, but it does have SPACE. Yay, space!

I like space.

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