Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Change is Coming...Reading Your Child's Behavior

Something is different in the way Billy Ray is acting.  Maybe he is trying to do more things or maybe he is refusing to do his normal schedule.  During these times I have learned to be especially mindful of these little signs.

Case in point, the past few days I have seen him picking up specks of paper that have dropped on the floor, straightening placemats on the table.  This generally means he is ready for a schedule change.  A consultant friend once said that if we don’t give him enough to do he will find something though it may not be what we want him to do.

This is probably a turning point for Billy Ray.  He has had much adjustment in the past year.  His school eligibility ended, we moved to a new community, have tried three new support staff, two of which are still with us and he has the life threatening illness that I wrote about earlier.  He has taken several months to bounce back from the illness and a new diagnosis (diabetes) has come in the process. However, he seems to be feeling stronger, is confident in his full time support staff, Ron, and is communicating by this behavior that he is ready to move forward.

I spent last evening drafting a new schedule.  We will add back some of the activities he did before he was ill and gradually give him more to do.  We will add more community activities. Instructions must be written down so that support staff and family will assist in the activities in a consistent way.  I plan to write about consistency and sequence of activities tomorrow.  For now, change of schedules take several steps to achieve.

Being aware of the subtle changes in behavior is vitally important to keeping things smooth in our day to day life.

Until tomorrow,
Peggy Lou

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