September 18, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Some weeks are two steps forward/one step back, some weeks are two steps forward and some weeks are neutral. Unfortunately, but not out of character -this week Alex took one step forward and two steps back. Perhaps we have entered another plateau.

Our step forward - and positive event this week was that Alex finally took the bus home!! It involved lots of bribing and promises - and John was home early to greet her - but it happened.

However, because she acquiesced, it does make me question if the bus driver is the only reason that Alex dislikes the bus. When I explained to Alex that her Dad (she is still calling him John) could meet her at the path she agreed to take the bus. John said there were some very loud dogs on the path home and although they have an invisible fence they barked as they walked by. Perhaps this is part of Alex's reasoning, although she is not afraid of dogs…. So hard to figure out....But I am celebrating the success.

On the negative side - disappointments - one quite larger than the other. Alex got on the scale again - I do sound rather fixated on the scale- don’t I? In my defense - Alex learns by seeing not hearing. So I use the scale as a cue....still not so nice huh? Alex has gained two more pounds - this means she must be sneaking food again – so more attention needs to be paid on my part. It is so strange to me that the i-pod bribe is not working.

The more serious infraction this week was stealing. Alex came home the other day with her sweatshirt rolled up. We could tell she was trying to hide something from us...sometimes her sneaking is very clever, like with food – but this time it was not.

Alex would not tell us what she had and ran up to her room. I figured I would give her a while and then go talk to her. When I got to her room she was hiding something in her closet - so after about five minutes of badgering her she confessed. She had a stopwatch and a little orange squishy thing in the shape of a brain. I have no idea what the significance of these two totally unrelated items was - but she said she had "borrowed" then from Mr. S. Now - I really do not think Mr. S. uses a stopwatch - sounds more like a football coach thing to me.

I believe that Alex "borrows" things when she is frustrated about something, or feels like she needs to be in control (as with eating). So we had a talk - and I still was not able to figure out what had happened. First, Alex said she found the items, and then she said she was holding them for Mr. S. Finally, she told me she did not know, and I knew she had closed up.

Alex did promise to return the items - which she did. Yesterday, I called Mr. S. and asked him if these items were his - surprise - they were not!! I know at some point I will get the real story - as both Mr. S. and I are on the case. However, stealing is wrong, inappropriate and a very bad thing. But I believe it is a symptom of something and that is what I need to figure out.

I have learned over the last 16 years, that plateaus happen and I must believe they are temporary. Actually, I know they are temporary. We will just push and prod until we get back on the road to the mountain.

Tonight Alex has a home football game. I am sure that she will do her job well – and this confidence will help her move forward again.

Hopefully soon!

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