Yesterday was the second day of the lil man’s therapy. It was quite intense. It is mainly play, but play that is trying to create behavior modification. At first, he was excited by the box of toys that accompanied the interventionist. However, he did not realize he would have to 1. give eye contact to begin play, get help with an object, or continue playing with a toy 2. complete a task with a toy (even if he no longer wanted to play with that toy) before moving on to play with another toy 3. use the sign “more” to continue playing with the most desired toys.
By thirty minutes into the session, he was nearing the beginnings of a meltdown. He wanted to open the box of toys himself. He likes his independence and he is more than capable opening the plastic container of toys. However, he would have to complete the task and then “knock” for the interventionist to open the box. At the beginning of the session, he was happy to comply. By now, he no longer wanted to put forth the extra effort to “play”…
My heart went out to him. He was so exhausted, so overwhelmed, so confused. Why did he have to do all these extra steps just to play? Why did it take so much effort to get his needs met?
I knew this would be intense and hard for the both us — hard for him to get used to following the instructions and hard for me to watch him go through all of this. However, I did not expect it to be so difficult on Day 2.
This afternoon will be his 3rd session. I am already feeling anxious about it. He does not know to expect it. I am curious what his reaction will be when his interventionist arrives today: joy, sadness, ambivalence.