"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Firefly Friday. Fifteen Minutes.

Let me start this off by saying, we have been working really, really hard this summer. We, as in Firefly, myself, her therapists, psychologists, doctors, you-name-its. We actually ended off last school year relatively unsuccessfully--that is, if you define success as "Boy, I can't wait to do this again next year", instead of, "What I wouldn't pay for that big yellow school bus to come and take her away every day".

We were really, really, really ready for summer (which is why it came to our house in early May).

So, yes, we have been working really hard this summer. Her Occupational Therapist found several visual processing issues that have been addressed. Her psychologist and psychiatrist have OK'd her medication levels. We have started all kinds of alternative medical practices.
I have prayed. I have tried my best to get my mind right. She is excited about school. Our principal is fully behind us.

And last week, at her OT re-eval, her OT was glowing. Positively thrilled. All kinds of excited about the documented progress they had made. "She's doing great!" actually even came out of her mouth.

**Side note here. I used to be that therapist. I spent years working in Early Intervention. I know how they / we think. I recognize the excitement over baby steps. For Pete's sake, I can clearly remember having tears in my eyes when one of my little ones pointed to her nose upon request for the first time. She was two. Now she's nine. I remember.**

So I should have recognized it when I saw it from the other side. The parent side. Instead, I got all caught up in it. Yay! That's wonderful! She's doing great! (Be careful, here. This is the path that leads to the expectation of "fixing" her.)

And then I started asking the questions.
Really, I should have quit while I was ahead.

"So, let me get this straight. When we are trying to cut, she should be able to do it?"
"Yep. That's right."
"When we are working on copywork, she should have no trouble?"
"Yep. That's right."
"Her hands are not getting tired from holding the pencil?"
"Yep. That's right."
Again, I should have quit while I was ahead. But I didn't. (Do I ever?)

"So, realistically, while I am working to plan out our school day, what is a realistic amount of time to expect her to sit and focus on, or complete, a task?"
"About fifteen minutes."

Next time, I promise, I will quit while I am ahead.

Fifteen minutes?!
Are you kidding me?!
What on earth would we be dealing with if this kid was in school--for six and a half HOURS?

Fifteen minutes.
Baby steps.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all that jazz.

In fifteen minutes, we have just managed to open our books to the right page.
We have just managed to finally find a pencil that works.
We have just managed to get ourselves under control and NOT throw a tantrum about doing the work (and that includes a five-minute stint in our bedrooms--well, Firefly's bedroom. I usually don't have to send myself, although that has been known to happen.)

Fifteen minutes.
I don't really know what to do with that. Really throws a monkey wrench into planning a school day, though.

I know. Baby steps.
We'll take what we can get.
Actually, I'm glad I asked, although I was less-than-thrilled with the answer. Nothing like setting us both up with incredibly high, impossibly high, expectations.

So we're working through it. Trying to manuever through the school day with fifteen minute bursts. I'm working on my patience.
And we're going to work really hard.

Maybe, by December, we'll be up to seventeen minutes.
(Hey, a girl has to dream, right? ; )


  1. Okay so, this just means, lots of breaks, right? That's what they would do if she were in public school, if that big yellow bus were taking her away - right? She'd work for 15 minutes and then have a sensory break, or whatever she needed..... and then go back to work for another 15 minutes. My boys have spent the last 3 years working their way up to longer and longer time periods of work. It's slow going, but they are getting there....

    I love your kids aliases, by the way!

  2. It's always happy-heart-break, right?

    I try to cling to the positives...but those pesky "unmet goals" are so hard on the heart even still!


  3. Hi, I'm dropping by from one of the hops to invite you to my giveaway over at We Have It All. It's a mom/family package and the giveaway ends tomorrow night.

    I hope you're having a fantastic weekend!



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