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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Everyone Should Have a Calm Chart

I am observing Monchichi in therapy with Wonder Woman, our wonderful, irreplaceable, brilliant autism therapist who we lovingly refer to as "BOSS."  He is learning a new technique to keep his anger and frustration in check.  He can't tell us to "piss off" so he yells and grunts and flaps instead.  It's okay now, at seven years of age.  But if he's still doing it at 16 then I predict high hospital bills.  For everyone.

The beauty of behavioral intervention though, is that we can give him other ways of coping with those high-octane emotions.  Hence, the calm chart.

So I'm watching as Wonder Woman directs him towards the wall, where his brand spanking new Calm Chart is hanging.  It's just a laminated board, with velcro on it, and corresponding cards illustrating things that he likes like stretching, squeezing a pillow, getting a head rub and taking a deep breath.  He picks three cards and I watch as he begins to squeeze the living daylights out of his little monkey pillow. 

This.  Is.  Brilliant.

I need a Calm Chart, I think. 
Oh! 
The endless possibilities!
I imagine the choices on my GIANT laminated board
Chocolate.  Cheese.  Full Body Massage.  Pedicure.  Double Nonfat Vanilla Latte.  Seven Day, Six Night Trip to Bora Bora.

Squeezing a pillow?
Clearly my son is an amateur.

I think about the people in my life who would benefit from a Calm Chart:

My mom.
My husband.
My sister.

YOU.

I think about the fact that if everyone had a Calm Chart, we might not be so inclined to hiss at each other when in a crowded mall (yes, I'm talking about you weird mullet guy who was clearly offended that I didn't cower away as you stomped up the sidewalk towards the mall entrance and then proceeded to HISSSSS at me.   Ew.)

He could have definately used a Calm Chart.

Or
a Behavioral Interventionist.




1 comment:

Aggie said...

seriously! what was up with weird mullet guy? p.s. im perfectly happy squeezing my bottle of red...pillow, wine, same thing.