Children with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) are often not able to accurately assess their current reality vs. their perceived reality. Many times my boys will feel as if they are "in danger," when they clearly are not. This is why we use an EMDR attachment therapist in the healing process.
Miles has a pile of white uninflated white balloons. When he is feeling unsafe, we blow up a white balloon as big as he needs in order to see/feel that safe feeling. We talk about where in his body he feels his safe feelings when he is safe. It's in his core. So, sometimes, to help him "move out of" a fear cycle, we act silly and blow up really big white balloons and stick them under our shirts.
But the trouble discerning one's accurate reality vs. one's perceived reality doesn't just affect our children. One residual effect of dealing with children with PTSD and unhealthy attachments is that the parents often don't know what is Reality and what is Imaginary with their children.
I have been finding myself extremely stymied these days.
Keenan has an IEP (Individual Education Plan), as he was tested and meets state definitions of special needs.
Every day, a Special Ed teacher pulls him out and tutors him for 30 minutes in math.
The Special Ed Teacher, who I am naming #B for Number Bitch, basically thinks that Keenan's Kindergarten teacher (who I LOVE) and myself are
"Keenan can count to 26. Keenan can add. Keenan can identify colors and shapes. Keenan can focus. I really don't see the things you are saying," she tells us in her nasally Special Ed disdainful way.
Keenan gets back to class. Keenan cannot do most of these things. Keenan is always puzzled.
Keenan gets home. Keenan cannot do most of these things. Keenan is always puzzled.
Although, if you tell Keenan to take 25 M&M's for a snack, although he clearly cannot count aloud for me, he somehow always---ALWAYS--ends up with 25 M&M's.
Well, for now, #B is just going to have to keep on keeping on with his IEP plan. She can consider herself the Healing Special Ed Goddess who teaches my son numbers for all I care.
Keenan won't learn with me at home. He's not learning with his teacher. I don't care if it is a cognitive disability, or an trauma-induced emotional instability manipulation-induced learning disability; he is learning with this woman, and she's gonna have to deal until we can figure out the rest.
For the past 18 months, we have really, truly thought that Keenan was across the board delayed. I hate to say it, because it makes me feel like the Wicked Witch of Mothers, but I am beginning to suspect that his delays are perhaps manipulative tactics.
I just bought Nancy Thomas' purple book "When Love is Not Enough." She has a section on Clear Speech:
"Children who whisper, mumble, or run their words together in order to get their parent to bend down and say, "What?" over and over, wear their parents out and are no learning clear communication."
Hmmmm. I cannot understand Keenan more than 75% of the time when he and I are communicating. His teacher cannot understand him more than 75% of the time.
But, the Speech & Language Therapist testing his language skills said that his pronunciation is completely accurate and age appropriate.
His ESL teacher thinks there's nothing wrong.
The #B thinks I'm smoking crack.
So, this past week we've been working on table manners. "May I please be excused, Mommy?" is now required by all, as is sitting on your butt when you eat (pillows or phone books are issued to those having trouble reaching the table.) If you cannot use good manners, then you finish the meal in the dining room/office.
This morning, Keenan could not remember, "may I please be excused, Mommy?" He used "can I go?" He used: "Can I leave, daddy?" (the Mister was not home.) He pouted and cried and stuttered and was starting to get the other children agitated at Mom. "Mom, I don't know if he can do it," Atticus worriedly whispered to me.
After 5 minutes of trying, I informed Keenan that since he was not using table manners, he would eat his dinner in the office.
Followed by a meltdown. He brought his bowl over and said, "I don't want to eat in the office. May I please be excused, Mommy!!!"
Well, f*ck me gently with a chainsaw.
(5 SPARKLY GOLD STARS to the first person who knows what movie that line came from!)
I'm thumping my head against the wall here, people.
Nine days. NINE days away from having 5.5 HEAVENLY MANIPULATION-FREE DAYS.
I cannot wait.