Thursday, April 9, 2009


Kind of a gray, spring-y day here. I have Will and David outside bringing in the laundry. The two of them sure have an excess of energy today. I don't think there is anything worse than a hyper junior high age boy - all brawn and no discernment.

I took Ben to his first social skills class Tuesday. I just don't know what to do. He is supposed to go every Tues. and Thurs. but when I think of taking him back today I just feel sick to my stomach. Nothing went wrong as far as I know. But, to be honest, I was a little turned off by how eager they seemed to be to get Ben enrolled in this class. I'd actually be more comfortable if we had been put on a waiting list, which would indicate to me that they offered such a superior service they could not accomodate all who wanted to use it. Within two weeks of contacting them, Ben had his first class. I want a place where Ben can learn the give and take of normal social interaction, which is what I thought this place was going to be offering. When I took him Tues. I told them I would be staying with Ben and they wouldn't allow it. They said I could sit out in the waiting room, so I did. I could just kick myself now for allowing myself to be bullied by a couple of women, whom I am sure have not even had their 25th birthdays yet. I am assuming that I was not allowed in the room for "privacy" reasons - maybe not so much because of Ben, but the other kids.

What I saw were a number of kids - about a half a dozen or so that appear to be pretty mentally retarded or else doped up on prescription drugs. I don't like that because I know Ben is mentally above where they seemed to be. But maybe I don't see him as he truly is, too. I sat out in the waiting room and listened to the leader's voice the whole time. Fortunately, she has a pretty strident voice and I could hear most everything. "Feelings" seem to be the emphasis, at least on Tuesday. One thing that caught my attention was the leader reminding the kids that what is discussed in that room doesn't leave the room. As Ben's mom, that bothers me. I want to know what my son is saying and learning in there. Then, I discovered laying on the van floor yesterday a paper that Ben brought home and it was "Feelings Bingo." It was a bingo grid with all kinds of different feelings in each square. I'm sorry, but I am not driving 2+ hours a week for Ben to go talk about his feelings.

I understand that kids like Ben can have difficulty expressing their feelings and can get frustrated easily because of that. I assume that is what is being addressed here - helping the child identify and then properly manage whatever feeling they are having. There is some validity to teaching those kind of skills. But I would like to think that is something I could teach him and I would prefer it to come from me anyway.

So, I'm going to go back today and sit out in the waiting room again. If I don't like what I hear today I guess I'll need to talk with the leader of this group and just ask her what the objective of this class is. Perhaps Tuesday was "feeling" day and today they'll concentrate more on the give and take of normal social interaction, which is what I was hoping Ben would be learning there.

Maybe I need to give it a fair amount of time. This place was recommended to me by Dr. Kavalier's office and I really do like that place. I have always been pretty "velcroed" to Ben and I know I have to start letting go as he gets into his teens. I'm sure I must have frustrated more than one professional who has tried to work with him because of my insistence on knowing what is going on and everything else they are doing to and with my son. To me, that's good parenting, but probably an irritation to them. I'm not that way so much with the other boys - I don't worry about them like I do Ben. Or maybe I just need to cut this down to one day a week instead of two. Or maybe, as I was advised by an older friend at church last night, I need to trust my instincts and just get him out of this place. Pray for wisdom for me.

Well, tonight's a city council meeting. Paul and I were supposed to go on our date but he found out today he has some class he has to take for work, which may last all night. So we're going to go tomorrow night instead. Menards had their blinds on sale so we're going to spend yet another date night walking the aisles of Menards! Actually, I'll have to custom order these because the windows are odd sizes. I don't want just plastic mini-blinds, but the more "fabric" type ones. I need one set of vertical ones and then I'm going to go with the horizontal ones for the other windows - I don't know what they are called, but the slats aren't separated. They're all connected and just pleated every inch or so. I wouldn't worry about it but these are for the backroom and our computer and banking information is all out here and I think maybe some privacy would be a good idea. There is one area at the end of Orchard St. that bothers me - a "lower class" of people seem to inhabit that end and I would just feel a little more safe having things covered up when we're out of town and at night.

Well, David is sulking and Sam is squawking for some lunch, so I am needed. I should get supper going early, as well.

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