Since it’s Monday, and it’s the 13th post I thought I would give a few more than 500 words. Aside from the fact, I couldn’t cut it off. This was a critical moment in our lives when I saw first hand how the therapy worked. Please send out to anyone you know. Getting the story out is still my goal. Thanks.
Staring intently into the tiny video monitor at the kitchen table I have to lean in to see better. I can only see part of the room, but luckily, that is the part DJ is sitting in. The quality of the video is supremely poor; they look green, literally–I feel like I’m watching a secret mission through night vision goggles.
Ryan is lying on the floor crying hysterically clutching his blanket. I do not hear him through the monitor; his screams are echoing from upstairs—the audio is poor too, as we didn’t know what level of monitor to purchase. Dan’s sensibleness said to get the medium quality monitor—“medium” translating to the cheaper one. It is apparent to me now the price of quality.
Thirty minutes later I am still sitting, watching—for any sign of…I don’t know. Ryan has cried the whole time. How exhausting for him, for DJ, and I realize for me too. My eyes and limbs feel heavy. Sitting with anticipation for that long with no reward is draining, but I don’t want to move for fear of missing that critical moment—whatever it may be. I still have many doubts about this therapy. We approached it with the attitude that ‘if it doesn’t work, we will find something else’. But I still hold Dr. Hunter’s words close to my heart.
Ryan is still on the floor and DJ sitting in the kiddie chair with a note book in his lap. He looks so calm to be in the middle of this screaming tornado. I am about to lose my mind if one more minute goes by with this crying. I spend so much of my time trying to keep his tantrums at a minimum. I would literally juggle poodles if it would make him stop crying. It is always so hard to know what sets him off. It took me almost three weeks to figure out why he would occasionally cry on our route home. One day the light was stacked up so I went straight. He started crying, I craned my neck in the rear view mirror to see what made him cry. It took a few more episodes of this for me to realize he didn’t like it when I went a different way home. Routine…a classic sign of the disorder.
I so want to go up there and put a stop to the crying. I want to pull him into my lap and cradle him like a baby. Do not interrupt a session. It is important you let them establish rapport. Emilee’s words swirl in my already dizzy head. The poor kid has to be exhausted—I know I am from just watching and listening.
I keep looking at the ominously empty chair across from DJ at the table. It seems like hours have passed by while Ryan screams and I stare at this tiny screen. My ass and tail bone are beginning to go numb from the hard wood chair and I am developing a major headache from the green screen. Just wait.
Finally DJ speaks—I hardly hear it above Ryan’ howls.
“Ryan…sit in the chair.”
Yeah, sure, that’s going to happen. You expect him to get off the floor and then sit down? Good luck with that, kid.
After a few seconds, as DJ is patiently waiting, Ryan rolls over, gets up and sits in the chair. I almost fall out of mine. How in the hell did he get him to do that? My mouth is actually gaping open as I watch. Even though, Ryan is still whining, he is sitting in the chair closely clutching his blanket.
“Good job, buddy, nice listening!” DJ screams at Ryan and hands him an M&M candy. Ryan’s favorite.
I see DJ write something down in the binder as Ryan begins to cry again. Yet, he stays in his chair. DJ places a large yellow block on the table.
“Ryan, pick up the block.”
No response; only louder crying. Ryan doesn’t even look at the lonely yellow block on the table. DJ writes something in the book again.
“Ryan.” He pauses for effect, I think. “Pick up the block.”
The crying is beginning to subside and I see Ryan look down at the table. No way. Is he going to pick it up? DJ waits and I hold my breath. My face is so close to the monitor, I fear I might fall through like Caroline in the movie “Poltergeist”. Don’t go into the light… Focus.
Ryan head darts at DJ then back to the block. He picks it up and quickly puts it into DJ’s hand.
“Great job! Great job! Take it.” He hands him another candy. “Take a break, buddy.” DJ is again yelling with excitement.
Holy crap. What just happened? How the hell did that kid get him to do that?