Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Smile

I know I've mentioned this before, but I really like Huckle's/our therapist.

Even though she's supposed to be Huckle's, we're always involved in the sessions. Mostly, he plays while she observes how we interact, and we discuss issues we need help with. She gives advice, sometimes we try things out during the sessions, then we report back on the results the next time we see her.

She's particularly wonderful because she believes that her job is to guide us in the right direction as we help Huckle heal, since we're with him all the time, and she sees him at most once every two weeks. We're the players, she's the coach, that sort of thing.

Regarding the new house and family stuff, she said I'm doing the right thing. She added that, when he asks, I should be as nonchalant as possible, act like he's joking around, tell him how silly that idea is. When Huckle's not talking about it, when things are going well, that's the time to say serious things and reinforce that he's here, he's staying, he's ours. When he starts talking about the new mommy, I'm to tell him that I am the new mommy and that there aren't going to be any others.

Anyhow, the last time we saw her (September), she told us we probably didn't need to come in regularly, just when needed. When she saw him, she was amazed at how much he's grown, and she commented that he's starting to look like me. His hair is darkening, his skin isn't ghostly pale anymore. She also mentioned that he was an entirely different child than he was when she first met him. (I think our first session with her was in April.) He comes to me, he lets me touch him, he doesn't ignore me anymore, and he's about as compliant as a four year old gets -- it was nice to be reminded of how far we've come, even since late Spring, when by then we'd done a large share of the work already. (If you weren't reading when he first came to live with us, Hubs and I spent the first few weeks worrying that Huckle might be autistic, he screamed all day long, I wasn't allowed to touch him, I wasn't allowed to be more than three or four feet away, and Huckle and I both spent a good portion of our days together crying. I took down a lot of posts from back then, they're still here, just unpublished. But in general, the first months were very very difficult.)

Here's the coolest part: at the end of the session, she commented again how good he looks. Then she said, "When I first met him, he smiled like someone just stepped on his foot. Now, he smiles just like you." Then she paused a second, and said, "Did you realize that he learned to smile by watching you? You taught him how to smile."


Yondalla said...

How wonderful. I love working with therapists who think their job is to help us parent. I think it is so much more effective -- and it doesn't allow the child to triangulate, and so often the kids we get are so good at that.

You know, those posts you took back to drafts, it would be great if you put them all up, here or in another blog. I think it is so helpful for people to read the whole story -- how when got him at the very very beginning you couldn't believe that anyone would think he wasn't sweet, and then how things were so bad you cried (a lot), and then slowly, slowly it got better.

It is a story that would be so helpful to so many people.

Although I do understand that there is only so much of one's soul one can leave hanging out there in public.

Maerlowe said...

Lordy, he was so sweet during visitation and that first weekend.

I still remember how I resorted to Target to get him to look at me -- put him in the shopping cart and put Santa hats on his head -- during that first day alone with him. Took two hours to get a smile.

You know, I've been planning on putting them back up, just haven't gotten around to it. Since we're in the home stretch, I'm not as concerned about being found as I was last year. Although, even though I check my sitecounter every few months, I still get freaked out when someone very nearby lands here.

Amanda said...

What a great thing to hear. Love it.