Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Is This Funny Feeling?

Ryan and I had a meeting today.
A meeting with all of Lily's therapists.
A meeting where words like "discreet trial", "discriminative stimulus", "primary, secondary, continuous, and variable ratio reinforcements" are thrown about as easily as "milk, eggs, bread, and juice".

A meeting where abbreviations like Sd, R, Sr+, SR+, Sn, Sp, BCBA, ABA, ST, OT, PT are tossed together like so much alphabet soup.

Typically, Ryan and I look forward to these meetings the same way we look forward to a trip to the dentist or the DMV.

We tend to hear things like, "Lily's doing really well with climbing the steps to the slide BUT...."  Or, "Do you have a plan at all for potty training???".  Or the one I personally love the most, "Here is a list of 100 little things you can do at home in your spare time.  If you could do each of them at least twice a day, it would be great!"  Usually delivered with a big smile by some 22 year old therapist with no husband or kids at home.

I want to help my daughter more than anyone else in this world but let's be honest here.  There is a limit to what I can do!  And honestly, there are lots of people who can provide my daughter with therapy but only one person who can be her mom.

So we put on our game faces and went to the meeting, fully expecting to to be served a plateful of guilt, depression, and ignorance along with a nice side of unrealistic expectations.

But it was not to be.

First of all, the vocabulary was patiently explained to us.  All abbreviations were fully explained.  Examples given.  Applications to our children made.  Realistic goals discussed.  And nice turkey sandwiches, chips and tea served up!

Positive praise was heaped on Lily.  And us as parents.  Suggestions were made for improvement but most of these were exercises that would take place at school.  They just wanted to make sure we were fully aware of what expectations were in place for Lily and the methods used for achievement.

But most of all, it was constantly shared how very much Lily is loved by all at her school.  Words that every parent loves to hear.

Ryan and I climbed back in the car after the meeting was over and simply sat in the quiet for a minute.  Then we actually smiled.  We talked about how we felt leaving that meeting - happy, positive, hopeful.  A funny feeling.

Lily is in a great place.  And so are we.

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