March 31, 2012
Time passes very fast, three weeks ago when my god father came to take me to visit a doctor with his cousin, Caleb’s mother and Caleb joined us. Again this is an observation I did for Caleb. After visiting the doctor, we headed for a late dinner around 9.20pm. During the dinner Caleb will stay seated for the whole meal of 40min time. Wow this is amazing. His mother and I was astonished by this improvement.
What happened next? The following night we went back to the same shop for meals but now Caleb failed to sit, he just wanted to rush about. The shop owner told Caleb’s father that yesterday Caleb behaved, he was able to sit. Is Caleb an ADHD child? This is a not a new place for him. If it is a new place then I could maybe understand he wants to tour around the shop. How can I understand him?
On the same weekend we went back to the same shop, this time he behaved properly. Why? My cousin has a smartphone. I was thinking, maybe Caleb wants her to show him the phone so he behaves. She did show him her phone and allows him to touch it with a game. Caleb was able to sit for the whole meal.
After careful observation I told Caleb’s parents that he is a smart boy: in front of guests he will behave well, this gives a good image of good parenting to the guests, but when he is with his parents only maybe he wants attention. Is this a good conclusion from these few observations? Can we accept it?
Last week I gave an intensive therapy to Caleb, and told his parents what to do at home with Caleb and they noticed an improvement in him. Caleb begins to be aware of his body’s reaction. Before he couldn’t understand that he is tired. But now he knows. This week we went out for meal two times. First time he is able to sit without a guest with us for 35 minutes.Wow, not bad. Good record. Friday night we went out for a steamboat with a huge crowd in the shop. This is a great and amazing, he is able to accept the crowds which before he could not. He let us finish a whole meal with more than 90 minutes in the shop. He father was happy, at least they can go out for a relaxed meal without having to chase him and keep him under close watch all the time.
This episode shows that a good therapist has to be first and foremost a keen observer. It is easy to follow a therapy course but that does not make you a skilled and successful therapist. Knowing when to apply which therapy, needs careful observation of the child and the ability to see beyond the “labels” (ADHD, autism, …) many people want to stick on children. The label is not the child and blindly using a therapy because it fits the label is no guarantee for success.