The dance

The dance

Some weeks it’s a bit like dancing. One step forward, two steps back. Maybe a twist to the side, and if you’re really lucky a fancy dip or a lift. Fast and furious, the feet move so quickly it’s sometimes hard to work out where you are on the floor. Some days it just feels like you’ve been trampled on, delicate toes squished under formal black shoes. Other days, you float like a graceful bird.

In the past few weeks we’ve had a psych review and then meeting with Poss’ school. All of these lovely people, who genuinely seem to care for our daughter and they all agreed, she’s done some pretty amazing things this year. There is much to be proud of, to celebrate and build on for next year.

But as there always is, it comes with a laundry list of the things we need to do better. The things that need to be improved, worked on. Not surprisingly, social skills, while always an issue, has been pushing its way to the front of the dance floor for a while now, demanding our attention.

We’ve tried social skills groups before. For a long time it was one of the things we just did each week, with different mixes of kids and therapists. But we never really seemed to get anywhere with them, despite the assurances of the therapists. Poss is smart. Wiley like a fox. She learned what behaviour garnered their praise, repeated it and then promptly discarded it outside the class.

One afternoon, when trying to get her in the car to go, she calmly told me that she was sick of pretending to care about other people, which is what social skills was all about anyway, and if we made her go, she’d just keep pretending and ignore what they were saying.

And I decided we could probably spend our money on other things.

But now it seems it’s time to revisit it. I’m not sure if the results will be any different, but if it counts for anything, Poss seems to care about fitting in now. Whereas before, she couldn’t have cared less. She talks about how she wants to be a better friend, but doesn’t know how. So we figure that’s as good as starting point as any.

She’s also older. More mature. At almost ten, she’s working out that friends are important. Play in the traditional form is starting to drop from the girls day, as they move to more chit-chat based activities over lunchtimes. She doesn’t know what to make of this, or how to speak the language of sarcasm and pop culture that tweens and teens live and breath.

I’m hopeful the right group will help her with this. Show her some of the basics that she can learn by rote, until they become normal. Help her to speak the language, just enough to make her feel less alone in the world.

So back we go.

Twisting into a pirouette, as we try to find the right move to help her. Feet moving so fast that some days it feels like we’re going to fall over, stumbling, before righting ourselves and gaining our balance.

Moving forward, hopefully far enough, that steps backwards are still progress.

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Comments

  1. Just keep dancing my friend xx
    workingwomenaus recently posted..Where would you rather be right now?My Profile

  2. I pretended half my life until I stumbled across the people I didn’t need to pretend with.
    Rory recently posted..Why something 7 inches tall scares me.My Profile

  3. Hey Love, Caleb is just completing the Secret Agents Society program and I have found it to be so helpful for him and has him showing great strides in understand others and himself. They focus a lot on registering early anxiety and anger and then tools to cope as well as the social stuff. Weekly meetings with 4-5 kids of similar age and spot on the spectrum. It is instant rewards base and involves daily reporting with the teacher which we have found useful.

  4. It’s tricky. I have the same “insights”, coming from Nemo as to what seems to be ‘expected’ socially, but then he is still mostly in the non-caring phase and its all out if the window. Girls would be different and a year can make a difference, too. It breaks my heart to see him like a little ‘loner’ but I feel that we need a bit of just smoother times before we tackle more play dates and friend making, or – harder – keeping business. (Our year was so rocky..urks)
    Sometimes, I also think its hard to ask them what, really, they can’t naturally deliver but have to learn. And I am still hoping that we’ll just stumble across that ONE real good kid who will just be a great friend and teach him.
    nikki recently posted..The Broccoli Autism Cure!My Profile

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