January 25, 2011 So, on December 6th I decided not to go to Brain Balance anymore. I had had a Progress Report the previous Friday, and they said she wasn’t progressing well because the brain growth occurs with purposeful activity, and she wasn’t really putting herself into it, just going through the motions. That’s when I decided to start, right away, what I was planning to do when we finished. She only had 4 sessions left, and evaluations. We had attended 35 of the 36 session program (we had a couple of free ones, too), so I felt that our time would be better spent
So, for the last 6 weeks or so, I have been concentrating on the attitude. I decided that I needed to be right on top of her for every word that comes out of her mouth. Sometimes I just have to get in her face (not really my style) and tell her that she simply cannot talk that way. Sometimes I try to just speak with her about what she’s saying, pointing out how it affects others. Whatever, I cannot let her shout me down and get away with it. I think she’s learning that she won’t be allowed to say and do whatever she wants. We’ve had some shouting matches, but the “in your face” approach seems to make her back down and listen more readily. Trying to explain and argue the point just creates a back-and-forth noise- she’s not listening.
Since she returned to school on January 2nd, she’s only had 2 detentions. One for leaving the classroom without permission (“At least I didn’t swear!”), and the second just this week for swearing when asked to get rid of her gum. (I took the remainder of the package of gum.) When I pick her up from SOS (tutoring) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the reports have been good. She’s working hard, and accomplishing a lot of work. This afternoon her teacher made her start over when her spelling sentences were sloppy- both in content and appearance. I commented to her about the neatness of the final copy. She said they were killing trees by making her waste the paper.
The school requires students who have missing work to attend a lunchtime study hall. Kate has always been there, but lately her missing work reports have been short and she’s done the work right away. But she said to me the other day that she went to the study hall because she didn’t want to sit alone in the cafeteria.
And now it’s March 3rd…I’m not very good at getting to this these days!
I’ve had a lot to consider over the past few months. I expected going into Brain Balance that I would come out with a completely changed child. But that was wishful thinking on my part. In retrospect, I see that I needed to hope for that in order to actually do what I had to do to get her there every week. Now, I see that there are so may things that enter into the puzzle: aside from the physical changes to her brain, there are changes that need to happen on an emotional level. Those ingrained habits have to be broken, and left by the wayside. Not an easy task, even for the most determined. Years of frustration and negativity have taken their toll on her. She doesn’t expect much from life, having met with failure for so much of hers. I think that change can occur, but it will take a lot of love and concerted and consistent effort to constantly retrain and redirect her behavior. Have we seen progress? Yes! The gains are small in comparison to what my dreams were, but realistic in terms of the amount of ground we have to cover. She has exhibited a degree of agreeableness that was seldom seen before.
March 5, 2011. As if I don’t have enough trouble getting to this, the most maddening thing just happened! I pretty much finished this last night, and this morning when I came back there was a message at the bottom of the page that said I didn’t have permission to do this. I wondered, what don’t I have permission to do? It kept flashing the Draft saved at… message every now and then, so I finished, and proofread it, and hit Publish, and not only did it not publish, but I lost all the work I had just done. So here I go again…
This agreeableness has been noticed, not only by me, but by her teachers. Make a request, she may protest, but repeat the request, and she’ll usually comply. She may grumble, it may not be really well done (here we may go for a redo), but she’s not engaging us in a long drawn-out battle. She’s working during SOS (after school tutoring) for 4 hours a week, and getting homework done. She’s still gets modified assignments, but is doing better work for the most part. She’s still failing Science. I don’t know what to do- there are only so many hours in a day, and she’s pretty much used up all her waking hours by about 6 pm. I wish I could get her to use those early morning hours to work on school work, but this is where the motivation bit comes in: she really doesn’t care, so it takes constant prodding from her teachers throughout the day to keep working. Short of getting up at 4 am and working with her, I don’t see a solution. That means I have to be asleep by 9… after trying to be there for my husband and the other kids, cooking, doing some housework, whatever, in those evening hours. I guess- that is the solution… Pray for me!