Monday, January 31, 2011

The Lights Went Out

The whole family gets nervous when the lights go out.  Without electricity, Michael can't spend his time watching DVD's or YouTube.  The family has to endure Michael's anger and Michael has to endure being without his primary way of keeping himself "happy".  Because Michael's anger has been extreme in the past, the family bought a portable generator for the garage, and they send electrical cords from it through the house to Michael's room. 

Since he can speak to us through typing, my approach has been to help him understand how to handle his feelings more effectively.  What if we let him experience the difficulty and then teach him the sequence of steps involved to deal with the situation?  After all, he wants to be employed.  He has said, "I want to have a job and be normal."  He's thinking about shelving books with the help of a one-one-aide.  Realistically, he can only have a few meltdowns in the middle of a library if he plans to keep his job.

S: when it snowed the lights went out you were afraid because
M: I could not watch you tube

S: did you worry they would not come on again
M: yes

S: was it easy to fall asleep knowing the lights were out
M: no

S: how did you manage the worried feeling
M: I think you me

S: what
M: happy thoughts

S: happy thoughts like
M: think I them

S: them what
M: friends

S: friends such as
M: thomas the tank engine

S: so when you are worried and sad you can think of Thomas right
M: yes

S: what is Thomas doing in your thoughts
M: he says nice things to me

S: we are happy that you have a way of feeling good. what kinds of things does Thomas say to you ... describe a nice thing he says
M: he says that I am very useful

S: we totally agree! does he say other nice things
M: he says that everything the really really really ok

S: we are very glad you have a friend like that. he helped you get through being afraid when the lights went out. what would you have done if the lights were still out when you got up in the morning?
M: ok

S: I don’t think you would just be ok
M: I would angry

S: and how would you handle your angry
M: I want the lights on

S: I understand but if the lights could not come when you wanted them to and you were angry what could you have done?
M: easy set I have waited just waited until the lights came back on alright.

S: so mom and grand mom will help you remember that you know you will wait until the lights come back on.  so is it ok if they say... Michael, you know you have to sit and wait until the lights come.  is this okay?
M: easy they need to be kind

S: I understand

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