Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Update From the Wolf Den
Another Hour of Power with Wolf wrapped up about a half-hour ago, and as usual, more interesting insight into the world of a child living with Asperger Syndrome has materialized.
Funny how clear the issues become on some days, and how murky those same issues appear on others. Usually it depends upon Wolf's level of tiredness, either real or perceived, as to how much information we glean, but today, despite feigned exhaustion, we were able to pull some "stuff" from his innermost self.
I know I have written before on the subject of anger since kids with AS rely upon this emotion as the umbrella for the other, not so positive ones on the list. Shame, fear, sadness, all three are fairly complicated and difficult to discern for a child who has trouble describing any sort of feeling in the first place. Anger, with its surface-level location is the easiest and quickest way to release tension that is probably caused by the above, even if the kid doesn't know the whats or whys. All he or she knows is the flood of hot anger spewing out like lava from a volcano that if not channeled elsewhere, will burn badly.
The hurdle comes in finding that channel, the place for anger to go until it runs out and the real feeling underneath can be dealt with safely. Difficult and downright scary if one has spent a lifetime doing and saying things with anger as the emotion of choice.
B. gave Wolf some scenarios for homework along with some choices for feelings. He is to read the scenario and then circle the feeling he thinks best matches with the situation. I am thinking that parents of kids with AS or ADD could create their own scenarios and choices for feelings and then have a family meeting to discuss them, creating a forum for talking about perceptions surrounding emotions and how each individual handles them on a case-by-case basis. Heck, I think it would be a great exercise for families no matter their circumstances since feelings are a root of our relationships.
Next week we're going to read Wolf's assignment and see how far he got. Anybody else want to try their own? Below are some examples.
Scenario: Little brother sees his mom is on the phone and can't say "no" to going outside without a grownup. He goes out the front door by himself, wanders into the street and is narrowly missed by a passing car. Mom hears a horn honking and somebody yelling, so she runs outside just in time to see little brother standing in the street. She runs outside, grabs little brother and spanks his bottom. She is also crying. She feels.... EMBARRASSED/SHAMED, SAD, AFRAID
Scenario: You go to the swimming pool with friends wearing your new swimsuit. Your mom bought it for you so you haven't had a chance to try it on yet, but it looks so cool that you just know it will fit and everybody will like it, too. At the pool your friends are going on the water slide, so you do too. As you are going down the Master Blaster Slide, your new swimsuit, which is too big, you discover, slides right off you and you end up going into the splash pool with it mostly off your body. Everybody laughs and points at you when you come up from the bottom of the pool, and as you pull your suit back up. Your face is red and you start crying.
You feel....EMBARRASSED/SHAMED, SAD, AFRAID
None of us have ever had any of these experiences, right? Let me know how it goes.