We're getting more game boards as many as we can in order to give fun therapy to Keith. These kind of games may fun for other kids but for Keith they're more just fun. We hope they will be helpful for Keith in getting better control of his temper and good tools to improve Keith's flexibility in handling different expectations.
Since about two months, in the same week, Keith shown difficult behaviors at school. His teacher said that he talked back to her. After she told me about it she ended the conversation by saying "I just don't want his *future kinder* teacher thinks that he is intentionally disobedient" which I think she indirectly expressed her personal opinion in that sentence. He also refused to sit down for a time out at Tae Kwon Do class and watering our mattress just because he was doing dramatic play of planting some seeds. Wan had a feeling that he might be having some type of disobedient disorder.
I googled for that type of disorder and I found a lot of resources about difficult behavior including disobedient disorder that is known as defiant child but the one that fits Keith best is actually explosive child disorder. Some sites explained that these disorders were caused by delay in maturity/growth and can transform into habits/characteristic if not handled right away in a scientific manner. I suddenly recalled all the frustration that Keith had during his first year of life. He always got frustrated if things not going his way or as he expected it to be. Just because his shoes and socks came off in the car and nobody was in the back seat to help, he would cry for the rest of the trip. He would just believe that he could get people's attention by crying. His allergy just reinforced his crying habit. His allergy to dust mites triggered asthma. When he was having asthma episodes, crying will make him cough and throw up easily, so getting attention was very easy at that time and this will reinforced the crying habit one more time. He also could never play puzzle without getting frustrated. He couldn't even put two pieces together without pulling a tantrum. The worst thing was that he knew that by crying he most of the time will get attention from people. He also didn't get to the "Why?" phase because all he did was just crying and he was sure he can negotiate with crying.
When he was 2 or 3 years old, those symptoms were common and age appropriate but he's now 4 yrs old and should be able to communicate his feelings and handle his temper better. From gathering those facts, we felt that Keith had reoccurring terrible phase of explosive child symptoms. Children with these symptoms tend to show some of these actions: extremely inflexible
, easily frustrated
, has no patience, will not calm down easily when exploded, can not learn from experience easily
Fortunately there was online and library resources I can quickly get a hold of during that week of crisis. I instantly implement what I learned from all the sources I read, we enforced rules and consequences and formal reward & punishment. Since that day all of his toys (including all of the planes he loved), hours of watching TV and playing online computer games were no longer his privilege. He usually played the DS on weekends but it also had to be extracted from his routine. On the bright side, he'll get all of the positive attention from me. I hope he'll follow my example and can better communicate as well as expressing his own feelings (instead of crying - he doesn't show aggressiveness but he can cry and whine for days if he wants to lol). I never thought that days without TV was possible in Wan's house, well at least he got his game and tv after Keith went to bed.
Keith can get his toys one by one by playing puzzles or do instructions correctly. After he got used to the system then he can choose whether he wanted one of his toy, an hour of TV or an hour of computer games. After a week Keith even asked to play puzzle, not the toys anymore, because he knew the process. Seemed like he realized that his crying didn't have a magic touch after all (sometimes he couldn't help it, but sometimes we could tell that he was trying).
Since then I started to use English more when communicating to Keith, especially when in comes to the subject of school, Tae Kwon Do class, swimming class and socializing with other English speaking moms and friends. When he looked like he wanted to get frustrated, I guided him to express his feeling and he repeated after me. Other than that he's still trying (when reminded) to respond in bahasa Ind to me. Keith even called us Ayah dan Ibu after watching Doraemon on Youtube.com. Keith LOVES Doraemon. He even got embarrassed when I told him that he cried a lot like Nobita. I let him watching Ind dubbed shows and Ni Hao Kailan during his therapy weeks, since those program didn't make him over stimulated. My fav of his bhs Ind is this:"Mami jangan kenceng-kenceng nanti disetopin polisi" LOL a few days before I was actually pulled over by a police officer and got a warning.
He now can express his feelings better. He can ask why questions voluntarily and do verbal whine more lol. I can't believe I actually hoped my son to verbally abuse me with his whine more than ever just to get rid his crying habit. He also can be very flexible during his time playing game and meal time. He also has got two awards (self-discipline award and another one) at Tae Kwon Do class since the regression incident.
Tante Ira helped us to find information about finding a therapy for fall semester. She told us about Special Education Dept of Pleasanton School District
. We've registered for a test and hopefully they'll contact us before school starts. If they thought Keith's qualified for a service, a psychologist with be assigned for Keith and will work with Keith during the school year at the kindergarten that Keith will attend (long story short we're still waiting for district's decision on our open enrollment application because Donlon elementary is overflown. Previously before we moved, Keith was already accepted at Fairlands Elementary. Fingers crossed, we're still hoping that Keith will get admitted at Mohr).
Anyways, here are some pics of some of the puzzles Keith played and some of the new board games we've just received (only one has been opened and played so far).