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texasmama

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Everything posted by texasmama

  1. This can be an effective approach for most people, on the spectrum or NT. As a related aside, much of traditional talk therapy techniques have been discarded in favor of short-term, solution-focused approaches. There are some neuroplasticity approaches that don’t even require the client to speak much of the experience or feelings. The past, feelings, and causality take a back seat to change to meet a client’s goals going forward. Motivational interviewing techniques pretty effectively point out client resistance to change in such a way that the insight is client-achieved, not impart
  2. It creates calm and then helps build new neural pathways to lock this in. My ds’s anxiety was severe so comparable to someone with a trauma history. Different cause but similar brain mechanism.
  3. Kbutton, thank you for your kind words! Miss it here and glad to visit when I can. ❤️
  4. My ds’s primary disabling condition is anxiety. Second to that is the deficient theory of mind that only allows him to see things from his perspective. Take heart, though! My ds has begun having progress in the area of theory of mind, though. I credit my relentless work over years with him (ha!) and, more recently, friendships with two sweet neurotypical girls his age who have helped him to see and feel another person’s point of view because he cares about them and sees them in emotional distress so wants to understand and support. Fabulous! ❤️
  5. Also, if there is a laundry list of concerns, it’s good to start with one that is easier to achieve success with so the kid experiences that success (and so do the parents) which can propel everyone forward another mile.
  6. Agreed with your last paragraph. My ds does very little of what we would choose for him to do (we have mostly given up on most expectations in the face of the mental health challenges), but he wanted to decrease his anxiety so this is what he works on in therapy. It’s a good place to start, both because he chose it and because the rest of life is pretty irrelevant if he is incapacitated by his mood disorders, which has happened and still does at times.
  7. Ahhh, the magic of non directive sand therapy play! A hard sell week after week with parents, though. 😄
  8. I have a similar kid (breakfast example). I can restate a simple, logical fact 1,000 times but he may not accept it. He is better at 19 than he was at 15, though. I took to telling him I had explained this many times and asking him to repeat my explanation. Saved me some breath and mental energy that way. The need to brush his teeth was one of those issues. $1,000 of cavities filled a couple of years ago helped some because his argument had been “But I don’t get cavities”. He still doesn’t always brush his teeth twice a day, though.
  9. Yes! A select ball coach who has done one on one training with ds just “gets” him and how to get the best out of him b-ball wise. He is an intuitive type who genuinely cares about kids. No training or experience with ASD at all - he just likes my kid and appreciates how hard he works at his game even when he is clearly working under a heavy burden due to sensory or anxiety issues.
  10. You’re good. Lol No, counselors are not specifically trained to work with clients with language disorders. That would be specialized training in addition to the typical track Testing is an entirely different area, and this also requires a lot of skill and ability to follow rabbit trails. SLPs also own a corner of the ASD treatment market for good reason. They are an invaluable part of a treatment team. What I found, both professionally and personally, is that treatment is as much an art as a science. What works for one person does not work for another. What worked last ye
  11. I’ve done plenty of low talk therapies with kids and teens using play, games, art, movement, active play (ball games), etc. A good therapist will meet a client where he is. Not all therapists are trained in or practice play-based therapies, and this one may not be. Finding a good fit in a therapist can be difficult. As a therapist who also has the experience of raising a kid on the spectrum to adulthood, I will say that my parenting experience enriched my skills as a therapist with the ASD population (and their parents) a thousand times over. My personal experience trumps a
  12. Yep. Anxiety drives a lot of behaviors and in my ds’s case, the exhaustion produced by constant anxiety caused significant depression. The past couple of years has been a train wreck of mood disorders. I think the transition from late teen to adult is particularly challenging for this population and lasts much longer than typical. Still not sure if my ds will be ready to go away to a small college next fall, which is his plan. One step at a time.
  13. I may have misunderstood, but it was my impression that the ds is on psych meds. Psych meds do have a place in the treatment of mood disorders. I have found that can be a trickier situation to find the right fit for complex kids, and kids on the spectrum are complex, for sure.
  14. Not accurate regarding counselors. They are trained that gaining rapport is the first step of effective counseling.
  15. Good thoughts and ideas. Wishing you the best. This is a long haul marathon, for sure. A therapeutic (therapist-run) social skills group should be small, around 4-6 teens. In my experience, learning happens more effectively in a group setting with in-the-moment peer reactions and therapist guidance. Peers are amazing change agents for any age group. A support group for you would be invaluable. I never found one that worked for my schedule, and I wish I had.
  16. I think you have answered your own question. It is reasonable to stop counseling at this time and look at it in the future. A year or two with teens makes a world of difference. Helpful to me on my own parenting journey with my ASD kid is realizing that he is on his own time table as far as development and I cannot speEd it up, only support him where he is. My ASD kid has been a big family stressor and a big personal stressor for me so I don’t say that lightly.
  17. Resistant teens in counseling is the norm. This therapist has been able to gain rapport with your ds, which is good. However, you are correct that ds needs buy-in to motivate change. IMO, the therapist should not be surprised that ds is presenting only half of the information. That is typical both of teens and also of ASD. I think your gut is correct, that this counseling is ineffective. It may be the therapist is a mismatch or this may be the most ds can gain at this stage. I think social skills groups geared toward teens on the spectrum can be a wonderful resource but the
  18. Yes, both of my teens essentially followed this plan and have transitioned well to the CC. I was their writing/English teacher and used EIW with great results. They combined literature analysis with writing, and they wrote six papers of 700-ish words each per year in addition to class discussion on the novels. For a reluctant literature and writing kid, I loved Windows to the World. Uses short stories for lit analysis and a slow ramp up to writing. IEW experience not necessary. I also like to tell people how I failed to compel one son to do any writing program for very long until
  19. Oh yes. I could not agree more with this. I have a completely neurotypical kid sandwiched between one with autism and severe anxiety and another with anxiety and physical disabilities. It is too much for him to bear up under sometimes. Everyone here on this thread is doing their very best under difficult circumstances. We go one step at a time with the information we have, and some of it will be throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. Just a shout out to all the special-needs mamas here today. This is hard as hell.
  20. I have also missed significant mental health issues in more than one of my kids because it is impossible to be objective with your own kids. And I am a mental health therapist with many years of experience with kids and teens. You find yourself here now. You know now. You have not been doing nothing so have not been negligent. It is just that the current situation is not adequate to promote safety and mental health. This is a very complex picture you paint with your daughter. It will take time and experimentation to find what works for her. And then she will grow and change and the pl
  21. At this point, I would call the therapist again and leave a message like this - "My daughter is in a crisis, is refusing to go to school, and I am concerned for her safety." What were you instructed to do by the therapist in case of crisis? In-patient is a mixed bag, but it sounds like she is approaching this. A family doc or pediatrician can miss this call sometimes that a psychiatrist would not miss. If you are in the US, call your insurance company and ask about in-patient coverage so you have the information. Ask what facilities in your area are covered. You can take her to an
  22. Your daughter is in crisis. This has happened gradually. Her current mental health supports are inadequate and her antidepressant dosage is not effective. In your shoes, I would keep her home from school and get help today. The scenario you describe leads me to wonder if your daughter is having suicidal ideation. If she has a current therapist, call that person. If not, find a local mental health crisis hotline. She needs an evaluation for safety. She may not need to be in-patient hospitalized, and there are other options, but I would not wait to act.
  23. One more thought to echo others - it is just fine to ditch formal schoolwork at this age for a time to work on strengthening the relationship, pushing the reset button, exploring options, getting professional feedback, etc. In fact, it is likely best, as digging the rut deeper is not helping anyone. It is reinforcing the negative experience for both of you and taking time and energy from your other kids. Sometimes the best thing you can do is stop and regroup.
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