Two Days Without Studying Together

Yesterday, I did not work with Robert. In the morning, Robert helped his dad to fix the fence around a vegetable garden. After an hour, he came home. I don’t blame him. It was cold and windy. Later, the three of us went for a walk in Stony Brook Audubon. As always, rather calm walk. There were not many birds to see. The male swan managed to chase away most of the fowls. He kept guard on the other side of the pond by swimming back and forth at the edge of the pond. One Canadian goose hid under the branches near the bridge. I noticed, however, that Robert kept close to us, and only two or three times, I had to ask him to stop and wait for us. On a way home, we stopped at the supermarket. This time, Robert chose a register with a cashier. I did not let him buy candies and then was surprised when Robert twice expressed his loud but wordless disappointment. He remembered that last time I let him buy two different candy bars. Oh, well.
I felt very drained for the rest of the day, and skipped our daily lesson, second day in a row.
Because on Saturday, I did not work with Robert either. I drove him to Bridgewater train station. With his friends and teachers from Bridges to Independence program he was going on a train trip to Boston. I was pretty stressed about that, as during his last session in the program he caused some troubles. One of the things I was recently experiencing with Robert was the return of his verbal perseverations. As if reading my mind, Claudia, teacher/speech therapist/volunteer, calmed me down. She told me that when she read one of my previous posts, she noticed that I wrote about the tool, she had been using with Robert for many months. She treated persevatarions as an invitation to a dialogue and an opportunity to expand his language. After she told me that, I felt much better. Knowing how to deal with those obsessive repetitions helps Robert and the people who are with him. When Robert repeats the same word (mostly because of the undefined anxiety) he sounds like a broken robot. When, however, you treat that word as a beginning of the conversation and ask question and then another (sometimes not without providing a new answer) Robert becomes a young man again.
When the group returned five hours later, everybody seemed very happy. Robert loved the trip. He was fascinated by street performers – playing instruments, singing and dancing. One of the most important thing that Claudia or Amanda told me was that they all had a great time and that they LAUGHED.
If Robert could be a part of a group whose members laugh, there is nothing more I could wish for.
I couldn’t top that with our daily lesson.