Denise every person there is a "window of calm".  It is where your emotions don't have the better of you and you can think clearly and figure out what you are supposed to do.  It is also in this state where you are able to listen and process information.

Today at therapy for Younger Boy we talked about homework.  We did detective work.

Here's what we figured out:
  1. He really wants to do the homework.
  2. He thinks it is none of my business what the homework is or whether it gets done.
  3. He is terrified to ask for help.
  4. He is afraid of making mistakes to the point of being paralyzed.
  5. He feels confused a lot of the time in school and he doesn't remember anything after that.
Therapist C drew us a picture of what is going on.  Tricky (emotional) brain is taking over the second he feels confused.  From that point on Smart (logical) brain turns off.

We made a list of the missing assignments and what his part is in getting them done.  He needs to bring the things home.  He needs to ask for help.  He needs to complete the work.  He needs to turn it in.

My role is to make sure he is doing those things.  I am also going to continue contacting the teachers to make sure he is staying caught up, but will not reveal to him the actual assignments.  He needs to train his brain to do that.  I can help when it is an issue by getting him on the homework portion of the school website, but I can't just tell him.

When we met with Therapist D she explained the window of calm.  She explained that when you go outside the window of calm you move to hyper alert and you stop listening.  It is like lightening in your brain.  When that gets to be too much for your body to handle then you move to the other side of the window of calm which is spacey and hypo alert.  You also aren't listening and can't process, but you are doing things that "feel good" in the moment.  Things like coloring, doodling, etc.

She explained that his window of calm is very little right now and that as he practices staying in it chances are it will get bigger and bigger.

We talked about how once he is confused the yucky feelings come and then he doesn't do the homework and it is coupled with confusion and shame and guilt.  The stories are his brain's way of not acknowledging the yucky feelings and trying to convince himself it doesn't apply.  To me it just looks like stories and lies.

We did some EMDR surrounding all of this.  His thought process brought up the following statement, "I don't have to stay confused.".  Pretty profound for this kiddo.

We explained how being outside the window is a habit and it isn't going to happen overnight that the confusion goes away and smart brain kicks in.

Praises for a fantastic therapy session.
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