The last few days have been a reminder that life never goes smoothly and just when I think I've got it figured out, life throws some rocks onto the path.
Alex has greatly improved in his ability to follow instructions, so it hit us as a surprise when he threw a head-banging and screeching tantrum over going to his music therapy on Saturday. It was even more of a surprise when he did the same thing on Sunday over going to a classmate's birthday party.
These kinds of situations are always tricky for me. Once the tantrum has begun, it's too late to offer inducements or find alternatives. It's frustrating but tantrums can't be enforced, not even mildly. Alex has been getting better about using words instead of self-injury and screeching. Granted, the words are usually "no <blank>" which is not the most useful option, since he tends to use them reflexively for almost every situation.
One of the parents at music suggested it might be the lights in the room (since we were in a different room than usual) or the echoes. It may have been and I certainly don't have any theories other than wondering if he might be ill or have a tummy ache.
Then to add to the challenges, when I went to pick Nathan up at camp, the counselor pulled me aside to tell me of "an incident". A child had been yelling at Nathan, he tried to put his hand over the child's mouth, the child slapped him and Nathan slapped back. The counselor implied that if Nathan couldn't control himself then he wouldn't be allowed back at camp.
This has been a concern of mine since he moved this year from the 5-7 groups to the 8-10 groups. More maturity is expected. However, I don't think it's entirely fair to expect an 8 year old to exert a level of self-control that most adults would have a problem with. (If someone slapped you, wouldn't you at least want to slap back?) I wanted to ask if the other child was also getting a warning but I knew from experience they wouldn't tell me.
It's been a discouraging start to the week, but hopefully it gets better.