Saturday, February 13, 2010

Crisis management - help!

The Crisis Support Team arrive because it is Thursday, but I had forgotten.

I show another two people into my home – they’re an investment in the future, for the boys – if and when, we ever experience a crisis, Ben and William will be on hand, or rather, at the end of a designated telephone line, ready to come and help me, wherever I am, with whatever is going wrong.

That’s the theory.

However, before the theory can be put into practice, they have to form a relationship with the boys, so when the crisis hits, everybody knows everybody else; not just a couple of strangers butting in.

Building relationships takes time. One hour, once a week, on a Thursday. Building a relationship with people, some people, some autistic people, can take a lot longer.

Reality means I now do what I have to do, while being observed by Ben and William. I suffer performance anxiety. It’s difficult enough doing what I have to do, but in the heat of the spotlight, it’s even worse. What’s worse, is how it highlights my ineptitude.

I have a short-hand version for Nonna because I do not want to explain their purpose in front of the boys at 50 decibels – 'Ben and William are from Social Services,' I say, because it’s the nearest translation I can manage.

Nonna is always perplexed by their appearance, every week, several times each visit, whilst they’re physically present, as well as volubly critical – “but dey don’t do anyting. Why dey are ere den?”

It gets worse later, after Ben and William have left, at dinner, discussion time, around the table.

Nobody listens to anybody else, as usual. It’s a cacophony of independent conversations and monologues, now that the boys can talk, because speech therapy was a success, up to a point. Until Nonna voices the subject she always voices on a Thursday night, to her son, who’s tired at the end of the working day:

“Dey came today.”
“Who came today?”
“Wot dey call again, Maddy?”
“Social Services,” I mutter, because I can see it coming but can’t avert the derailment without appearing like a rude bully of elders - a bad role model to the children. I need to think of something!

“Dat’s right. Social Services came to see dah children. But dey didn’t do anyting.”
“So wot appen next den?”
“Are dey going to take dah children away?”

That’s the bit they always hear as they stampede from the room, with shrieks of terror to rival Banshees.

Next week I'll interrupt, change the subject, or start singing.


Chris H said...

Ahhh haaa. that's the first time I have thought it must be hard having Nonna around!

farmwifetwo said...

When ABA was here, I had to play wiht his toys. I couldn't speak to him, show him, interact with him and they were going to tell me what I was doing wrong.

It happened ONCE... it was one of our numerous disagreements... IMO it's 100% humiliating.

CPRI offered to come and tell me what I was doing wrong WRT my eldest's behaviour.... I told them they weren't welcome.

There's help... and there's humiliating.

Almost American said...

Oh dear! I'm surprised the boys don't go screaming from the room when Ben & William arrive! Poor Nonna - I can understand her confusion on this! Are Ben & William truly not allowed to do anything? Will that change?

Maddy said...

The Crisis guys are great - they talk and play with the boys and help with homework but Nonna can't hear them - playing with kids etc. isn't considered 'work' by many people/ doesn't look very impressive to an outsider. Skilled intervention and genuine interest can be pretty seamless if it's done well!

And I won't sing next week as that also sends the boys running: )

DJ Kirkby said...

Hah! Nona makes me laugh though i expect she'd drive me mad(er) if she lived with me.

Christine said...

As I now have an aide in my house at times during the day I know what it is like to go about my business while someone else watches. Makes me far more aware of my faults than I am comfortable with!!! But it is necessary for my sanity and I'm grateful for it in the end.

You must have the patience of a saint, Maddy! I truly admire your ability to reflect with humor. What a talent!

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Instead of helping in a crisis, they've created one! (unwittingly, though.) It certainly makes for a good story :)

Anonymous said...

This is all a revelation to me. I guess the "guys" might be necessary as the boys get bigger and stronger and might be too much for you to handle? If that's the case, I guess it sounds like a good resource for you. I hope you will never need them, but if you do I'm guessing you'll be glad for this "meet and greet" time, even if it is hard for Nonna to understand. You are a trooper, Maddy, with more on your plate than most of us could possible handle. You are an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

The crisis plan sounds so reasonable and seemingly a source of comfort. Looks like your effort to be honest with Nonna backfired. Since she forgets week to week, can you change the story next week? Can you explain the meaning of respite? - Someone to care for the boys whilst you do otherwise?

I guess it has been years since EI was in your home. I have spent considerable time reassuring parents that I do not care about their housekeeping and I hope they can feel comfortable in their own home - even when I am there. Looks like Ben and William are less oversighting you than trying to know your boys. Hoping you will relax a bit with time - as YOU build a relationship with them.


Joeymom said...

Instead of "social services" they are from "respite services." They are learning to be babysitters for the boys in case the boys need to be watched while you, Nonna, and your husband go out for some time together.

kanishk said...

I have thought it must be hard having Nonna around!
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