When Dustin first began this mentoring program with the new state funding, I thought it would only serve to get him out of our house and do some fun things that he can only do one on one. I thought it may trigger some issues since he is getting one on one time and doing special things. I thought it may cause problems with attachment issues, and it did initially.
I had some initial concerns about the mentor chosen to work with Dustin during his 5 hours per week. His mentor, who I will call J, had never worked with Fetal Alcohol kids. He had never really worked with moderately handicapped kids. He had worked more with "troubled youth" who were in a residential setting due to runaways, trouble with the law etc. I was concerned that Dustin would "snow" him and get away with things. If you have been reading here any length of time you are aware that Dustin presents pretty darn "normal" initially. I also thought that he would overestimate Dustin's abilities and think he was capable of more understanding than he truly was. I must say, I have been pleasantly surprised.
Dustin is doing quite well. J has a firm grasp on Dustin and his attention seeking behaviors and "gets" his issues quite well I think. He talks to him in a manner which Dustin can understand and also does well at applying some logic with him. Dustin is doing well because he is the center of attention and yet he still feels like he is learning something. He does not look at it like he is simply playing, which is good. They are working on coping skills, interpersonal relationship skills and what's appropriate in public places. It is good. Dustin says things like, "I am learning good stuff with J."
Now, because of Dustin's inability to transfer much of his learning from one environment to another it is not making much of a difference in his behavior at home with the exception of one important area. Finally, we have something that Dustin enjoys so much that we can threaten with! He has yet to RUN OUT OF THE HOUSE because the couple times he has tried, we have said, "You will not go with J if you take one more step!" And guess what? He stops! He has even said, "I feel like running, but I am not going to so I won't miss J."
That my friends, is progress!
I am saying all this with the thought in the back of my mind that I could be angering the blog fates. We all know that when we post about things going well, we get slammed with something that is 3x worse.
Well, blog fates, you listen here . . .
We still have mad pee-ing, anger issues, sexual acting out, talking back, whinning, crying, raging, stealing food, stealing money and a plethora of other things to deal with, so you can just back off! We have plenty of things to deal with in our lives. I am a momma who is having a little bit of progress and I am celebrating that regardless of the rest . . . so be nice.
12 hours ago