Change is hard, right?
This is coming from the person that sits in the same spot at every staff meeting. I’m not talking about usually sitting there. I’m talking years…many years in the same place! I imagine that there are people (somewhere) that embrace change. However, I don’t have those “change seekers” at my house. It is a good thing that our special TBP found himself in our home…in our family, where “known” is the name of the game!
Not surprisingly, my TBP likes a consistent schedule and expectations. I think most children do, but he can take it a bit further than most.
“How could you?!” These were the only words he could say when told that we were getting new kitchen counters. This betrayal was re-hashed for several days. What finally calmed him down was learning that it would be much easier to keep the new counters clean (no grout lines). His need for clean, really helped me out there! When we got a different ocean rental house than the one that we had before, there was a huge tantrum. The only thing that helped him recover, was his interest in a little girl that was renting next door. Thank God!
Having the same preschool teacher for 2 1/2 years was amazing for him, but that almost made the change to a new school and new teacher harder for him. He didn’t seem to understand (or simply refused to hear) that his beloved teacher would not continue with him on his educational journey.
One of the most important things that we have learned, is the need for warnings. This is great when you have time for warnings. Sometimes the changes are things that we can’t predict or control (that’s a topic for another post or two). This has improved, but there were times when a substitute teacher, additional people at a party, or guests staying longer than expected could make my TBP meltdown. At one point, it wasn’t uncommon for my TBP to ask, “When are they going home?” or “Why are they here when they weren’t invited?” If this had been a whisper in the other room it wouldn’t have been so bad but…The delivery was as harsh and public as you are imaginining.
Being open to change is part of life…want it or not. This is a reality that my TBP (and me) can’t avoid. All I can do is try and teach my TBP some of the skills that are necessary to cope with change. Talking a lot about possible scenerios and appropriate responses, seems to be a very important part of helping our son. We also have to remember that sometimes, change can be good. If it wasn’t for change, we would not have our precious boy.
A few weeks back, my spot at the staff meeting had been moved. The whole table was gone! I was noticeably anxious and my friends and colleagues watched as I tried to find another seat where I would be “comfortable.” During the staff meeting, I saw that the wall above the windows housed quotes from famous people. In all the time that I had attended staff meetings… in that library, I had never seen those particular quotes. I smiled to myself & thought…okay kid, we can do this together!