Has your child or student ever been ready to just give up? Today was one of those days…
She walked in this morning with puffy red eyes. I knew then that the next couple of hours were going to look a lot different than the typical Breakthroughs Therapy Session. It was no longer just about developing her brain skills but also about looking into her belief systems regarding how she sees herself.
"I don't see the point of coming." she said. I didn't see that coming. Where do I go from here? Was I supposed to remind her about the weaknesses in her short term memory or comprehension of spatial relationships? Or was there something in her heart that needed a word of encouragement? Yes, that's it, I thought. I invited both Mom and child to come into my office, giving them an opportunity to connect over their breaking hearts.
“You've made a big commitment to Breakthroughs. It must take a lot of energy to travel as far as you do. I am sure you even feel like you miss out on things that your siblings are doing while you are here.” Small nods as she peers over her glasses. Mom wiping away tears.
“Have you noticed that your mom works really hard during the week and then has to get up early to make the long drive to Breakthroughs? Did you know you get to have a relaxing ride while she fights her way through traffic to get you here safely and on time? She must really think it's important. She sees your whole potential and wants to see you develop into that. She really loves and values you!” A big hug for mom.
A look back at your successes.
“There was a time when you knew very clearly why you were coming here. You were struggling on a daily basis with meltdowns and lack of success in school. It is kind of funny that you are questioning why you come now. You have grown in many areas, but we are not done, yet.”
As mom leaves the office, we look at her profile. She has the opportunity to bask over all the growth so far and I can feel her pulling up her socks to finish strong. She has seen amazing growth in her ability to organize her thoughts, numbers are beginning to make sense to her, and her judgement of right and wrong as well as her visual discrimination have moved up into the average range. Her head and shoulders lift in pride as she can clearly see the direction we are headed and gains confidence that we will get there. Now, we will focus on developing her eye tracking to help them work better as a team. Then she will be able to read quicker, smoother and better while we improve her short term memory.
Lesson learned today? How often do I lose track of the goal? I find myself so focused on today, that at times, I lose sight of the future. Have you or your child lost sight of a goal, educational or otherwise? Use this opportunity to take stock of where you started. Celebrate your progress. Re-evaluate and recommit to your goals! We can't let temporary setbacks derail our progress. The brain skills we are exercising today are ensuring that this girl has options as an adult. It could mean the difference between someone who cannot support themselves and an adult living an independently and having confidence in who they are.
From my desk to yours: keep your chin up and remember, today is a seed planted for your tomorrow’s breakthrough!