21 January 2011

The flu has started its wane. I napped once yesterday but was able to stay up late without agony. I am whining and I am a big baby about being sick. I can't wait until it is over.

A few wonderful Julia things this time 'round:

In attachment therapy, we continue to work on the volcano workbook. Three of the last four weeks, Julia has asked to work on the book. Marilyn does a few pages a week depending on the content. The book is set up for the child to be read to and then given a drawing assignment. When we started the book, Marilyn was not quite sure that Julia could handle the directions o Julia's drawings this week were quite breath taking -- one of a sad and hurt heart that was exploding with anger, and another of a very sad heart that released some of its anger but not in a hurtful way. She was careful to make the pictures mirror each other, but with great differences in color, expression and tone. When Julia talks about what she is doing, her use of language is not close the sophistication of her pictures. I carry around the nagging feeling that Julia will never be able to live independently and need life long services, but then she draws. The part of her brain that does art is in no way cognitively delayed. That part of her brain is sophisticated and growing. It can regulate itself and its output more and more.

Clearly, Julia is also drawn to the healing work. It does not come easily for her. Some weeks, she does a certain amount and then tells Marilyn to stop. I think I see some reaction behavior at home sometimes, and there is some at behavior at school -- a bit of being whinny and also wanting more control. I have been explaining it to teachers and they have been very receptive.

I don't know any other child like Julia, and so I have no basis for comparison. I am both patient with the changes I see and just dying to scream out for prognosis! How far can she go? Will she progress in school along conventional lines? Will she ever have real friends? I can be afraid for her cognitive abilities, and then when I see how hard she has to work through trauma and deprivation to make progress and to learn, I wonder at her genius. Which is it? I want to jump ahead and see where we get to. My believe in process has never been tested as it is these days.

I am coming to the believe, hard won because it is all field work, that early trauma must be worked out first. First, before anything else. The attachment and trauma work go hand in hand and sometimes are the same, sometimes veer off in different directions. Every other learning seem to take a back seat to this work, although maybe the principle interest of the child -- art and dinosaurs in Julia's case -- grow with this trauma work.

Tonight, I could write on this forever but I need to get back to sleep for a little while.


Skyrider said...

"When Julia talks about what she is doing, her use of language is not close the sophistication of her pictures."

There is a new (2009) movie of Georgia O'Keeffe. The opening lines quote O'Keeffe saying that she was never a friend of words -- she preferred that the picture speak for itself.

Suz said...

Ooo, that just sent a shiver up my spine. I've always been an O'Keeffe fan. Thanks.