Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time In Time Out

Having just walked one boy back to school with Ross, I decided to "kill two birds with one stone," that stone being Ross, and the birds being the boys' anxiety. I was covering the Clinical Responder pager, a duty in which I respond to incidents of children in physical restraints and assess to make sure everyone is safe. As I entered the school building, I heard a very upset boy in the time out room, and was surprised to hear who it was. I didn't know the boy well, but I knew that I had never seen him upset, and that he liked Ross. As we approached, Ross moved towards the screaming, and sat in the doorway of the time out room, carefully watching with concern. I informed the boy that Ross was worried about him, and encouraged him to sit down calmly so that Ross could cuddle with him. He approached Ross and grabbed his head, standing over him, crying, and screaming. Ross sat calmly, licking the tears off the boys' face and sweat off his head. The boy moved away and continued to flail about, screaming and crying. He body slammed staff, wrapping his arms around them, virtually demanding hugs. I continued to encourage him to sit so that Ross could cuddle, and Ross continued to sit and watch the boy in concern. He moved back to Ross, again grabbing his head, and began to pet him. He moved away, and came back again. Continuing to cry and scream intermittently. Ross waited patiently as the boy eventually calmed enough to walk to the back of the room and sit down. Ross and I followed, and I directed Ross to lay down. Ross stepped into the boys' lap, and flopped his body down, attempting to cuddle in his lap. Only problem was that only his head and shoulder fit, the rest of his body laid on the floor. As I explained that Ross thought he was still a small puppy who fit in laps, the boy gently stroked Ross' coat, and allowed Ross to lick the rest of the tears off his face. He sat and stroked Ross, talking to staff about what upset him, and problem solving how to prevent it in the future. Ross laid motionless in his lap until the boy was ready to go back to class, absorbing the tears and worries.

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