Crazy Elephant Stories

My younger son receives Occupational Therapy (OT) in school each week.  He has alot of sensory issues, gross and fine motor skills to develop, and of course tons of energy.  His school OT is a good professional and very creative.  She makes him work hard too – which he doesn’t always appreciate 🙂 .

At the last IEP meeting, the OT tells us the following story…

The OT, in preparation for our son’s session, “messes up” her room, turning chairs over, moving desks, taking books off the shelves and putting them on the floor.  She does this so that she can ask our son to put everything back when he first gets to the room.  This gives him some deeper sensory stimulation and helps him calm and focus himself for the work ahead.

Our son, walking into the room, says “What happened!  Why is the room so messy?”

The OT tells him that an elephant came through the room and moved all sorts of things around – she needs his help to clean up.  Our son, suspicious that an elephant didn’t reallycome through her room, but willing to play along, gives her a look and then starts to put things back where they belong.  After half-a-minute he stops, cocks his head, and says “I have something to tell you about the elephant and how he came to school to mess up your room.”  Clearly he has concocted a story to help explain this strange occurance.

The OT, wise to my son’s story telling stalling techniques, tells him that now is not the time to tell stories, now is the time to work.  My son tries again with no success.  Eventually the room is put back to rights and they begin a more traditional exercise.  My son is a bit perturbed but settles in.

At the end of the session my son is preparing to leave the room to go back to his regular classroom when he turns at the door.  “I want to tell you a story,” he tries again.  He is determined to tell a story!

“What about?” she asks.

He pauses for dramatic effect then raises his eyebrows.  “About the CRAZYOT,” and placing hand on hip he grins and says “and YOU are the OT!”  Satisfied that he has made his point he flounces out of the room (as best as a first grade boy can flounce) and makes his way back to his classroom.  At this point in the story we all laugh, shake our heads, and agree that our son has quite a personality and flair for the dramatic.

Thank you to all of the crazy OTs and STs and PTs who work with our crazy kids and us crazy parents.  We couldn’t get through this without you.  Thanks for pushing us a little farther so that we can all achieve our best – especially when the elephants charge through our lives.

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A Budding Novelist

My youngest has had a school assignment to write a story.  This will, in a few weeks, be “published” in book form.  The little authors will have a class party where the parents are invited and the authors read their stories in front of everyone.

We’ll cross the reading-out-loud-in-front-of-everyone bridge when we get there.  We had to get through writing the story first.

Now let me make this clear up front.  My son has no problem making up stories.  He’s actually quite good at coming up with ideas and events to put in stories – quite an active imagination.  But we often are left wondering where he gets his, shall we call it, inspiration.  Sometimes his stories even “inspire” questions from others about our home life – sometimes funny questions, sometimes not so funny.

We drafted his story this last week.  He would get going telling his story and I would type out his words.  I asked a few questions to get some more detail and we ended up with something like this…  There’s this Crocodile whose dinosaur friends are all dead, his parents are dead (this is where it turns into a Disney classic), he doesn’t know what to eat but does know what can eat him…  (okaaaay…)

He moves to a new lake where there are no Raccoons, Snakes, or Birds… and is trained on the Tuba and plays in victory parades.  (Tuba?  Where does this come from?  We don’t know anyone who plays the Tuba… Right after my younger son says this about the parade we have to shush our older son who tries to point out that crocodiles do not have the lip structure to play horn instruments.  After all, we tell him, we’re being creative.)

Eventually the Crocodile (whose name is actually “Crocodile” in case you were wondering) finds his parents (who aren’t dead after all, they just moved to a different lake – which turns this from a Disney movie to a twisted and dark commentary on child neglect, but thank God we’re… I mean they’re… still alive) and all live happily ever after.

I don’t want to change his story (although we did make some gentle suggestions), but I am curious as to what sort of looks we’ll get as my precious lovey (who, for the record, we cherish and love very much AND who we’ve never left at a lake, never starved, and always brought with us when we moved to a new house) reads his story to the rest of the class.  Should we expect a call from social services…

Or negotiate a contract with Disney?