Mental Alchemy

Alchemy-a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.

Ridge loves melting metals. He has successfully cast objects made of aluminum, copper, and brass. The metals require differing amounts of heat. He has learned how to do this from YouTube videos. He likes to skim off the impurities that rise to the top as the metals become fluid. He uses great care in handling the hot objects and has learned patience as time is an important factor. Once the metals are liquid like, he pours them into molds and allows them to solidify again.

I see this same process in his own “seemingly magical process of transformation.”

Six years ago, I picked him up from his bus stop on March 9. He told me that he had an “awakening” at school. He described how he was thinking about his thoughts and behavior and suddenly it dawned on him that he could control his growling and anger. There had been no diet changes or medication and I was struggling to find what had stimulated what seemed to be a sudden neurological change. It may have been a combination of factors-being in a new school, reducing demands and heavy doses of ABA seemed the perfect combination for him to start anew. From that point on, he made rapid changes in his behaviors as well as jumping three grade levels of reading in one month.

Maybe the “heat” was the stress of extreme meltdowns and failure that brought out many “impurities”. The combination of consistent reinforcement and practice helped to him to becomeĀ a more socially acceptable and functional person. Time and persistence has continually shaped his behaviors and thinking.

It is a constant process of refining and transforming as he exceeds expectations and recalculates to other goals. The amazing thing is that he is self managing more and more. He knows this process. He still likes having help but I can see that my job is more of a cheerleader than a coach. Yay!

Happy Awakening and Re-birth Day , Ridge.