Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Very Touching Book and The Token System

The play therapist gave me The Very Touching Book to read to Tristan. It's a book about the three kinds of touching; good, bad and secret. She felt it would help him understand the right way to touch his sisters and I.

Tristan tends to be aggressive with his touching. He has an almost constant need to rub and touch people and it can border on the inappropriate. His psychiatrist feels it's a symptom of his bipolar and that seems to fit.

Anyways, reading that book this evening made me feel like a twelve year old boy. I really tried, but I couldn't help but laugh. The drawings are anatomically correct and seem a bit graphic. The preface at the beginning of the book explained that it's important to empower children with information about their own bodies, which I completely agree with. It's just difficult to encourage the kids to say "penis" over and over again until there were no more "purple faces." Of course, the only purple face was mine.

C., his play therapist, wants us to start him on the token reward system again. Basically, for every set period of time he stays on task and follows the rules, he gets a token (or sticker, etc.) He can use those tokens to "purchase" video game time, trampoline time, story time, or special snacks or time with one parent, etc. It really works well for Tristan, and I do think that most kids do well with such tangible, positive reinforcement. We have a stash of poker chips that we use for this purpose. Tristan likes to hold his tokens in his pocket and to count them. We're going to start the system again as soon as we have a down day.

Tristan lost his hearing aid. He's severely hearing impaired on the left side and he really needs that hearing aid to get the most out of his classes. I'm really hoping it turns up soon, because those bad boys are expensive!

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