Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lawn Chemicals and Pressure-Treated Wood: the fifth week

It has now been almost 5 weeks since we started the therapy.  I decided to blog today rather than wait because something happened today that was both frustrating and encouraging.

The frustrating part was that we had a bad end to the day.  H. was having trouble focusing, sitting still, and kept coming back to a negative attitude of "I can't do this".  This was very surprising because she has been doing so well all week.  Now by "well" I mean that she did her homework without complaining, and I didn't have to sit right beside her all the time to keep her on task.  I still had to help her stay organized, I still had to help her study for her tests, I still had to chastise her about not writing down all her assignments, and I still had to send her back into school a couple of times when she didn't bring the right book home for her assignments.  The teacher still sent home notes saying H was acting silly or not following directions on tests very well.  But she did fairly well in her tests, did her homework, and had a good attitude at home.  Today when I picked her up from school she seemed to be reacting like normal.  But then I let her go play for an hour at a friend's yard.  After she came back and we tried to do homework, it was not fun.  Negative attitudes, constant distractions, constant moving.  She promises she didn't eat any treats or juices or food over there.  But she did eat some of the snow that had fallen last night and some of the icicles from their porch.  Groan.  I know the neighbors get their lawn treated monthly (we don't) and I know their porch is made with pressure treated wood.  You do know that pressure-treated wood has arsenic in it, right?  And that it is not allowed to be used for surfaces where eating will take place.  Of course the chemicals they put on lawns to kill all insect life and prevent seeds from sprouting are a whole other subject.  I can't prove that her behavioral change is due to an ingestion of these chemicals, but it seems suspicious to me.

So, that was the frustrating part.  The encouraging part?  That this regression in behavior has made me realize the huge difference between the way she has been this week and the way she was two months ago.  Again, I can't say for certain that these changes are due to the therapy.  It could be that she just matured and would have shown these positive changes anyway.  After all, her teacher and I have been working with her all year.  But again, it seems suspicious to me that we are seeing such a huge change now.  Now that we are doing therapy.  Even her teacher commented that "now that you are involved in her homework she is doing much better at school."  Huh?  I have been VERY involved in helping her at home since school began.  And considering how many times I have emailed the teacher or met with her in person I would think she would have realized that.  However it is only recently that her teacher noticed a difference.  By the next article on this subject I should have seen the therapist again.  It will be good to see what she says!

If you are coping with similar problems, my sympathies are with you!

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