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Pushing recreation

Chilling in the ball pit that is lit from below in the Snoozelen room

Chilling in the ball pit that is lit from below in the Snoozelen room

Deane didn’t want to go. Just the mention of it put him in a bad mood.

Music therapy. In theory, something a guy who loves music should enjoy. We had tried years ago with limited success. I don’t know if he remembered that experience and I’m also not sure how we got referred to the music therapist in the first place. Despite our previous misadventure, it seemed worth a try.

The first session began with the usual battery of questions: any known allergies, behavioural  issues and my goals from music therapy. All was fine until she told me to leave. I could hear the screams down the hall. She had asked how Deane would express displeasure. She now knew. It was less than five minutes until she asked me back.

I have written before about Deane’s refusal to participate in any of recreational activities provided by the hospital. These activities are designed to keep the patients occupied in non-school hours and give the care-givers a break. Deane prefers to watch his videos.

Part of our compromise over school was that with a few specific exceptions, he could have after school to himself. The exceptions I insisted on were some one-on-one recreation sessions.

I have hoped – perhaps naively – that part of Deane’s rehabilitation would be to find some activities that he could continue to do even after his discharge, things that would get him out of the house and away from the television.I sought out the one-on-one sessions to hopefully build a certain comfort with some activities.

So far, he has gone to the Snoozelen room – a sensory experience of lights and sounds – and to music therapy. He will go as long as someone he knows (his cousin or me) goes with him. He has even allowed us to take him to see the dogs without much audible complaining.

We are making progress. We haven’t reached the ideal where he would go without us. But, then again, I can’t remember the last time I tried something completely new on my own. Given how hard he is working to heal and get stronger, it is quite impressive that he is willing to venture out of his comfort zone.

 

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Discussion

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