Sunday, August 16, 2009

Big Fat Mode

My step-son Eric has been in a mode. A big, fat, confidence-shaking, soul-examining mode--at least, that's what it's been like for me. Eric seems to be handling his mode just fine. I was starting to wonder: is there any more we can do? Is he really just resting and getting ready for his next step forward?

The mode started last summer when we started a course of homeopathic treatments alongside Eric's Son-Rise Program. When we started Eric's Son-Rise program, he was not verbal in a meaningful way. Oh, you could prompt him to fill in the blank in the sentence strip "I want. ____" but very little spontaneous language. He could name a few things. Fast forward through 18 months of Son-Rise, Eric had started using a 5-7 word sentence almost daily, and we were starting to see conversation loops. His progress seemed to stall out around that time. Hoopdaddy and I decided it was time to take another run at healing Eric's gut. That's when Eric went into the mode.

I'll admit it--I panicked a little as the mode continued. ("Tell the truth and shame the devil," my grandma used to say. I suppose that was her definition of "Radical Authenticity".) After working through my beliefs about the mode with the Dialogue techniques, the mode started to sense to me. Eric has been conserving his energy to get ready for healing his gut. Around the time the mode started, we started Eric on a course of homeopathic treatments, and the effort and energy Eric had been putting into words started going toward healing. Funny thing though--the mode was almost entirely related to verbal output. Eric's eye contact dipped somewhat, but rebounded within the first six months or so. A few weeks after, pointing returned. Just in the last couple of weeks Eric's spontaneous use of a word here or there started again.

Last Thursday, though, Eric said to Hoopdaddy, "Where is that blue Chewy Tube?" in a sing-song voice. Hoopdaddy celebrated and then said, "Eric! Where IS that blue Chewy Tube?" But wait, there's more...then Eric said, "We need more blue Chewy Tubes." Six words, one sing-song sentence, and resulting in a promise for a big order for more blue Chewy Tubes going out tomorrow. The next day, Super-Volunteer Allison read a "Peter Pan" picture book to Eric, and asked, "Eric, can you point to 'Wendy'?" She was trying to get him to point to the drawing of Wendy. He didn't do it. He pointed to the word "Wendy" instead. She might have fallen over from surprise and delight, but fortunately they were sitting on the floor. She pointed to some word cards taped to the wall from an earlier game. "Eric," she asked, "which one of those words is 'dog'?" He pointed to the word. Reading. Who would have thought he could read?

Actually, Carolina Kaiser (certified Son-Rise Teacher) thought it was possible. She was the one who reminded us during a consultation last year that until we could unlock Eric's ability to communicate with us, we can't know everything that goes on inside his mind or inside his heart.

So, to answer my original question, I think Eric has been in the mode to put his energy into healing his body, and to get ready to share with us his rich internal life, even if he starts with just one word.

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