Friday, January 22, 2010

Filthy rags

Today has been by far the most rewarding day EVER at my job. Where to begin??

Well, I started my day this morning by attending "Advocacy Day" at the University of Montevallo, which was pretty much a 4 hour seminar on Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a focus of Asperger's. That was extremely interesting, and I learned a ton of new things regarding the disorders.

So then came work. I only had 2 visits today (which is 2 more than I usually schedule on a Friday) so I wasn't too thrilled to be out and about ALL day!

Visit #1 was with my Hispanic family. I'll give you a brief synopsis of why DHR is involved, and what I'm doing. Domestic Violence has been a problem between mom and dad for the entire 12 years that they have been together. Two boys, ages 8 and 10 have several of the same characteristics as dad such as verbal abuse and a lack of respect towards their mother. Dad is now removed from the home and is not allowed to see the children w/o DHR's supervision.
I am working on Mom's parenting skills and the kid's behavior.

So I met with them on Tuesday and developed a new family rule where the boys only play their video games 1 hour per day. Mom said she wanted this rule to be implemented, as she feels they play their games too often. So the boys reluctantly agreed after their mother told them that they either do the 1 hour per day, or she takes away the play station forever! (Go mom!)
After the rule was set, I then talked with mom about the importance of being the parent, and enforcing the rules in the home. We also talked about providing rewards and consequences to the children. The main "skill" I taught mom was the "broken record technique" which is where the parent simply keeps saying the thing he/she wants the child to do over and over and over the same, calm tone of voice. I explained to mom that this avoids arguing with the children, and keeps you from becoming upset. All she has to do is to stay calm and to keep telling the children what she needs them to do (i.e. stop playing their video games) if they try to start an argument with her. Mom said she liked he idea and that she would TRY to start doing so.

So fast forward to this afternoon. I get to the home as soon as the boys got home from school and I ask how the week has been going. Everyone says that it has been very good! Mom even says that she is very proud of herself because she has been doing the things that we talked about earlier in the week. She said "The things you told me have helped so much!" (YAY!)
She went on to say that she even is giving them 50 cents for each time they get up on time, get dressed by themselves, eat breakfast on time, and go to bed on time. (WHOO HOO!!!)

I was ecstatic!! But that's not all!!!

She ALSO said that she took the game away from one of the boys for a day because he got in trouble...... and she stuck to it I think. (couldn't understand that part, the interpreter wasn't there today, and mom's English isn't the greatest.)
So that visit was AMAZING.....behavior had improved, the skills were being used and everybody was overall much happier!!!!!!! So guess what- they get candy bars from Mrs. Heather next week!

Visit #2 was with a couple that has been on the brink of divorce. I've been meaning to write about them, and to ask for prayers but just haven't had time. The family consists of mom, dad, and 2 boys. The youngest boy has some serious behavioral problems and is in the process of begin tested for Asperger's (omg....I just went to a seminar about that!! lol) and there is just chaos in the home. Long story short-- mom and dad don't communicate AT ALL!! The 2nd time I went out to the home, mom told me that she was done. She was filing for a divorce and finished. I encouraged them both to begin improving their communication by just talking. I told them that it didn't need to be about anything serious at first, but that they needed to learn to talk again. I recommended that they read "The Love Dare" book, as well as "The 5 Love Languages." I also encouraged them to have a night to themselves without the boys and to go out or to just spend one on one time together.

(Let me add here that in the midst of this conversation, I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking through me, because I certainly would not have done that on my own!)

So now lets fast forward to today. As soon as I get to the home, mom tells me that she and dad are going out tonight and that the boys are staying home with a sitter!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!

So I ask you now to stop and pray for them. If you read this today (Friday) pray that their date goes well, and that communication is opened up and restored to them. Pray that they will begin restoring their marriage even tonight. Pray that walls of hurt, unforgiveness, and hatred will be torn down.

If you're reading this later in the week....continue to pray for their relationship. Pray for me as I go into their home twice per week, that the Holy Spirit would go with me. Pray that they somehow come to know the their lives do not show any fruits of the Spirit. And please pray for restoration and healing.

Thank you so much!!! I just couldn't wait to get home and share about how God is working in the life of this Social Worker. But let me remind is nothing I am doing, but only what HE is doing. I am best is filthy rags. HE is the one who saves, heals and restores!!


Crystal Odom said...

I was wondering about why the second family was involved with DHR? I will definately be praying for them.

Mrs. Hicks said...

Oh, sorry....

A report was made that there is Domestic Violence in the home. Mom and Dad deny it.

I think there is also a lot of verbal and maybe some physical abuse towards the children.

Thanks for your prayers. I'll try to keep an update on them.