Usually, the typical process of receiving a new case (especially in-school cases) takes about a week to get everything in order (give or take). First, I meet with the child, their caregiver/parent and the primary therapist. We set up a good schedule, discuss goals and frequency, sign paperwork and plan for our first session, etc. If it's an in-school case, I usually talk/meet with the client's teacher, school counselor, and school principal. It's definitely a process.. Sometimes it moves quick, sometimes it's slow.. all depending on who will return my calls!
Having said all of that.. I was given a new referral (new client). Since it's a pretty severe PTSD case (and in-school), things had to get rolling asap. I found out Tuesday, met the child on Wednesday and planned to march into school Thursday morning at 7:15am. As of Wednesday night, I had still not heard any responses from the school and I was a little wary of showing up unexpected.
To be honest, a 7:15am client is early and I am NOT a morning person. To be there by 7:15, I would have to leave around 6:45am, plus an hour to get ready.. Up at 5:45am?! Ish. Regardless, it's my job, and I love my job. Apparently, the school doors don't even open until 7:25am, and classes don't begin until 8:10am. One of the reasons for needing to be there so early, was to meet my client before entering school, and to help decrease anxiety which has been negatively affecting school attendance.
Thursday morning, I rolled out of bed while it was still dark outside, got myself ready and got out the door. I was running a little tight on time, so I had to move quick. About 2 minutes down the freeway, I realized I completely forgot the paperwork I needed for getting into the school. Great. I had to turn around and get it, which set me back a good 10 minutes. Back on my way, I figured I would just GPS the school address, since I couldn't remember exactly where it was and it had been years since I had been there. After quite a bit of running around and fighting my stinkin' GPS, I learned that it was much closer than I expected, so my late start wasn't as late as I thought.
I made it into the school and went through my usual process of meetting with the front office staff and school counselor. I ended up wasting time twisted around in the school, trying to track down my client (no one seemed to know where she was) for some one-on-one time before classes began. I finally met my client's teacher, who happens to look just like my mom's best friend growing up. She a solid mixture of sweet/southern/momma, super friendly, fun, kind of a jokester.. I'd say a younger version of Paula Deen with the voice of Kristin Chenoweth.
|Happy Lil' Paula Deen|
One of the highlights of working with a client in-school, is I get to meet other kids, my client's friends, classmates, peers.. I love kiddies. They crack me up. My client's class is a pretty good size, I can't help predicting what their parents are like, based on the kid's personalities and apperances. You can usually tell which kid's parents are athletic, moneybags, not well off.. I always somehow come up with nicknames in my head, after spending so much time in all the different classes and classrooms. Specifically in this class, there's a withdrawn, hispanic boy who is a spitting image of Julia Roberts with a mini mustache. I noticed another boy who looks and talks just like Jonathan Taylor Thomas (ooh, he was sucha hunk!), wears a gold chain necklace and bracelet, and his outfit was complete with a mock-turtleneck under armour shirt, gym shorts and little KSwiss shoes. I'm sure his dad expects him to be a huge jock baseball star someday. I can tell who the snobby/clique-ish girls are and those who have major attitudes.. I secretly cracked up as a little ghetto-girl whined and insisted on using crutches all day long for a "sprained ankle", while not even an hour later I saw her running and skipping around at recess, showing her friends "super cool gymnastics tricks". I remember being a kid - I miss it and I don't.
It was a pretty exhausting day. Emotional and difficult. It's gonna be an interesting case, though. I'm excited to start making progress.