Sunday, October 16, 2011

Where are My Glasses?!?

Carlos storms into the nurse’s office. “Are my glasses here yet?” He demands in a loud voice.
“No” Amy, the nurse, says. “I haven’t heard from them. I’ll call you when I get them.”

“Well did you call them?” Carlos asks.

“No, they will call us when they come in, Carlos.” Amy replies.

“You should call them! I’ll bet they have them already!” Carlos is becoming more agitated.

“Carlos I’ll let you know if I hear from them.”

“No! Call them now! Give me the number! I’ll call them! Why can’t I call them? Give me the number!” Carlos was becoming angrier. His staff starts to move in. As the staff starts to encourage his return to the unit Carlos yells “I’ll bet they are already made! Give me the number! No one understands that I need those glasses! I can’t see! Doesn’t anyone care?”

After Carlos leaves, Amy can be heard saying “that child is so demanding! He thinks the world revolves around him and no one has anything else to do besides call about his glasses. He has to learn to be more patient and respectful.”

The problem is that Amy and Carlos live in different worlds, and hence have developed different world views.

Amy’s world is orderly. If you send a prescription to a glasses company they make the glasses. As soon as they are done they call you. You pick up the glasses right away and deliver them to the child.

Carlos’ world is quite different. In his world, what he needs is no one’s priority. If he needs new glasses, no one will pay attention. If by some chance the prescription makes it to the company and the glasses are made, they will languish in some back room for months. If they get to the doctor, no one will call for weeks; when they call, no one will pick them up. The only way that the glasses will get to him is if he takes it on himself to call and remind them, and calls often.

Carlos does not think that the world revolves around him. He in fact thinks that the world does not notice or care about him at all, unless (maybe) he yells loudly.

Understanding this will help us reassure Carlos, tell him how long it takes to make glasses, exactly when we will call, and keep him updated often about progress.

Maybe we can be the adults that teach Carlos that some adults can be trusted and do care.

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