Yesterday I had a call while at work to tell me that Joshua had exerted his free will and had protested in an unusual way : he swims in the hydrotherapy pool three times a week and usually loves it, in fact they struggle to get him out mostly. But yesterday he was not in the mood to swim and he refused to change. First of all he told the Teaching Assistant ‘no, no, no’ and when that was not working , he empoyed a new technique. He straightened his arm and he grabbed onto his cuff so that she cold not get him undressed, as he would not let go of his jumper. She was flummuxed and called for his teacher, who also tried to encourage him to undress but he was adamant, for whatever reason. So his teacher accepted that he was determined not to change, even though he clearly knew that swimming was next on the agenda, so he was allowed not to swim.
Joshua had demonstrated his free choice and apparently, he grinned all the way back to the classroom, knowing that he had successfully avoided an activity that he did not feel like doing, for whatever reason. While I am confused as to why he would not want to swim, I am also very proud of Joshua that he was able to express himself in such a way that he made his feelings known so effectively. I do love it when he is not passive and simply allows things to happen to him, although it can be frustrating, it also shows real spirit nad strength of character. As a 15 year old, he ought to be rebelling more and challenging the plans that we adults make for him.
If he makes a habit of protesting, then staff may start to overrule him but as a one off, he got away with it and all that happened as a consequence was that his teacher phoned home to share news of his rebellion. There is so little in his life that he can control, only by sleeping or refusing to eat normally, that he should be allowed to stretch his free-will muscle once in a while. Good on him I say!