Early post, felt like giving you a glimpse of our morning routine. I picked today because we have lots of new changes! New school, new teachers, new route there, just wait until we get the uniforms, ugh.
So today is the first day of her new school. We had a good morning getting up and ready. Well, I had a good morning getting her ready. Going on 6 yrs old here soon and I still have to dress her, brush her teeth and all things related. I finally got her to wipe her own bottom in the morning. I attempt to get her to do everything herself, she should be, right?
Dressing I’m not too sure about, but she can dress herself when she wants to, figured she could in the mornings. No way. If I even ask her to, she starts a meltdown. She makes her body rigid, throws her head back and starts to scream. It’s 7:20 am child!!! And she got to sleep in almost an extra hour!
We all know mornings stink, but try fighting a child every morning to just brush their teeth. Sure, I can tell her, “Fine, I guess you’ll have stinky mouth then.” But the only response I get is a head nod, scream, or OK. Which leaves me to do it because I’m not letting her go all day with nasty mouth. (Shame on me for giving in, but I don’t have unlimited time like in the evenings) So while she’s all worked up over that, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to brush her hair. You’d swear I was killing the poor child!
After the meltdown in the bathroom, she calms down because I was able to distract her with shoes! Good? Depends. Of course she picks out her cute lil boots, but she won’t put them on, kind of like the clothes fiasco. Mommy to the rescue. Meltdown semi-avoided. Are we almost ready to leave? Hah
Today was good, some mornings, I can’t get her to walk. You are probably thinking, just act like you’re leaving, she’ll come. Oh no, no she won’t! Instant meltdown since she is so very literal. We walk to the kitchen, because it’s time for her antibiotics, that she just loves to take. Riiight! Only 4 more days of it, phew!
Anyway, out the door we go. Sure she is excited to start a new school but she doesn’t understand me when I say ‘new school’ so when we pass her ‘old school’, she starts to ask why we weren’t going there. As we get farther down the road she starts to get panicky because we went the wrong way. Don’t change up anything, or there will be hell to pay I tell ya!
Distraction is key. If I can get her thoughts off the issue at hand, she’ll be alright, about 60% of the time. We made it!! Yay! Selena is already over all of that the moment she sees the school! “Oh it’s so beautiful mommy, I just love it!!”
Walking in we get greeted by one of her new teachers. Goody, because I was a bit overwhelmed myself! Selena is doing ok, but I can see and feel her starting to get a bit overloaded. I grasp her hand to let her know I’m with her and give her back a light rub. We finally made it! She loves her classroom! It’s very full of furniture, as to clearly (and visually) mark their boundaries, while also creating these pockets of space that allow their bodies and senses to not go into overload. She’ll do great, I can’t wait to hear about her adventures!
I would like to back up a bit and revisit a statement I said earlier. We were greeted by everyone and Selena has her ‘greeting’ memorized. It never changes, and is always the same. This is because children with Autism tend to memorize messages from the world around them to compensate for their language deficits because they know they are expected to respond when spoken to. She will always say “I’m Selena” (whether you ask her name or not) and then “I’m 5 years old”. Today however, she heard somewhere the words 15 years old, so she’s 15 today. Must be because it was Papa’s birthday over the weekend, she’s still in birthday mode! Either way, it’s always the same. We have other instances where we know exactly what she’s going to say. Another example, she acts out entire television episodes of her favorite show or uses lines from those shows to communicate with us from time to time.
I came up with a plan! Since she loved Blue’s Clues, we cut out paw prints and placed them on things in a specific order to help her learn sequencing. We did cereal, so maybe she’d want to eat breakfast! Paw print on a bowl, box of cereal, then spoon. It worked…once! Heh. Once is better than none! Always appreciate the small victories your child may achieve!!
I seem to be borderline ranting, so I’m going to end it here. Any questions, comments, suggestions, or ideas are ALWAYS welcome!! Don’t be a stranger!