So beautiful outside today, gotta love this weather! We had a good morning getting ready for school. I have been going to the library quite a bit lately and there is a book on teaching self help skills to children within the spectrum and I would like to note that it seems designed for children more impacted by Autism. (Remind me to add the title) Although I didn’t get too many helpful ideas from it, I did recieve one. And that is when you are trying to get the child to do something, you want to give assistance, but you don’t want to do it for them. It’s all in your hand placements. The pictures showed the adult touching the child’s shoulder and one with the adult holding onto the child’s elbow. What do I have to lose? So I tried it this morning when it came time for our teeth brushing extravaganza! I try to never miss an opportunity to get her to be more independent.
So here we are, I have toothbrush in one hand, Selena with the other (or she’ll go and hide under her bed) and I’m trying to get her to simply hold the toothbrush. No luck. I place it in her hand, she makes her fingers rigid and begins to whine to me, “My hands are full, I can’t do it” Instead of pushing her to comply I simply wrap my hand lightly around hers and start to brush her teeth. No screaming, a bit of resistance but she’s doing it. I let go of the brush and she almost lets it fall, she quickly grabs it, realizes what she’s doing and stops. Her teeth got brushed by her hand though! If we can keep this up, she will hopefully with time, be in the correct emotional state to want to brush her teeth when asked. If only I could figure out why she feels so emotionally upset by brushing her teeth, when we want her too. I say that because she will willingly go and brush her teeth, no prompt needed, no help even needed!! Meltdown avoided, that makes her a happy camper, which makes me a happy camper! *I would like to add that tonight she went and brushed her teeth like a champ! I think she’s just not a morning person.
Today when she got home from the bus (a ride she almost fell asleep on), we get all the dishes put away and the cookie mix out! She is pretty talented in the kitchen, she’s always helping us cook. We had an interesting experience today. Selena successfully cracked an egg (no shell included) by herself, you should’ve seen her face! We get the cookies done and go over these beginning word flash cards. She got majority of the stack spot on and did a great job sounding out the words!
Now it’s time for us to go get some dinner with the family. Selena is super crazy happy, singing and jumping almost nonstop! I love seeing her so happy. We get there and Selena locks hands with Emma, Selena’s new best friend. Selena does a great job sitting and attempting to eat. Usually it’s a battle to get her to just sit still! We are all chatting and Selena keeps touching the girls’ arms and I am really curious about why she seems to continuously do it.
Jumping! Jump, jump, jump. Yup, that’s Selena lately. Usually she is jumping off furniture, up the couch, off the top. Ahhh!! No matter how many times she gets hollared at; bounce, bounce, bounce! Anyway, now she jumps in place or a small circle, pretty often. She makes me tired watching her! So she’s jumping in the shop, out by the car, all over! I wonder if that’s something new or if she was just THAT excited. It’s a good idea to make notes of new behaviors, consistent behaviors, and noting times, events, moods. You never know when you’re going to need to reference back.
One last thing I’d like to add tonight is that Selena can be very affectionate while still being rather emotionless. Confusing, I am sure. Let me explain. If you verbalize discomfort or pain she will try to help you with the next words out of her mouth. Or if you’re crying she’ll come up to you, touch you and say, “Aww that’s okay.” But, if you are using her blanket and are visually cold, she doesn’t pay you any mind and takes the blanket right off you! Today I was using her sweater to rest my head on, I was sleeping and she pulls it out from under my head! If you refuse to give whatever it is back to her she’ll start having a meltdown. That one is easily avoidable though. I’m trying to find a solution to that, if you have any suggestions I’d love to read them!
I’m so proud of her! She has been adjusting to this school incredibly well and is so much happier lately. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!