I am totally going to try and get this post done today, whenever I may get a free moment that is! *edited in* WOOHOO, goal achieved! *ahem* I have to apologize for my last post, it was written sloppy and I don’t like it at all! I seem to be a bit more rested, still just as busy though! Hmmm, now to pick my brain and revisit these last few days! If I could choose one word for our adventures, I’d have to say, colorful!! *pilot voice* Good morning folks, we are going to have a smooth flight with sunny skies today. We have a small chance of scattered showers, so please be aware of your fasten seat belt light. We hope you enjoy your trip and thank you for flying Dirty Shoes.
Ok, so I left off this last Wednesday. Since then, we have gotten our enrollment papers from her new insurance company, had pleasant family visits, Selena’s room was upgraded, and crafts galore! But before I start any of that, good news!! This time change was just what we needed for our morning routine! She was actually helpful this morning, her eyes were open, she carried on a small conversation and she didn’t scream ONCE! I went into her room this morning, she was wide awake and in a good mood, I thought for sure I was still dreaming! She went potty, helped get herself dressed, tried to brush her own hair and then onto the dreaded teeth brushing which, surprisingly went great! I’ll tell you why, we have been blessed by her teachers, they made us an at home picture schedule for her to follow! Laminated and all. We have one for bedtime and one just for brushing teeth. It has worked like a charm! No fusses, no meltdowns (yet), and no responses like, “My hands are full!” “I can’t do it!” and my personal favorite “No thank you.” We keep the schedule laid out by the sink so it’s always in plain sight. She picks it up, points to the correct step, follows it, then we ‘check’ it off. So far the guides are working out, however, when she first brought these charts home, all she wanted to do was get ready for bed and brush her teeth. I eventually gave in and on Friday she was in her pajamas by 5pm with 3 sets of teethbrushing done!
Her friend has been coming over pretty regularly, which has been nice for Selena to gain a friendship and also she gets to practice playing with kids (instead of beside them) in a non-school type setting. Also, I like that her friend comes to play with Selena instead of the other way around. I’m probably old fashioned, but unless you know how Selena is (behaviors, speech, meltdowns), I don’t want her to blindly walk into someone else’s house, me leave her there and them not have a clue on how to handle her correctly. Yes, she has visited without me, but I was nervous, filled with curiosity and a hint of anticipation. Plus, as a side note, Daddy & myself work really hard to teach the girls what we expect from them (manners, responses, attitudes), but with Selena, it takes twice as long to get anything of that nature to stick correctly and to the point of comprehension. So, when she sees or hears an ‘outside source’ reacting in certain ways (which is against our teachings here), she will most likely follow suit and bring it home with her. How *ding* seat belt light on *ding* I know this is because of her echolalia, and previous experiences of course! For example, she got in trouble at home when I said something to her and she made an angry cat call at me in protest because she didn’t like what I said. She picked that up from somewhere other than with me!! Although it was cute, I will not allow her to talk back to me, give me an attitude filled answer or do anything like that! When it comes to being around children like Selena, everything you do is being absorbed, memorized (to an extent), and inevitably exhibited by her. Because something is ‘cute’ in your eyes, doesn’t mean it’s a proper fit for Selena and can unintentionally cause her scrutiny and trouble in the future!
*pilot voice* We apologize for the slight interruption. Please be advised that we were experiencing some turbulent weather, but we seem to be all blue skies ahead. Thank you for flying Dirty Shoes.
Family nights are coming together nicely! Every gathering seems to be a new experience full of laughter, tears, aggrevation (at times), memories and overall good times! Everyone is still adjusting to the new way of life, and it isn’t so easy all the time. Although almost 2 years have gone by, all the girls are finally getting the opportunity to interact and grow with each other (and all of us as a family). Selena gained 2 “sisters” and they gained one “special sister” almost overnight. They get along and have these amazing beginning bonds created, but they are still figuring each other out. We have not yet told them that Selena is within the spectrum, but honestly, would they even understand at this age when adults are still trying to figure it all out? So when issues arise, we try to explain it out so that both parties understand the situation at hand. So far, the most prevalent problems that keep poking their heads out are over stimulation and tunnel vision. Selena loves to be around the girls, but after so long we have to indirectly seperate them to give Selena a bit of ‘calm down’ time because she gets irritated, rude, aggressive and physical at times (when she’s ready for a break). It doesn’t happen often, but enough for us to take note and have alternative activities available. Easily manageable for us, hard to explain to the kiddos so we try to just ‘go with the flow’ and not make an even bigger scene. Also with Selena, tunnel vision seems to be a behavior that used to come and go, but it is trying to push its way to the top and be a current problem that we’re dealing with more often lately. In the past, she would run directly into walls, doors, people. It didn’t matter if it was big or small, she was body slamming something! It was as though she was in a trance fixated on a certain object with the world disappearing around her. Blind in a sense. Well…this is creeping its way back to the foreground, but with less body slamming. When Selena gets into an activity, excited or ‘free range’ (at a park, playground, or even princess fairy tale land) there is no getting through to her, getting her to acknowledge your presence or receive an appropriate response. To a 4-6 year old, not getting your friend/sister to respond to you, play with you, or break away to even look at you is earth shattering. Us as adults, it is just midly irritating but also an understandable behavior for Selena’s situation. Of course there are some other set backs, but not mention worthy at this point. I’m just so excited with the progress our family is making!!
Saturday was an OK day, I was working in the AM so Daddy took her to Emma’s t-ball game! She was grumpy at first because she just wanted to watch movies on the new tv she got in her room on Friday! Selena was also not accepting the touchy-feely invitations from Hope and wanted to be left alone, which is dang near impossible. Selena sure was excited to see the game in action though! I made it to the last 2 innings, go Emma! Selena wanted to play so badly, so once the game was finished, we let her run the bases a few times! I think we’re going to get a practice set here and see if that’s a sport to sign her up for next year! After the t-ball game we headed thrift store shopping then to Grammy & Papa’s! We got her all set up there and enjoyed the rest of our night hiking, hanging out and relaxing! Papa likes to teach Selena tongue twisters so as he got done telling Selena a new one, he said, “Now say that 3 times!” Selena simply said, “That 3 times.” It is easy to forget, or not realize the very literal side to Selena until you experience it yourself! I wish I could’ve been there for that one! She read a few books, ate lots of food and received lots of love at their house. Ma had said something else, Lord only knows where that memory floated off to! (Sorry Ma)
I’m getting tired, Selena is hungry and I need to wrap this up, only a lil bit more! Then came Sunday funday! Games, movies, crafts, dancing and cooking! Busy lil bodies! We did shaving cream art and they made us some masterpieces! They played & played & cried & played & yelled at each other & played some more! I bet they all slept so good last night! We all cooked breakfast for dinner and Selena ate with us with no gimmicks or strings attached! It is so easy to get her to the table now, but only when all the girls are together!
I got to speak with Selena’s new nurse case manager, she is very helpful! She got all the paperwork started and referrals faxed to a highly regarded behavioral pediatrician in Arcadia! Quite a drive, but never to far for one of my girls. I’m interested in what this Dr. is going to suggest, who/what she may refer us to and her knowledge on ASD!! Now we’re getting somewhere!! Everything will fall into place if you just keep your head up, have emotional support for those rough patches and research what is to offer in your area! Talk to your pediatrician, express your concerns and your child’s needs! I wish I would’ve “complained” to her sooner, because the first thing she said after I was finished, was, let me give you the number to CMS and proceeded to tell me about it. As I said before, you are your childs best advocate!! I only wish I would’ve had this information YEARS ago!!!
I fibbed. One more snipet then I’m gone, I have cheesy noodles to conjure! We upgraded Selena’s room with a tv! It is on a test-run basis since I thoroughly despise televisions in bedrooms. I’m confident that she will not abuse the privilege, unfortunately. Heh. Anyway, we broke in the tv with popcorn and a movie, family style. All three of us hanging out on Selena’s bed, each with our own ‘treasure chest’. That’s what Daddy & myself have named our treat! Halloween candy is being put to good use and is loading the popcorn up in our own bowls! Selena had NO IDEA that we ‘spiced’ up her popcorn so as she’s blindly shoving popcorn in her mouth, she gets an M&M! The look on her face was priceless!! We had about 4 different candies in hers, fun size bags of course! Mine had white cheddar cheezits, granola, peanuts and some M&Ms. Daddys had all sorts of spices and goodies too!! But the whole point of this snipet was to tell you this. When popcorn time was done, Selena kept inching closer and closer to Daddy! She inevitably snuggled up to him. She is not one for showing such emotion so it was a real honor indeed!! Hell, I can barely get her to make eye contact with me or actually look at me without the zoning off look, or darting glances. We are making such progress, it is absolutely amazing! I’m determined that part of what Selena & myself needed, to get on track, were the missing pieces to our family. I’m glad we found all 3 pieces, life has been so much better!! Muah!