So I haven’t written or uploaded anything in a long time. Hooray!!! The hoops I have to jump through just to get this posted. Oh man. I’m just going to scratch my previous posts since they are irrelevant at this point. The holidays went well, so I’m not going to get to much into that since there is so much to cover behavior wise. Selena is changing and every so often it is meltdown city. We haven’t seen behavior like this in about 5 or so months. She’s had some rough days and I feel for her. (Added in Saturday) Selena has 2 black eyes. They are black because Thursday at school, she ran face first into a metal pole. She says she likes the black eyes and that they are pretty. We tried to explain to her why they were like that but all she could focus on was that she enjoyed them. We are giving her tylenol to help with her head and trying to take it easy with everything else. She is doing OK.
I’ll start with her social interactions, since I have no idea with where to begin. The girls have been spending the night more often lately and that puts a strain on Selena. She usually takes a few days to ‘recover’ from the sleepovers. She gets drained and we try to make it the best possible situation for her and for all of us. The girls don’t quite understand why Selena acts the way she does in certain situations. We haven’t told them yet that she is within the Autism Spectrum. Shoot, we’re still trying to figure it all out ourselves. How do you explain what is still misunderstood? Kids ask lots of questions, lol. There is a great book at the library which I plan to check out and sit down and go over it with them. If that’s something we decide to do, I need to chat with Daddy about it first. The kids do so great together, and they both really enjoy playing with Selena. She loves to play pretend with Hope and Barbies with Emma. They all love watching movies and I haven’t found a movie she’s disliked yet. Just getting her to watch a new movie for the first time is difficult because she likes the same things and doesn’t usually like to watch new movies (when you ask her to check them out). Lately I must say it has improved and that she’s been more receiving about the new Barbie movies, probably because they came from Santa… and they’re Barbie. Heh.
When the girls come over it usually starts out rather smooth. But then it turns into Selena starting to repeat what they say (which they don’t understand and is frustrating), large body movements such as hitting or swinging her legs/arms around, bursts of screams and cries, parallel play instead of interactive playing and you can visually see that she’s not the same happy-go-lucky Selena. I must admit, she is getting better with letting us know if her feelings are hurt by one of the girls, or if they aren’t sharing, and voicing her needs. I just wish she’d voice her needs more often when the girls aren’t here!! Don’t let me misguide you, she gets into these moods and has these moments hours and hours after they are with us, or even the next day after they’ve spent the night. It isn’t something that is always in the background clogging up the general flow of things…usually. An unusual event happened the last time they spent the night. The following evening after they left, Selena asked us if we could keep the big bed up so that she could sleep on it. We agreed, seeing that she had just spent the last 2 nights in it with Emma and Hope. It became an issue when she wanted us to make up their spots and wait for them to come to bed. She was very upset and confused at why they weren’t with us that night when they had been with us for the previous 3 days. I felt so bad for her, she was crushed. We stayed by her side for a bit to see if that would help, it did and it didn’t. Selena just kept asking for the girls and not understanding why they weren’t there. So Daddy and myself agreed that when we are done with the bed and the girls are getting ready to go, we all need to break it down and put everything back in Selena’s room together. Fix it up back to how it was before the girls had gotten there, that way ‘Selena’s world’ is back to normal. She is a very visual learner and with the room being set up as though they are there still really messed with her head a bit. This is not as easy of a situation for her as I had originally thought it to be.
What else is going on with Selena? Her nail biting has been conquered and defeated! For now anyway! The antibiotics stopped the infection and she only lost about half of each nail (vertical – from cuticle to nail tip) The new nails are trying to grow in, but they haven’t broken the skin yet, and I think it’s going to be a while until they look ‘normal’ again. Our dear friends and family have been so supportive during this very serious issue and they provided us with some very pretty princess nail polish (which she adores), nail stickers, no bite polish, gloves, comments and uplifting words. We have overcome this obstacle!! Hooray!! We’ve been using the princess nail polish on all the fingers but the affected ones and have been putting the no bite polish over her nails before we get into the car, after a bath, before school and really any time that I happen to remember. It is water soluble so every time she washes her hands it says we have to reapply! Dang! That’s A LOT of reapplying! I figured she only needs to taste it a few times to steer clear of her nails, and so far, everything we’re doing is really helping. Time will tell and hopefully she doesn’t start this back up anytime soon! We are still having her wear the gloves on the bus (it’s cold now so it’s more fitting at least) and hope to go for a test run without them when the weather improves. *Update * I caught her chewing on her nails last night. Is she nibbling on the ‘healthy’ ones? Nope…back onto the 2 that are falling off. We gave her a serious talk last night, I scared her a little bit with the reality of the situation. Gloves back on at home now too. Geesh girl, pull it together!
Morning times are complete hell again. These last 2 weeks off have really really really really really screwed with Selena’s routine and we’re having to start over from scratch. Screaming, oh lord the screaming, so over it. She hasn’t been like that in quite a while, and it’s a little discouraging to know that all that progress has slipped away and we’re back to square one. We had worked her up to the point of putting herself on the potty, assisting more with dressing, brushing her own teeth and HAIR, getting her backpack ready and almost eating something in the morning. Not so much now. I did get her to pull up her panties today and that was the extent of it. We just have to keep at it and keep trying to help her become more independent again, I know she has it in it! I’ve seen it! While in conversation with Daddy, I had said to him, “If I expect Selena to learn to do these things again, I have to work with her on her time and not expect her to fit all that she needs to do into my time. I can get dressed faster than her, I can get the toothpaste out and ready way quicker than she can. If I set her up to fail and only give her the short amount of time I use to get her ready, then that really isn’t fair. I hadn’t realized I was doing that until I spoke about the situation with Daddy. It’s always good to converse with someone about the issues you are dealing with, whether it is behaviors, tantrums, meltdowns, inconsistencies. You never know if someone will have some advice or if even talking about it will help you find a solution yourself! So with that being said, we’re going to get her up about a half hour earlier so that she can piddle paddle all over the bathroom if she wants and she won’t have that feeling of being rushed (as much). That is one thing about Selena, if she feels rushed, she will instantly melt down. I have gotten better, but I used to ask her to get her shoes or something and then follow that with a ‘hurry up please’ or ‘quickly’ and holy cow did that just shoot her right into a ‘throw yourself down and scream your heart out’ meltdown. I hope with this new strategy, we can see some improvement and she will become more successful at being independent!
That leads me to talk about her teeth. She hasn’t started to lose any yet, which is good. She’s semi-prepared for it and asks about the tooth fairy often. I’ve been looking around for a pouch from the tooth fairy to put the money in and I’m sure I’ll snag one before the big day comes! I’m thinking she’s going to lose a front big one first (sorry I’m not a dentist and have no idea what it’s called) and only because she tries to wiggle that one and she makes reference to it when she speaks about losing a tooth. I’m not really sure if one of her friends lost a tooth right there, if a show had a kid losing a front tooth, so yea… just going to have to wait and see I suppose. That isn’t what I was going to speak about at this point, I seem to be ranting just a t