Dirty Shoes

Join us with our journey through Autism Spectrum Disorder

October 30, 2013 *part 2* October 31, 2013

Ok, I’m back. I didn’t make it to class due to this wonderful virus going around that our family seems to have gotten (except Selena, she is our robot child who rarely gets ill) and I just needed to rest. We had a wonderful dinner and a great conversation at dinner. We always make it a no cell phone zone and only during special times do we allow her and us to watch a family movie while we are eating dinner. Dinner is a time for communication, togetherness and our time together to catch up with our day. Although getting Selena to talk about her day is about as easy as asking a chimpanzee to type a novel, we can get a few things from her. I do miss her teacher writing everything she does during the day, it feels like we are just in the dark now with her school life. She is doing really well in her new class and I’m excited that she has been paired with her peers. Selena gets along with her classmates and there has only been a few incidents, most of them during the end of the week and during her medication changes. Her aggression has been pushed back a bit and I thank the medication for the emotional stability she has gained. I am hoping that as she gets older, her ability to understand her emotions will be more of a winner than the medication alone. As of right now, when we ask her how she is feeling, she rarely has a correct answer for us or she just tells us that her heart starts racing. A key sign of her anxiety.

Sorry if my writing has been a bit jumbled lately, I have been required to write a ton of structured essays so I guess this is my free for all escape from all of that nonsense! Hah. Bear with me, I am just happy to get some thoughts out, even if they are ranting.

Back to Selena. Her anxiety is pretty uncontrollable and it renders her just about useless and unable to function. Example: The bus schedule in the morning. As we all are aware, buses are rarely at your home or stop at the same time everyday, there are way to many variables to make it a consistent time. Well, this doesn’t work for Selena…at all. If it comes early and she isn’t 300% she freaks out. If she is standing at the door, with her backpack on, ready to go and we aren’t pretty much right next to her, she starts screaming for us and starts her arching jump splits. Going to be great if she wants to be a cheerleader! Hah! If the bus comes early, like it did the other day, and she is brushing her teeth; she immediately freezes, starts screaming, staring at herself in the mirror and is unable to continue and get finished. I have to physically turn her and finish her up, while she is screaming and help her get out the door. She BOLTS to the bus, at times she has hit her shin on the bottom step, screams at the bus aide and runs to her seat. I feel so bad because there is not a single thing that I can do for her. I am trying to allow her to be more independent, but that means we move on her time, not my time. So some days it just takes longer for her to get moving.

In the mornings, I don’t have to carry her, she will walk, but she walks with assistance. I stand behind her and help lead her because her balance is super off in the morning time. She has begun to refuse sitting up most mornings so I need to turn her legs off of the bed and sit her up to get her moving. Ah memories of being a CNA. Some mornings, she will get herself up, ready and come out dressed, but that is few and far between! Boy are we thankful for those days though!!! Every small improvement should be celebrated. Especially with high fives and awesome hugs! We have her eat breakfast now at home and it’s working out pretty well. In her new class, she doesn’t get any special treatment in the cafeteria in the morning anymore. They have aides that walk around and hurry them to finish up quickly and get to class. You can’t do that with Selena. So imagine how her days would go. Freak out over the bus, freak out at breakfast and then try to do her studies and be productive during the day when her morning just started out so crappy and emotionally draining. I am glad that we are able to make these subtle changes so that hopefully her emotional well being can become more stable.

My pregnancy is starting to become real for her and I believe it’s mostly because my belly is finally starting to show. She likes to come up and rub my belly, talk to the baby and ask questions about the baby. She picked out a toy for the baby when she was with Mahja and helped me pick out some cute neutral newborn outfits. Once we know what we are having, I want her to pick the “take home” hospital outfit. We are all so excited. I think she is torn on what she wants. She talks about wanting a boy so she’ll have a prince to play with, but also she is excited for a girl too. She has been playing with her baby dolls and coming up to me talking about how the baby will be that big and how she will take care of it. Selena does not understand some certain concepts with what babies know and what they just don’t understand. I am a little bit worried that she will not be so forgiving with the baby and may lash out just because she doesn’t know any better. I hope that with some cute stories, lots of talks and time with the both of them, that she will be the biggest, most awesome sister one could ask for. This will definitely be interesting.

Girl Scouts has been interesting. We have been having fun, doing new things and have been getting to know each other pretty well. Our girls are becoming pretty good friends and now we are going to be trick or treating tomorrow together, which will be awesome! There are at times with meetings, where she will not participate or even be able to sit in the same room together with the other girls. At times she just wants to scream and hide, and we let her and I go to her after a few minutes and tell her that we all want her to join us, that I will be right beside her and that she won’t be alone. At times this works, but not always. We just had our Halloween Party and I am now getting ready for our Christmas party. Yes, yes, yes, I am aware that it is not that close, however with our busy schedules, I need to start planning now so I don’t have to worry about it along with everything else that comes along with Christmas! We are going to do a parade this year! Super stoked!! I went through and wrote down the key things I would like to do for each badge and now have a book in the works for the girls to take home, write in, have their parents sign off on, for each step of the badge and for what we will be doing together so that we can get some things accomplished with our troop! We need a plan of action and be set for the future meetings to help relieve some stress of planning everything between each meeting!

One last note, as I am getting tired and starting to rant. Selena makes me so proud, for who she is, how far she has come and how wonderful of a daughter and person she is growing to become. We get compliments for our parenting style with her and how we tackle the issues we face with her. I know we aren’t perfect, but we don’t stop trying, we don’t stop trying to figure ways out to help her. We don’t give up and it is paying off. Every day, every month, every year, Selena gains new behaviors, loses behaviors and only gains more abilities and knowledge. I am proud to be her Momma, I wouldn’t wish for her to be anyone else.


P.S. Happy Halloween!! I might as well just make this October 31, 2013 since it is 10 minutes until tomorrow.


March 24, 2012 March 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chobie @ 11:47 pm
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     Feels like just yesterday I wrote the last post! So, I was so wrong about Selena. So wrong. She was sick up until that next Wednesday, cutting spring break about in half. I felt so bad for her. I called the Dr to see if I needed to bring her in on Monday? Because her bowels hadn’t quit moving and we were going on day 3 of Imodium. Which I later found out, in that same phone conversation, that she needed to expunge the sickness through the same area at which we were stopping up. Selena being sick, is confusing, tiring, and confusing. As soon as she starts to feel bad, she’ll play it to the max. But as soon as she starts to feel just a tad better, then she isn’t sick anymore and is ready to conquer the world. Enough about her sickly bowels.

     The rest of the spring break went, rather hectic. She was tired of me, I was tired of her and we were both ready for a break. So, Thursday, we go to Grammy’s work (with Mrs. Pat and Mr. Bill) and she is my helper for the day. I had dressed her up in the cutest dress. Hogstooth, houndstooth, some old pattern. She was a little Jackie Kennedy and she helped punch holes, make copies and put the fasteners through the files. With an Angry Bird lunch and back to the grind! I am very thankful that I was permitted to have her with me, losing all that work really hurts the pocketbook. I say it went hectic because it’s a huge break in the routine. She was ill, so she thought she wasn’t allowed at school because she was sick and not because it was really a vacation time. I had to keep reminding her that no one was mad at her, and that she still has her friends (when she wasn’t feeling good) and when she was feeling good, I had to remind her that we couldn’t go out anywhere because she was sick. I bet she was so confused!

       Aftercare had went well, and now since I haven’t had her in this past week, all she wants to do is go! Fighting to get on the bus after school. Crying to me in the morning. Being upset when school is about to let out. Gosh, I didn’t realize I had done so much damage with 4 days of aftercare!! They have been telling her that it is closed. I hope that I can afford to put her back in it, she really really seems to enjoy it. Even though the honeymoon was almost over, I think she’ll be smooth sailing for the first week again. I still don’t like doing this to her. Hopefully by next week, she won’t even ask. She really says things that hurts my feelings, but I don’t think she does it on purpose, she just doesn’t understand how powerful language can be! Telling me she didn’t want to come home and be with me, she wanted to stay in aftercare. All this that and the other. 

       She was approved for hippotherapy, so on Thursday Selena and myself met with the therapist at Instride and Selena got her evaluation done! She did so good! I had explained to her what we were going to do and she really had no concept and all the way there kept going on and on about how she was a cowgirl! How she needed to wear a special horse shirt! How she was really going to be a firegirl first and then a cowgirl! But my favorite was, how she’s going to find a big horse and make it smaller and smaller and smaller so it will be her size! I kept explaining to her that she was not going to be riding today, but meeting with a nice lady who was going to see if we would be able to or not. I kept telling her what was going to happen and then asking her to not get upset. Trying to avoid a meltdown, ya know? Selena tells me that, “She’s going to talk to the cowgirl all by herself and that I could stay in the car.” LOL!!! We are going to have FUN around the age of 14. Anyways, we get there and she is just tickled pink! There were 2 riders going around the ring and she instantly wanted a horse like the ‘yellow’ one in the arena (Blonde horse). We go in and she gives the therapist a big hug. Doesn’t introduce herself, nothing. Selena thinks this woman is in charge of the horses and is smoozing already!!! After the hug, she takes Ms. Mary’s hand and says, “Lets go ride the horse!” She just grinned at her and got down to business, making small talk with Selena. 

       I have been catching myself and trying to change my habits. Because when people ask her something, I have had the tendency to respond for her and not give her a chance. She’s gotten so used to that action, that when this therapist asked her questions, Selena instantly looked at me. I made the zipper motion over my mouth and motioned for her to answer. First came the shrugs, when making eye contact, then as she looked away, she started to talk. Never really keeping any solid eye contact at all. But that’s usual for Selena. So yea, I have been breaking my own habits and giving her the time it takes to make a response. And if she just shrugs her shoulders or starts to look upset, I have been placing my hand on her arm and giving her a comforting touch to let her know it’s ok to speak for herself. I hope this works and she feels more confident with her speech. I’m sure this only happens when I’m around and she probably talks off the charts when I’m no where to be found.

     So yes, hippotherapy. Since her core is rather strong, they are going to put her in a saddle and teach her how to ride the horse instead of going bareback and getting those muscles worked, plus all the therapies that come along with riding bareback. So they are going to work with her on sequencing, speaking, directionals, etc. Selena is going to love it!!!! I’m so glad that we found out about this, I would have never known!!! 

       Dentist appointment is scheduled and I’m a bit nervous about that. It’s an 8:30 am appointment. Geesh!!! I hope they schedule her something soon to get the teeth pulled, or they might want to do it then. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. I think I’m more nervous than she is! I explained to her what they were possibly going to do, and she had no qualms about it at all. She likes to tell people she has 2 extra teeth!! If she only knew… Well, I’m sure she’ll find out soon enough.    

         Last night was tent in the living room night and boy was she happy!!! I let her sleep under it as well. Selena kept waking up all night long and kept asking me to sleep under there with her. So I obliged to her request and got under this tent, comprised of a queen sheet, 3 blankets, 2 bar chairs and 2 kitchen table chairs, I was actually too tall for something and my feet poked out under the legs of the chairs. First time in a long time that my height was an issue!!

     She is currently at Grammy and Papa’s getting a fix of the spoiled life. I am getting a fix of the quiet life. It’s almost too quiet! Must find something else to do now!!!!