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.

J

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

Advertisements
 

October 3, 2011 October 3, 2011

Filed under: The Usual — Chobie @ 11:12 am
Tags: , , , ,

    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!

J