Monday, March 15, 2010
Emma had a rough day today, after 5 years is still breaks my heart. She has been doing really well lately, relatively speaking. Her behavior has been more workable, meaning she responds to my behavior strategies when a problem comes up. Her strength is better too, and I have felt myself relaxing more when she starts walking down the stairs or breaks into a run. Within the last week, however, I have had more and more trouble with her behavior. Each day has been getting worse, and today it was like the dam burst. She just wasn't herself today, I wish I understood what triggers this in her. I tried all of the different techniques I've learned and got nowhere with her. After just a few hours she reached a point where I had one last resort. We call it couch sitting and she hates it. It's basically a sitting technique that will help her feel safe enough to snap out of it, it always works. The old saying "it gets worse before it gets better", applies here. Like I said, she hates couch sitting and at times it will trigger the worst of her behavior problems. It got downright scary for a minute while I struggled to just keep her on my lap. She was hitting and crying and trying to bite me. After I was able to hold her in a position where she couldn't hurt herself or me, she started screaming for her "daddy" over and over and over. This went on for a long time, at least 5 minutes and I cried the whole time. To me, being consistent with discipline is just about one of the hardest responsibilities in raising a child with special needs. It's impossible to describe how draining it is for me. The time and patience it demands will leave me feeling weak and shaky. After 15 minutes or so she snapped out of it, almost instantly. It was like she wasn't really there for a few minutes and then all of sudden she came back. This was enough to do us both in for the day, but 10 minutes later she started to go down the stairs and fell the entire way down. This hasn't happened for a really long time, it scared me to death. I guess I should never get too comfortable with her on the stairs, no matter how well she seems to be doing it. Luckily, she only cut her mouth in the fall. I'm so grateful that she's never gotten seriously injured in a fall like this, especially with a neck condition. I find myself wondering how she could have setbacks in more than one area within such a short time. After the way this upset me, I have not been surprised to see more behavior issues in her throughout the day. Not as bad as this morning, thankfully. I'm so glad she is sleeping now and can rest from these issues that she really has no control over. Today, it was hard being the mom-especially when I love her as much as I do.