So resolutions.....my big one is that I want to live in the moment and to focus on how blessed I am. Not to let anxiety and frustrations get the best of me, not to let others' drama interfere with my peace : ) I particularly wanted to apply this in the area of the kids. The last couple of months Ella has had me at my wits end when I take her anywhere. She pushes me, with her behavior, to near tears (occasionally to tears). I get embarrassed, frustrated and begin to doubt my ability to "deal" with her. This little girl knows how to push my buttons in a big way. So I resolved to change the way I handle her, not to let it get to me etc. Well, that did not last very long at all.
Yesterday Ella began private physical therapy. She received PT from 18 months old to 3 years old at the Spokane Guild's School, where she was in a group and received her other therapies as well. She turned 3 on August 30th and began public school on Sept 8th where she has received therapies since. We had to wait for our insurance to pick back up on Jan 1st to begin outside therapies, we get 30 sessions a year and had used all of those in just a few months at the Guild School. Anyhow, yesterday was day 1. Ella was HORRIBLE. This young sweet physical therapist (brand new to this facility) was trying to re-eval Ella and set some goals for her. Ella did NOT do one single thing that therapist asked her to do. She was screaming, SCREAMING NO NO NO NO NO NO, NO WAY, etc. I would pick Ella up and take her back to the therapist trying to get her to cooperate so then we added tears to the screaming. For an entire hour this went on, I tried giving her a timeout, nothing worked. Needless to say by the time we got home and I put her down for a nap I was frazzled, pissed, frustrated and very near tears. 5 days into the new me and I have failed.
Chris was here when I got home and I told him about Ella's appointment. He asks me "what would you do if Hunter did that?" I said "Hunter would NEVER do that, not when he was 3 and not now." Chris says "Well what if he did?" Seriously......then he wouldn't be Hunter!!!! I'm not saying that Hunter is a saint, sure he has had little break downs from time to time but I am always able to reason with him. If I tell him to go to time out (when he was little) he would go to time out and sit there, he didn't have to be held there. If I said to him "if you don't stop you won't be able to play outside" the behavior stops immediately. You get the point. With Ella there is NO reasoning, not even a little bit. I guess it bothers me so much because she is smart and she knows exactly what I am saying to her and understands it and yet she is stuck. I really believe the kid gets stuck. I don't know if this has to do with her having Down syndrome, but the inability for her to deviate from her plan is a real problem. I think she just really is physically or mentally unable to do it. This all comes with a complete meltdown, real tears and everything, I can see that it's not an act, I can see that she is frustrated and yet I don't know how to help her get over this. It's interesting to me, the special ed teacher at her school said to me that she has "no cognitive or social goals for Ella" and so she only works on communication stuff with her. But do other 3 year olds act this way??? None that I know. What I also find interesting is that she mostly just has this problem with me. So am I too hard on her??? I just don't get it. She does great at school, sure she has her stubborn streaks and little battles with her aide (who does not back down to Ella, which I love!!!!) but it doesn't end the way it does with me.
At home I rarely have a problem with Ella. I think it's because home is safe, Ella is able to roam the house freely, does not have to stay with me, and knows what she can and cannot play with. In public she usually has to hold my hand, be carried or be in a stroller because she is a runner. If she has the opportunity that kid is gone.
I think part of the issue at her PT session was that we walked into this brand new room, there were toys, mats, balls, windows all around and she began her frantically running from one thing to the next routine ( I think this is her behavior when she gets overwhelmed or overstimulated.) But then Ella does not have a problem at all doing what she is supposed to in a class with 14 other kids all running around. I just don't get it. I don't know what to do with her. This behavior is not acceptable to me and yet I refuse to never take her anywhere. What to do???
On the plus side Ella's speech is taking off. She is frequently putting together 2 and 3 words and is becoming more and more clear. We start private speech therapy next week and I am so glad!!!
Before Christmas I had this picture taken of Ella as an angel. I love the picture!!! Hey, I can pretend my child is angelic like right???? One can dream : )