Friday, October 05, 2007


I'm disappointed that we didn't get any of our Ambleside reading done today, but we did get our basics done. The big kids spent the morning at the horse farm (until around 1PM), and it was very dysregulating to Austin. Plus we had to come back home and do our school work, which is also dysregulating to him. I may try to read this evening later on, but the kids at least definitely got their outside time in today (except for Reece).

As far as our appointment today... I'm very glad we took Reece. It was bad and good. It was 'good' in that she did the same things with dh and our consultant that she does at home. It was 'bad' because it's heartbreaking in so many ways. We were going to do a simple stacking activity with plates and cups. She worked with the consultant first, then we started to do it. She was more distracted and disinterested with me. When it came time to do it with dh, she lost interest and the beanbag chairs in the room got her attention. She wanted to 'make a rainbow' with them. We're having alot of trouble with rainbows these days. Crayons have to be lined up in rainbow order, so she can draw rainbows on her paper. Our last taping session was disrupted because we were stringing the frogs and she was upset that I wouldn't do them in rainbow order.

Anyway, we decided to put the beanbag chairs in the hallway. That's when she had a meltdown. And we never did get her back. Unfortunately, our consultant's next client was there so we had to just leave. It literally hurt my heart to watch it happen. Also, because she is now more verbal than she was 6 months ago, the meltdowns are accompanied by horrible things she says like, "Don't look at me like that!" or "I wish I was gone forever!" or "I don't ever like you!" She also will start bargaining, "If you let me make a rainbow, I will do ______!" I asked why we can't say "We will play this game, then one more game, then you can play with the beanbag chairs." It has to do with there being a behavioral goal/reward instead of the reward coming from the interaction between Reece and her parent. She can be compliant when she knows she will get what she want. But we're looking for more than compliant. We are looking for a child who wants to interact because interacting with mom or dad is wonderful fun... not because we'll get a reward afterward. And it makes me sad that I am not "enough" to her that she wants to interact with me because it's time with me. But like I said, at least seeing what she did today shows me that it isn't just me --- it's any time she doesn't have control.

I'm waiting to talk with our consultant about the appointment. Like I said, we had to hurry up and leave because her next appointment was coming in. She's going to call me later so we can talk about it. But she made sure to tell me that I'm not doing anything wrong and it's not just me. It's been so many months that we have been doing RDI, and it's so frustrating that we're not making more progress. It is so hard to read about people who start RDI and see immediate, wonderful progress. I can't help but wonder if having 2 children I'm trying to do this with makes it harder. I have to divide my time at least in thirds all day long, and that isn't including school or housework. I can't just include one of the children with autism in everything I do because there are 3 children in this house who love to be included. If I include all 3 at the same time, then nobody gets what they need. And if I include one at a time, the others feel neglected. It makes me want to give up, rather than do such a poor job.

I have cried so much today, my chest literally hurts. Our consultant reminded me today that sometimes this journey is Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back. She wants me to watch the webinars with Dr. Gutstein from the last few weeks on the new RDIos website. She said she thought of Reece while she read them herself. I'm going to do that tonight and see what I can get from them. And just pray that we'll get through this and figure out what we're doing.


poohder2005 said...

Jenn, You said "And it makes me sad that I am not "enough" to her"

OK you do know that many parents doing RDI go thru this right? SOOO, that stands to reason that it is NOT YOU. It is that you represent "work" to her. Not that you are requiring it, but playing and her having to give up control is scary to her and it is WORK because it is a new way of thinking for her.
If your child had a terrible illness,you would hold her down if you had to while the doc gave her the shot she needed right? So all you are wanting from her is PLAY! So asking for it and requiring it isn't so BAD in comparison. But it does hurt to HER so to speak. But you will make it through. If it is any consolation, I too have cried a lot the last three years. Crying usually helped and then I got right back at it!! Love Ya Rhonda said...

OH YEA, just so you'll know. I remember when we first started RDI, my daughter had a big fit because we would not play with a parachute as a group the way she wanted. Now She does fine with it. It'll get better, I promise

lisaquing said...

Jen, it sounds like progress no matter how you look at it. I don't think it's that Reece doesn't find you "enough" to want to interact. She just needs to learn HOW to do it and you are on the right track by requiring her to do it in a meaningful way.

I also want to say that, even though none of my kids are on the spectrum, I still have the same issues with dividing up my time. They all want mommy, even my almost-teen. And they all need some things at their own level and some things they will get in some other way. It comes with being part of a family, not an "only".

Miss ya!