Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy Abby... RETURNS!!!

She recently discovered she lives with friends and she likes them!
Abby is happy and her aggressiveness has decreased by at least 50-75% ( I don't know where I got that number, but since 64% of statistics are made up, I feel I'm justified in my assessment) :D
The point here is that She's mostly great
What's changed you ask?

 I DON'T KNOW!!!!!

i don't know...

and

i really don't know

possibly another reminder that despite my best efforts...
I'M NOT IN CHARGE

I still don't like to admit that.  I KNOW it, but I fight it.  I don't think I could do a better job, yet kicking and screaming, I wage war on the things I cannot control.


Yes, Millie climbs on her :)

We're always trying something, but right now we've stopped all the sensory stuff because it all seemed to just "rev her up".  She would escalate with all the input and then be worse!  We were trying to find a way to get her the sensory input she needs to lessen the aggressive seeking of it, but all attempts to "bring her back down" just weren't working.  It was driving me mad to think I was doing what "should" be helpful and things were getting worse. She was incredibly happy, but it was like she didn't know what to do with all the excitement and in turn she was beating us up!

We just stopped it all. 

I didn't want to tell anyone, nor did I want to go back and admit it to the therapist.   I told her shadow (school PCA) on our way to therapy a few weeks ago, and she burst out with a laugh and sigh of relief because she had quit too!  She agreed that it was escalating her, but didn't want to go against me and the therapist.

But... she was getting hurt worse!!!! 

I threw caution to the wind thinking our OT would tell us to not come back if we weren't going to follow through with her suggestions, but To our surprise the therapist  didn't scold us at all, but basically checked it off her list of "things to try" and just like that... moved on.
I have to admit, I didn't like her next direction as it involved a behavior therapist three hours away who she thought we should self pay to come and help us.  If we hadn't tried a couple behavior therapists that we really liked in the past, I might've given it more thought but...

been there... done that!

Not going to shell out several hundred dollars on a chance anymore.  We're not new.  After that session,  I really was discouraged and completely ready to give up on her. I shed some tears which is my protocol with fails

I don't know what our future holds and this isn't the path I want to continue down, but I really don't have anymore answers... and neither do the specialists.

In the midst of tears one day, I had to admit that this might actually be God's plan for her.  I didn't like it, but that doesn't mean it's wrong.  This road is laden with heartbreak and frustrations. 

My dreams for Abby include living in my home forever... but that may not be HIS.  

It's a decision I don't have to make today. I can't be naive and pretend that reality doesn't exist, but I also can't live in fear of it either.  God isn't surprised at my present circumstances.  Whether they are the result of our choices or His, sometimes I'm not sure, but the truth is we are here in this place at this time and NEVER OUT OF HIS CARE. 

This is MaryAlice tickling Abby!  Her being that close to Abby is an act of God in itself!

I had to open up my hands again knowing that His ways are higher than mine and know that HE's measured the grace He intended for me today as enough for today... and not try to store it up for the day of my worst nightmare... letting her go.

I didn't need to send her off, but I needed to...
let her go...
Ultimately she is His.  I need to be aware of the future and do what I can in the present, but not go crazy cakes if she goes down a different path than I want her to.

So...
Dear friends, I let go 
I cannot "fix" her, but I can simply continue to love her where she's at.

Something happened in my heart while God worked a miracle in Abby's behavior.  I don't know if this calm, happy interactive child is here to stay or if she's just visiting; but I'm going to enjoy it for as long as it lasts!

Abby is A LOT of work, but oh man is it easier and much more rewarding to care for a happy Abby than an aggressive one!!!!

So... what has changed?
We've changed our behavior with her.  No more hand squeezing.  When she seeks my hand, I give her other input such as a hug or squeezes on her limbs.  If she gets aggressive at all she is immediately isolated whether we put her in her bed or just walk away from her for a bit. 

We've also started some "voodoo" (as Andy calls it).  It's technical term is neuro feedback.  it's supposed to clear the pathways in the brain to make them move smoother (layman's terms).
I don't know exactly what it's supposed to do, but it's painless, quick and seems to work.
Check this out!
We did the session (took less than five minutes).  The therapist pulled out a new toy.  Abby hates new toys!  Abby watched her set it down in front of her and didn't bat it away from her or hit me because it wasn't one of her toys.  I showed her how to take the ball from the bottom, put it in the hole on top and push it down to make it go down the ramp.  She watched me (that in itself is HUGE).  I pushed further (surprised) and said, "Abby's turn."

Deep breath...
She did it the first time! Yes you heard me right!!!!
She clapped for herself and giggled while she did it over and over and over again!  Looking at each of us in the room to see if we saw what she did (the exclamation point doesn't seem like enough here)!!!
Not only did she do that toy, but she's been doing "new work" in school ever since.  I took a trip to a consignment shop and got her some two/three step toys. She's trying out some new stuff, and more importantly she's not hitting, pinching and scratching all the time either!

She still does that some, but WAY less!
She even woke up from a nap the other day laughing so hard I thought she was crying!  She not only gets tickled on her own, but she also sees or hears us laughing and joins in (shared emotion... once again, huge progress).

I've even been letting Millie crawl on her LIKE A JUNGLE GYM!  Abby just smiles and kisses her.  We've found ourselves hanging out in Abby's room as a family.  MaryAlice has discovered tickling Abby and making her laugh.  Abby seriously has the best laugh and smile EVER!  We haven't seen such contentment in... I don't remember when.  She seeks attention from her sisters and loves it!  Belle is bigger than her now and it makes Abby look sooo small.  Belle hugs her and Abby just grins from ear to ear! 

Abby has discovered that her Veggie Tales mysteriously appears on my phone (YouTube playlist... how come I hadn't thought of that before) and she takes my phone and brings it to me!  The advertisements and the loading time in between each song has even been lengthening her waiting skills.  If I tell her to wait, she doesn't always grab and pull at me anymore!!! 

Add covering herself up to her list of new skills!!!!  Nice timing, Abby, after we move away from MN :)

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