Friday, January 20, 2012

A witness...

Last night Akila's therapist was scheduled to come from6-8 and work with her. She meets with her once a week in school, and has now started to come to the house once a week also. A few weeks ago over winter break when she came, she brought Akila to the library. Last night Akila asked her to take her to the library and the therapist said they weren't going to do that tonight, and that was something she could earn with good behavior and practicing her calming skills.

Oops. That didn't go over too well. She said no to Akila. Akila no likey. Akila went nuts. She came into the kitchen where I was and started to complain that the therapist wouldn't take her to the library. I of course backed up the therapist which angered her even more. Then Akila thought I should take her to the library. I said it wouldn't work tonight, but that we could do it the next day after school if she made good choices tonight. Akila no like once again. The therapist had also came into the kitchen with Akila. Therapist and I tried to de-escalate a girl who was escalating quickly. Akila no likey.

She started to get very angry, verbally abusive and started to push me. The therapist tried to distract her, and was met with some very verbally aggressive language, name calling, etc. Therapist took the cue and stopped talking. I pointed to the calming techniques on the wall (the post-it notes), and asked Akila which one she would like to do. She kicked me. I asked her if she thought it would be a good time to go to her room and take a break (I am not suppose to tell her to, as telling her what to do is a trigger...). She stomped on my food with a bunch more verbal slams.

I stayed very calm, as I have been praying for the ability to stay calm when she is acting like this. Last summer, by the end of the summer, I had not much calm left in me and I was losing it quickly, had a very short fuse. Since she has returned home, the Lord has been gracious and given me lots of patience and the ability to remain calm. I am very thankful. I tried several things to distract her with, to no avail. The therapist would try once in awhile, to no avail. After about 15 minutes or so of this, the therapist told Akila she was going to the living room and would wait for Akila to be ready.

Oh before that, she moved from perseverating on the library, to the dollar store. She wanted to go and spend her token money she has earned. I also told her that we could possibly do that the next day, if she could calm down and participate with the therapist. Eventually, she went out and played a game of Uno with her. Then she came right back to me and perseverated on going somewhere. Michael was working late and she even called him to see if he would take her somewhere. He said he would be at work too late.

At one point, she switched her obsession from going somewhere, to finding a charge cord for an old cell phone that she has. We don't have a cord for the phone that fits it. She has at least 5 old cell phones, and cords for most of them. But not for this one. She then went nutty about that. She eventually went to the basement to look for a cord. She was convinced that my mom had the same cell phone and that we have the cord. My mom passed away 7 years ago next month, and I never had her old cell phone. But she wouldn't listen to reason.

I was glad for the break, so the therapist and I could talk. I really like this therapist, but she told us upfront that she wasn't sure what she would be able to do to truly help Akila. I like her honesty, and not putting up a pretense that she can fix Akila, like so many other professionals do. I told her, that what she was seeing was mild, that Akila was actually holding back a bit for her, and that she usually gets even more extreme than she was seeing. She was thinking that already. I told her that I was glad she was staying and witnessing the behaviors as she asked if I was OK with that. I asked if she wouldn't mind documenting what she was witnessing and sending it to our social worker. She agreed to that with no problem.

Akila has been "pissy" with her on more than one occasion. She has seen Akila's edge and attitude, but we have never really had a witness to the behaviors that were observed last night. I wasn't even really stressed during the whole two hours of ups and downs. I just kept thanking the Lord for having a witness.

When the therapist and I had some alone time, we were talking about how sad it is for Akila that she is just so stuck in this anger mode, and can't enjoy the life that she has. The therapist said that she loves to come to our house as it feels so good and positive, and that she is sad that Akila can't enjoy that. That was nice to hear, because no matter what, you sometimes wonder what people from the outside are thinking looking in.

The last 1/2 hour she was there, she got to see Akila move on to perseverating about playing with Imani. Imani said she would play with Akila at 8:30 (Imani has been playing with Akila the last 1/2 hour every evening to help us- she is fabulous!). Akila no likey. She went nuts again. She kept on very rudely telling therapist to leave and several other nasty things.

On another side note, here is a funny story. Between 3:30-6, before therapist arrived, we had several issues also. Akila went after Zeke and was trying to attack him. I got in between them, got her out of the room, and tried to distract her. She hit, kicked and pushed me several times during this. I grabbed her arm one time when it was swinging at me and she went nuts because I touched her. I pointed out that I was only blocking her from hitting me again. She got really mad and said she didn't hit me. I said you just hit me 3 times in a row. She honestly didn't think she hit me and went nuts. Then she said, with a ton of attitude, "I didn't hit you MOM, this is called punching" as she showed me how she punched me. Gotta love that concrete literal thinking brain of an FASD kid, doncha now?????


Donut Diva said...

wow now that is a day. Praise God for your patience. I am praying for mine. I spent a great deal of time talking to john hays from he adopted 14 kids with fasd. I thought he would give me lots of hope but in turn I did get a little worried since half of the kids he adopted are in jail or on the streets.
He shared with me to completely change courses when ivy is on one of her rages. Today she was raging becuause she wanted to stir the lemon pudding instead of the banana pudding. I took her out of the room and played patty cake. It worked. 15 min later she was fighting her sister again over the pudding and I had to remove her and put her in her room but it took her less time to calm down and I was so proud I didn't raise my voice once. Hoping we can see more of these moments of hope more frequently.

Kari said...

Sorry to hear about the sucky day. So thankful you have a good therapist on board. She's probably learning a lot at your house!

Donut, I love the patty cake idea! (I work with John. He's awesome.)

Kudos to both of you for staying calm and not strangling anybody! ~Kari