Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Smacking the respite provider

I went to pick Akila up from respite at 3:30 yesterday. When I came up to the door, the foster daughter of the respite provider (who is about 15 I think), opened the door and told me they were having an episode. I came into the living room and the provider was holding Akila's wrists and Akila was fighting and raging with her.

Akila was hurdling all kinds of abuse charges and things like that. I felt so bad for the lady, as this is what she does to us constantly, and it is nerve wracking for us. Can't imagine how nervous that might make her, in case she thinks I really think she was abusing Akila. She was saying to Akila, "Did I hit you? Did I touch you? No, I only held your wrists so you wouldn't hit me again." I assured her that I knew that. I took Akila's wrists and she hugged me and started sobbing.

They had many ups and downs over the weekend, which is totally normal for Akila. But at the end, when getting ready for me, the provider asked Akila to pick up her brush and put it in her bag and this set Akila off. I told her it is usually something as small as that. Tried to get her to understand again that she is seeing a mild version of Akila. I am so grateful to this woman for being willing to work with my daughter. Amazingly, she is willing to still work with her. God is good.

We drove to dance after this, and Akila was totally silent. I did not say much to her. Wanted to let her continue to settle down as I know by her behavior at respite, and her behavior the few days leading up to respite, that she is not in a good place right now.

I dropped her at dance and our awesome PCA picked her up. Akila must have earned $1 at respite (ugh- hate it when she has $), so I had told the PCA they could spend it after dance at dollar store or somewhere if they wanted. They went to 3 stores, and Akila did not spend it. She wanted to keep looking, but it was getting very late so they came home. Akila called the PCA names and gave her some attitude, which is the first time. She is starting to get comfortable with both the PCA and the respite provider. It use to take her so much longer.

At home, I could tell she was just on the edge and we could have easily gone into rage mode. Thankfully, we were able to avoid it as the PCA and I just both gave her some space and time to get into bed. I have not been very pushy with bedtime lately, as it is not worth the rages it causes.

It seems like every two weeks we are in a new place with Akila. A month ago, she was raging and being physically aggressive in front of our in-home therapist. She never would have hit our hurt us in front of others in the past. Six weeks ago, she was calling the OT a stupid woman and other names. In the past, she would have never done this to a medical professional, let alone most adults who she was not extremely comfie with. Now, after two times with a respite provider, she is hitting and kicking her. Not to mention calling her all kinds of names, including racial slurs.

This respite provider is an African American woman, and Akila called her the N word. Talk about uncomfortable. When I met with this lady, I told her this could happen. I told her she calls everyone the N word, including white people. It isn't that she doesn't understand the word necessarily, it is that when she is in a rage, she will use any word she knows is loaded and might anger or hurt people. I know that this could look to some people who don't understand FASD, that it is a racial identity issue. It is just impossible to explain to people though. It is a brain damage issue, not a racial identity issue.

Bottom line; I am sad that she was physically aggressive with the respite provider. But it was another gentle reminder of why we are moving in the direction that we are.


Jane said...

God bless the wonderful, patient, fearless people who work with and take care of our trauma kids. What would we do without them? They are our angels.

Toots assaulted a staff member on the hospital unit last night. It's not the first time--in the past she has injured staff badly enough for them to go to the ER. We know it's in no way our fault, but we still feel awful about it.

Blessed said...

Yes, God bless all of you who care enough to love on and work with all kinds of trauma kids. I pray for you mamas (and your husbands and kids) all the time--why have I not been praying for the other support people? I will starting now.

dorothy said...

You win for the best post title this month! Not sure how I'm going to top this one. :)

Anonymous said...

Our FASD 15 year old called his new male gym teacher a lesbian, in anger, last week. The rather foolish teacher decided totake it personally and try to punish him...the whole situation needed some strong parental and spec ed consultant support to intervene. A comment like that in our house gets 0 response (although, I will admit, some laughter between my husband and I later)but it's so hard to get everyone on the same page. I think we could have a contest along the lines of the best worst insults ever. Love your posts and updates...nice to share the joy and the pain.

PurlingPenny said...

Words..... amazing that the ones that are ugly, nasty, mean and wounding are the ones that get planted into our kids minds, inspite of the fact that we pour ones that are positive, kind, encouraging, uplifting and loving into them. Amazing also that a child who can't remember to put her garbage in the garbage can, can recall every one of the above mentioned kind of words at the slighest unexisting provocation. My daughter isn't physically abusive, but can rip my heart to shreds in 3 seconds flat with words. Some days I just want to crawl in a hole and never come out. Then I remember, "My grace is enough". I join in giving thanks to all those who are our helpmeets in this fantastic journey we've embarked upon. Two are better than one. How we need you!