New steps

The week after February break- kids are back at school, Driver’s Ed begins, the school schedule begins again.  At least we have a break from the sports schedule for a while- not sure when track begins…

But- I have decided to begin a new schedule for Kate and myself.  Since she’s usually up at about 4 (I think…) I have decided that I need to be in control of what she’s doing in those hours.  Rather than eat, and watch TV, or bounce on her ball and listen to music, I will have her do any or all of the following:  homework, a mile on the treadmill, brain balance exercises, and shower.  This morning she didn’t get up until 4:30, but I was already up.  I forgot to set my alarm, so I’m pretty sure the Lord woke me at 3:55, and I got right up so I wouldn’t fall back to sleep!  She was surprised to see me, so I told her that I was up so I could tell her what to do.  She didn’t say much, seemed a bit confused, so I told her that she needed to take a shower before Sophie got up at 5.  She said she didn’t need one, but I told her she did, so in about 10 minutes she finally got herself together and got in.  -And got out on time!

Okaayyy…not as easy as it sounds…  I told her I wanted her to go on the treadmill, and suddenly her homework is more important!  So where do I go from here?  Let her do the homework, or insist that she do what I asked her to do?  Insisting at 5:30 am may not be the better choice, given her propensity to protest loudly.  So I guess I’ll let her do the homework, and I’ll have to be right on top of her and make sure she’s actually working.  Then later she can do the treadmill- we have until 7:45 before the bus comes.   She will also have to  finish dressing, i.e. shoes and socks, clean shirt, brush hair and teeth,  make her lunch, and gather up her homework.  That’s 2 hours and 15 minutes.  It seems like a long time, but to someone who has no concept of passing time, and who can spend so much time doing absolutely nothing and think she’s busy, it will fly by.  So- I’m off to supervise…

Three months later…no, I’m not getting up at 4 am.  I decided that was a total waste of time, since she did more complaining and arguing about whatever I asked her to do than it was worth.  Several hours of that every morning is enough- I don’t need to add a couple of more to it!  These past few months have been a roller coaster ride-(and I don’t like roller coasters) emotionally.  Good reports from school, then an incident that lands her in ISS or detention.  I get encouraged when we have a few days without a call from the school, and someone says “Katie had a really great day today.” or “Katie worked really hard and got all of her work done.”  Then I get really discouraged by some bizarre behavior.  I won’t elaborate, to protect her privacy, but it does seem that the worst behavior follows some of the best.  It’s almost as if she’s refuting the evidence of the successes she does have by behaving in some completely weird way.  Her last “stunt” landed us in the ER waiting for 6 hours for a psychological evaluation.  I’m not kidding- we were there from 11 am to 5 pm.  I was really angry at the time I was losing at work, at the expense of missed time and gas to go from work to school and and back to the hospital and finally home.  I was angry about the fact that I had to sit for 6 hours in a little exam room with absolutely nothing to do except look at the one who made it happen, and the clock.  I decided that, in light of what I perceived as her desire for attention, I wasn’t going to let this experience be even remotely pleasant for her.  They took blood; I was happy that they would stick her.  A couple of weeks before she’d had a blood test done and it took 5 tries to get a vein.  This time she got it on the first try.  Darn.  The nurse offered food, which she politely refused.  Later, she wanted to get something in the cafeteria.  I told her that she had a perfectly good lunch sitting in her locker at school where she should be.  Eating in the caf would definitely be a pleasant memory for her.  So we did a talk a bit about the consequences of her behavior, and what some of the scenarios could be as a result of what she did.  She was considerably more sober leaving than when she went in.

Today is Wednesday- so far no calls from anyone at school!  There’s something wrong when you look at your caller ID and dread answering a call from the school.  Two more days this week…

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About Gail Aubertin Brunt

I am: a child of God, saved by grace, living by faith. I am: wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, daughter. I am: fallible, yet forgiven, and redeemed.
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