Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's not about how you fall, it's about how you get up

I debate on sharing my down times and usually try only do so when there is a happy ending prospect.

I have fallen a few times these last few weeks.

Pretty hard.

I have been trying to pick myself back up mostly because I HAVE to, not really because I want to.

I thought this morning was going to be my "over the cliff" moment.

But, I forced myself to exercise this morning while watching one of my favorite shows "Dancing With The Stars." I have to say that my favorite moment was when Kirstie and Maks fell. Not because I laughed but, because I cried. I think that was my breaking point. Crying over dancing... hmm... issues. I think it was because I felt like Kirstie for the last while. Work so hard all just to fall flat on my face. Then the host of the show said,"It's not about how you fall, it's about how you get up." It just struck a note with me.

Let me explain what brought me to this point.

If you read this blog often you will remember Blue on a Green Day when I had drawn up a social story for Sister hoping it would help with her stimming issues.

I dove into that idea head first. It had been such a success with Brother when he was younger (he had problems with biting when he was hyper-aroused). I thought for sure this would be the answer.

The first two-three times I read this social story to her it seemed to be helping. Then after the second day Sister said to me with concern in her eyes, "I'm sorry mommy. I like it. It makes me happy." What could I say to that? She obviously was choosing this because it helped her.

Her stimming just got worse.

Our patience was wearing thinner as we were so worried that this was something that somehow we had not foreseen and nipped in the bud before it became a problem. And, really, hearing grunting, screaming and bouncing all day really can be annoying. Sorry, it just can be.

Along with all this worry about Sister I am still having to make sure that Brother is getting his homework done, that he is happy and feels encouraged so that he can face the next day (whether it be scouts, a family get together, a party, church, etc.). Of course Baby has her Occupational Therapy goals that I need to continue to be working on and she is starting the famous Fragile X thing of not sleeping. Really? She's not even 18 months old yet. Here we go.

And off to the side I still have constant concerns and worries for my niece and nephews, who were for a long time, like my children. I want so badly to be their aunt. You know, the fun aunt. The one they love to visit. The one they confide in. I don't even feel like and aunt at this point. I won't really go into that... it's a sore spot. It is just tough to let go. I try. I just don't know if I can completely let go. Move on. Yes. Let go. Hmmm... we'll see.

So back to Sister.

Finally we got an appointment with Sister's pediatrician. (A little insert here to thank Marc's mom for watching the other kids at home while Marc came with me to the appointment.) Her doctor confirmed what I had been thinking for a few years now. Sister shows signs of Autism, hence the stimming issue. We were counseled to take a different approach and some added medication.

I didn't want to rely entirely on the medication so I still wanted to work closely with her teacher and see if there were some behavior modifications we could implement.

So today, after crying about dancing, and dreading having to face Sister's issues head on when I was already on the verge of tears, I went to a meeting with the school psychologist and Sister's teacher to go over a Behavior Modification Plan.

It was so hard to talk about the problems Sister is having without completely falling apart as we talked about ALL the issues she is having at school. It is especially hard to know how smart she is, yet these autism-like behaviors are really hindering her social development.

We talked about picture schedules that would be able to go from school to home and we also discussed helping Sister to recognize her emotions so that we can start to learn what to do to help her.

After the meeting, although I kept a smile the whole time, I wanted to burst into tears on the way home.

I didn't.

I had to hold it together.

I knew if I started crying I would lose it for the rest of the day.

I tried to stay positive.

Then motivation came.

I got back up and dusted myself off, went to my computer and put together some things for Sister.

This one is for choices of what she can do. Her teacher will do the prep of her going home by choosing which activity she will do when she gets home. Cool huh?

And this one is so that she can point to how she feels, so she can start to understand her feeling and in turn help us to know what to do for her. I hope it works.

After she got home from school today I showed her the new pictures. She smiled and then we talked about them a bit. I think the emotions will need some time for her to understand, but, tonight I was putting Baby to bed and Marc was gone to his Bishopric meeting and I heard Sister say, "Mom! Where are you? I'm scared." Which was a miracle because usually she will just start screaming and crying until I come to see what is wrong. So maybe, just maybe these will help.

What we have done for Brother to help him through some tough emotions of selling our goat and chickens was a different approach.

He has been begging for a dog.

I would love to give him a dog, but there is NO WAY I can handle 3 kids and a dog at this time so we compromised, we bought FurReal's Go-go My Walking Pup.

Brother named her Tinkerbell.

It has been a hit! Sister and Baby love it too.

Marc and I made a little kennel for her out of a cardboard box but it didn't last long. Brother was so sad that she didn't have a kennel for her but, amid all the turmoil with Sister and what not, I could not work up the energy to make him another one. So my mom was the angel that came to his rescue. She found an old dog kennel and painted it up for Tinkerbell. It was like Christmas for brother when he opened the door before school and saw that Grandpa James had left it there on the porch for him. So excited.

Honestly I know I wouldn't have made it through all this if it wasn't for the spiritual uplift I had over the weekend. AND all the help I got from my family: Jessie, watching Baby last minute, Lynne cleaning, doing laundry and babysitting, Mom bringing over chips and dip (smile).

So there you go, a pick me up kind of ending.

I think I got up quite gracefully from my fall.

5 remarks:

Kiley Hansen said...

Rachael, I love you. You are simply amazing and such an inspiration to me. You are my strength.

Mariah said...

Call for pie anytime.
What a plateful you have.
Your family is in our prayers.

candace said...

We all love you sooooo much! You need to call on us more. I think it is absolutely awesome that your mom always knows what to do, and comes to the rescue! Love that lady! She is awesome! You have the greatest family all around you. You have a great set of in-laws and siblings too!

Bonnie@TheFragileXFiles said...

I love Dancing/Stars too, and when the host said that, it resonated with me too! It's a good thing for us all to remember. And we have that FurReal walking dog, too! He's way better than a real dog. Much cleaner and better behaved. ;-)

Rochelle said...

you are always very graceful!!!