Posted by Sarah on Nov 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

We had a good couple of sessions at Sensational Kids today. Beth seems to be coming down with a slight cold so she was a bit flat but she still participated fairly well. Rod (Speech Therapist) was trying to get her into a conversation. He started off by telling her that he had hurt his finger. She answered that they could do some cartwheels! After trying to get her to say what she thought may be the right response he gave her multiple choice. These were a) I like apples, b) How did you hurt your finger? and c) Why do you have such big feet? She knew straight away that it was b. He then answered with “I fell when walking backwards up the stairs. Beth was supposed to either call him on such a silly thing or ask him why he did that. She did neither. Rod explained how we are trying to broaden her way of thinking by giving more abstract statements or questions. I asked if she would ever get it or even if she would ever care. I pointed out that her way of thinking may be “And this affects me how?” He said that with work she would start to think more along the correct lines.

Rod told me that 99.9% of people parent by asking questions and guiding our children. He suggested that I comment rather than asking questions to which there is a concrete answer. For example instead of asking if Beth slept ok, I should say that I had a good night’s sleep. That way she should either respond in kind or ask for further clarification. I like the idea of that, it brings out more conversation. I was saddened to hear at the end of our session that Rod would no longer be practicing speech after this year. We are to get a new therapist. This is so that Rod can concentrate on the business side of Sensational Kids as he is the owner. He can train others up and oversea all aspects of the business. I understand but will miss him, he and Beth have an undeniable bond and I have got to know him well too. He will still be there though so I’m sure we’ll bump into him.

Beth then had her Occupational Therapy session with Whiskas (not her real name.) Once again they talked about going to California with Beth doing some writing, pasting of pictures and searching for things on the internet. Whiskas reported that Beth seemed a bit disinterested today but still got the work done.

We stopped in at the school uniform shop for Emerson school where Beth is going to next year. Beth kept roaming out down the corridor and picking bits off stands, basically being a pain in the arse! We picked pants, bike shorts, school dress, jacket, shirts, hat and schoolbag up so she’s all set. She’s looking forward to wearing them at her next transition day and picked out the schoolbag herself out of all the different ones. It’s so strange seeing her in a different uniform after seven years in the same one. She looked so grownup!


Bridie’s birthday

Posted by Sarah on Nov 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

We had my youngest daughter Bridie’s birthday on Saturday. As usual we had a treasure hunt for her presents. I write out the clues, Beth and Bill read them out for Bridie and she searches for the presents. The only problem this time was that Bill had hidden one of Bridie’s presents early and he couldn’t remember where. Unfortunately this was the one that Beth had picked out with me to give to her and she was quite distressed that we couldn’t find it.

I still don’t know what’s going on in Beth’s mind. I spoke to our principal last week about her attitude while at Emerson. I know we’ve changed her medication but I know from experience (especially with anti depressants) that they’re not always the right fit. I had been on Zoloft which is what Beth is on and it hadn’t helped me at all. I changed to one called Avanza and it made all the difference. I know of a friend who has said Zoloft was just what she needed but had a sister who had a bad reaction to it. I don’t want to put everything down to the medication but at the same time I want to make sure that Beth is feeling at her best, and it’s my job to assess whether she is feeling ‘right’ or not. Just as I didn’t know until I did feel ‘right’  Beth probably wont know either. I spoke with her paediatrician and we agreed to give it another few weeks and see how she goes. I don’t want to base the positive side only on the fact that she’s ok with Oscar the Grouch now. I was so excited by that that maybe I assumed that her anxieties had lessened everywhere. If anything they seem to be increasing.

We had Bridie’s party yesterday, just her and a handful of friends. We went rollerskating which Beth usually loves. Instead she decided she’d be a right cow and as only Beth can do, made damn sure that if she wasn’t going to enjoy it nobody else would either! The food was a measely sausage roll and party pie but as it was timed from 10am – 12noon I wasn’t all that worried about food. I had bought some packets of chips to plump up the offerings and Beth decided that as soon as we got there she wanted to eat them. It went in her usual way of “I want my chips, give me my chips.” I want you to say that out loud in a high pitched voice and elongate it in a singsongy way that takes 2 – 3 times longer than usual. That’s what she sounded like, 10 or so times in a row! And it went on. She wanted water, she wanted to skate, she wanted to sit down. She kept grabbing at the presents that Bridie hadn’t even had a chance to look at yet. They were given in the gift type of bags that you can see what the present it and Beth just kept helping herself. When told to leave them alone she kept saying (in the same voice) “But Bridie has to share, it’s good to share.” In the end any pretence of nice mummy in front of guests went out the window and I told her rather loudly to shut up. To which of course she replied “Open down Beth, open down!”

Beth’s school camp is on today (Monday) until Wednesday so I have her home with me as she didn’t want to go. She’s happy as Larry to be home with me. That’s all she wants. I get that, I am fabulous after all. It’s nice to stay home watching tv and playing on the computer, who wouldn’t want to do it. Clearly it’s not what she needs though. Next year will be so tough for her, wanting to be so dependant but needing to be independant. It’s going to be tough for me too. Sometimes parenting sucks doesn’t it!


Transition day

Posted by Sarah on Nov 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

We had another transition day at Emerson today. Unfortunately today’s didn’t go as well as the last two. When we got there I spoke to ‘Sue’, the coordinator, about the boy Beth calls Bob who she said bullied her last time she was there. I said that Beth was worried about him and that I had told her to tell Sue if it happened again or to point him out to Sue so that she at least knew who it was. I did this in front of Beth so as to reassure her that it would be dealt with. Instead though Beth became all whingy, doing her exaggerated lip quiver and as she left with Sue she called out “Mum, don’t leave me.” I don’t know if it was because I brought ‘Bob’ to her attention or something else.

When I went back to pick Beth up Sue told me that Beth had continued on like that for most of the day. She had also not been as cooperative in the classroom. When told to get out of the beanbag where she was reading she didn’t want to. And when asked to put the book back she said to the teacher “You can do it for me.” When Beth came out and Sue was asking her about her day she had such an attitude to Sue that I had to step in and tell her to cut it out. When she acts like this she becomes very animated, almost like she has live punctuation. For example she’ll put her hands on her hips in an exaggerated manner. When asked if she’d had a good day she threw her hands on her hips and said very loudly “No!” She commented how a boy had been annoying her and how really, everybody was annoying. I said that was too bad, I was sure she had been annoying to other people too. When we left I told her how disappointed I was in her and that she had to get used to being there because it is going to be her school next year.

I knew that this was too good to be true. I’m not saying that she wont settle in but she is bound to have issues with having to step up to the plate of independance. She’s so reliant on others that it’s going to be a hard road for her. Where my heart says that I could handle her being at home and that it’d be easier in a way, my head tells me that this school is what she needs. We need to try and give her some form of independance, I wont always be here to look after her. And I’m damned if I’m going to burden Bill and Bridie any more than they have to be.

We’ve got another transition day on the 13th December and I’m going to the uniform shop with Beth next week to buy her one for the transition day. She’s home with me Monday to Wednesday next week as there is school camp and she doesn’t want to go. I’ve decided to keep her home with me, I just want this term to be a happy one for her and if her friends aren’t at school then she wont enjoy herself.

Hopefully her attitude will pick up. I just thank God that they’ve already said yes!

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