Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bump in the road...

Well, where to start - it wasn't smart for me to not have been updating this more frequently...I need to keep up with it better for records sake.

Eli has been doing great overall...but there are some things that came to a boiling point with me yesterday, which made yesterday a crappy day. Basically the biggest help with him is the fact that he is able to "turn it around" as he says, much more easily. He is so much better about once he is disciplined or redirected, he is able to do what you ask and behave better. The biggest problems that we are having are:

*Eating - he is still verrrrrry picky, and he flat out has to be coached through every meal unless it is one of a couple things he will eat on his own. It is tiresome, and very frustrating. This along with some of his other texture issues makes me believe that Jonni is right on in her suggestion of finding an OT for him.

*He is very forgetful. We have have been repeating the rules and the goals each day, but even the reminders we have up for him weren't enough.

*When he gets overstimulated or mad at someone, he pees on the floor in the bathroom on purpose. He does it to aggravate the person he is mad at, and to give them a mess they have to clean up.

These are the biggest issues we have.

The biggest issue I have is realizing that I cannot turn my back to go to the bathroom or do anything in a different room. It seems as if I step out of the room, all hell breaks loose, but as long as I am in the room with my watchful eye then things are just fine. So it is a struggle with me to find it within myself to be tuned in to them constantly. We all need a break to go potty...even if it's only a 5 minute break every couple of hours...but learning to do without that is taking some work on my end. Oh, and a big thing with me is germs. When we do have a mess on the bathroom floor, I go in fully armed to clean it up without me having to actually touch it. After talking to his doctor at Meridell yesterday evening, it is now clear to me that if he does it again, HE will have to be the one to clean it up. This practically makes me have an anxiety attack, because I can see him just touching the pee and getting it all over himself in an attempt to clean it up. But that is what a bath is for, so he will just have to clean it up, and I have to let him. I can disinfect him in the bath afterward, but he has got to learn that his behaviors have consequences...Consequences HE will have to deal with.

Yesterday it seemed like all of these things just happened all together and I had a minor breakdown. The pee in the floor was the straw that broke this camel's back, and I reached my breaking point.

But we now have more posters up. One poster I made that has "Potty Etiquette" and it is posted right at eye level while he is on the potty. It has a picture of a toilet (my artwork sucks, but it works) and a little boy sitting on it, and aiming, and then wiping. Yes, I cannot believe I had to make THAT kind of a poster, but you do what you gotta do. The next poster I made has hands plus a soap bottle with bubbles plus water and it says WASH HANDS. That is taped on the mirror at eye level just above the sink. And then one more bathroom chart I made has space for a sticker for every time he successfully does all of his bathroom etiquette. Once he has 25 stickers, he will earn a reward, so this gives him some incentive to NOT make a mess. So far so good, and he has been enthusiastically perfect on his bathroom "skills".

Next we need to make a poster to put right at the head of his bed that says NO JUMPING. This is something that he always gets hurt doing (landing on an ankle wrong, etc), but he continues to do it. I need to figure out something more creative to get him to stop jumping, but that is next on the list. Right now we just need to focus on the eating and the bathroom stuff.

I need to wind this up. Sheesh, no wonder I don't have a lot of time to blog. Since I've started writing this post, I have swept the balcony (The boys were playing in the sandbox), vacuumed the kitchen and living room (because they decided to track a lot of the sand in), had them both take a bath, unwind to a bit of tv, and now they are in their rooms - Chase is napping and Eli is watching the Suite Life on Disney. It is sooooo nice and quiet.

But I will end on Eli's strong points so that the positives aren't forgotten. He has definitely made progress, and it IS apparent... no matter how much of a struggle some things might still be...

*He has a happier attitude
*He takes redirection much better
*He can calm down and listen to me
*He does look me in the eye, although sometimes it takes me telling him to do it
*He is very polite...using yes ma'am and no ma'am and please and thank you regularly
*He is MUCH better with Chase. Like night and day better. Now they only get into trouble for playing too rough, but it is a mutual thing...
*He is sharing a lot better than before...

And that is where I will stop. It is 11:15 and I need a shower, so I better hop to it while they are resting. That won't last long...

I have GOT to post more frequently so the posts won't be this long...I have to for my sanity! :)



Ally said...

I'm sorry yesterday was so bad for you.
Funny how you mentioned the anxiety attack at the thought of him cleaning it up himself. I was going to mention that, but knew it'd be hard for you and your anti-germy self. lol
Don't forget that I'm sure there is a part of this that is just a very normal 5 year old boy transitioning back to home and re-testing his limits to see what he can and can't do.
I know together you'll all figure it out, you're great parents!
I hope you have more good days than bad and that you continue to be aware of all of his progress!

samskat said...

I am so happy for you guys. It sounds like Meridell really did make some major improvements...It does sound like he has some sensory issues, definitely look into OT (my mom's an OT, so I think I know more than I probably do...). If he is going to be enrolled in public school then he may qualify for services through the school system. Just a thought. ;) I am so glad that he and Chase are getting along...sorry we never connected while you were down here, its probably just as well, though! Let us know the next time you're going to be here, we'd love to see y'all!! Love you guys!!! Hugs and kisses....
Kat, Chad, and Hailey

Allison said...

Stacy, I just read the entire blog from start to finish!

First of all, my thought all the way through is what AMAZING parents you guys are...not the opposite like you sometimes express. Sending Eli to Meridell must have been so heart-wrenching, but hearing about the results just proves that it was probably the best decision you could have ever made.

I'm anxious to meet you guys (why do I keep saying "you guys"...I mean, "y'all"!!) when we get to DC.

Thank you for sharing Eli's story...he sounds like a remarkable kid, and armed with his new tools will be making some great strides!

Allison said...

eeek. I misspelled your name :( my apologies!