Monday, August 1, 2011

Small Victories

When you have a child who has learning and developmental disabilities, small victories become VERY important. We worked with Daniel consciously for about a year trying to get him to dress himself and yes it took a year. It wasn't that he couldn't do it (He had problems with buttons, snaps etc. but I was willing to help him with those.) He just didn't want to do it because it was hard. Little did we know at the time that it was actually hard for him. But now he almost always does it without complaining and this morning he buttoned all the buttons without asking for help! Yay!
My small victory today was something else though. Since we started to take him to Occupational Therapy we learned that he needs to hit and kick things. His body needs and craves that contact. That would be why he is always hitting, or kicking, not always because he's mad, but his body just needs that hard contact. Frequently he will just sit there and hit you gently (or not so gently) over and over again. Well that's a problem and it isn't an appropriate behavior. Previously he would have gotten into trouble for it. But knowing that his body needs that (It makes a world of a difference for me as now I understand what's going on!) ,means that we redirect the hitting or kicking to something that won't break and won't hurt him, and isn't a person. I've been trying very unsuccessfully to get him to hit the floor, the chair, or the bed instead. Whatever happens to be around. He just wouldn't do it. Today while we were at the doctor's office waiting to be seen and he started in hitting me; I thought okay, we haven't been home all day as we've been trying to get things taken care of for Daniel and we haven't had any time to do any school work today so how can I get him to stop hitting me and hit something else and incorporate math as well? Well, we counted how many times he could hit the chair. It worked! He finally hit something other than me! The first time we tried it he hit the chair 30 times and then he was tired. That took care of the need for about 30 mins. and then we did it again and it was 40 times. But you cannot understand how I just wanted to sing and to dance because of this one small victory.
Tomorrow this may not work. Tomorrow I may have to come up with something totally new, but it's a start to something that I can build on and that makes me happy.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, that is how it works. Just keep it up and you will be directed to know just what to do even if it is only for that day. Mom