Now that I have a reason for why Little Critter behaves in the ways she does, I am learning things about her that I didn’t notice before.
As we were driving to Ballet class this morning, LC and I were listening to the radio. She says to me, “Are we picking D up after school?” I replied, “Yes, we are picking D up at Kindergarten after Ballet.” LC’s response, “WHAT? I can’t hear you?” I repeated the answer. “What, I can’t hear you?” I repeated the answer again. A third time. I said, “LC!!!!” and repeated the answer. On the fourth time we gave up.
A few minutes later, another question came up and we went through the same thing again. On the third repeat this round, LC says, “MOM turn the radio OFF!”. Then it clicked. With the radio on and my facing away from LC she really couldn’t hear what I was saying. She wasn’t being ornery or silly, she just couldn’t filter out the radio from what I was saying. Eye opener number one.
During Ballet class, LC participates when she wants to. At times she steps back from the group, sometimes making facial expressions that seem inappropriate (such as scrunching up her face or looking angry or sad for no apparent reason). As I watched her through my newly opened eyes, I saw the reactions in the context they occurred. For instance, if the other girls were in too close proximity to LC, she moved away or started a fake sounding cry. At times there was just too much activity all at once, especially during the free or more active dance times and LC stood with her arms crossed.
On the way home from class, we played LC’s favorite car game. I spy. LC knows her colors, but this game takes on her own rules. LC says, “I spy something PURPLE.” I reply, “My shirt?” LC screeches, “Noooooooooooooo”, “That car?” “Noooooooooooo”, “Those flowers”, “Noooooooo”, “Ok, LC I give up what is it?”, “YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. Heh, but Mom’s not purple. LC says “yes you are!” followed by a fit of laughter. Repeat the same scenerio for every color imaginiable. When I guess, “ME?” LC replies “Noooooooooooooooo”… until I give up then its “YOU!”.
I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with a fellow Mom at the Ballet class today. She spent many years as a Special Education Teacher and worked closely with kids on the Autism Spectrum. She gave me a lot of encouragement and feedback and reminded me that LC wasn’t trying to be manipulative or naughty, that’s just the way she is programmed. This is what I need to focus on. There is nothing wrong with this child of mine, she is just programmed differently and together we have to figure out what works for her and what doesn’t.
One day at a time. One experience at a time.