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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Always learning

I read a book to review it for Amazon recently about ADD. I don't have any children with ADD, but I still felt like I learned from it. Janey is restless---she has a much higher need for physical activity and novel happenings than the boys do. I think that's different than some kids with autism, or at least some kids with Aspergers. Vacation week after Christmas was very tough. The boys wanted to do nothing---to stay home, play games, play the guitar, read, etc. There had been a big snowstorm and I certainly wasn't inclined to go out a lot either. But Janey wasn't at all happy. I tried to keep her entertained, but it wasn't until the end of the vacation when Tony was home that she was happy. I've always known the two of them are a lot alike, not in autism, but in personality---they both need to be moving, need to be going places and doing things. He took her over and over to the store and she was thrilled, and much happier once she was home. I need to try harder to keep her engaged in that way when I'm home with her, or find programs for her to keep busy (much, much, much easier said than done)

I also thought about how I handled something last night. Janey, to put this in a non-graphic way, used the floor as a toilet and then used what was on the floor as Play-Doh for the hands and feet. This was all within a minute, as she was in the next room watching a video and I was on the computer working. She came over to me and said "I need a wipe". It was quite apparent she did by that time. So things flung into high gear. I screamed for Tony, grabbed Janey before she could decorate the house, carried her to the bath, all the time saying "WE NEVER DO THAT! WE TELL MAMA WHEN WE NEED A CHANGE, OR WE USE THE POTTY!" There was all kinds of excitment, and Janey seemed to love it. She was laughing happily, while I uselessly said "It's not funny. It's not at all funny". And I thought about the book I'd read, how when you really crave action, you don't care if it's brought on by negative actions and attention. I wonder how I could have handled it differently. Perhaps a very calm, boring approach would be best. Pick her up calming, give her a wordless bath, dress her, then have her "clean" where we have already cleaned. Make it dull and no fun at all. But that kind of goes against instinct, and my usual feeling is that parenting ideas that go against instinct have a flaw to them. It's such a never-ending challenge with Janey.

An unrelated story that made me happy---yesterday Janey was determined she was going to wear her beloved My Little Pony raincoat to school. It was too cold for it, and not raining, which I pointed out to her. She went and stood by the window and then quoted a Kipper line "LOOK at all that rain! It's POURING out". Actually it was sunny, but I loved it---it was one of the first times I've ever seen her try to trick me, or else just talk wistfully about what she wished. Nice.

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