Things have been so busy as we get into the school year. I really want to take a few minutes to write down what life is looking like here right now before we move into the next stage of crazy/busy, etc.
Robbie started school on the 15th, and we like his new teacher. She has a lot of experience and Robbie seems comfortable with her. She's figuring out how to handle when he's all wound up, and therapy is still making strides with the whole SIB (self-injurious behavior) problem. He had a rough week after we got back from travelling to visit family, but things settled down again quickly.
I had a moment where I figured out that things were escalating if I tried to stop him, so I tried something new. He was hitting his face, and that worries me so much, but I tried not to let it show on my face. I leaned on the wall and said, "I can't stop you, and you're only hurting yourself when you do that. Are you sure that you want to hit yourself?", and he slowed... and stopped. Whew.
I'm hoping that this will help in the long run but he hasn't had another SIB incident since then (almost 2 weeks). He's more into getting mad instead and screaming, but that's easier to handle. (The old "when you can use your gentle voice, mommy can hear what you're saying" and "you're mad, and you need to use your words to tell me that you're mad.")
ABA therapy is helping by working on his need for escape behavior (which is where the SIB comes from too, for the most part). When he doesn't like/can't handle changes or stress or doesn't WANT to do what he needs to do, he tries to escape - this isn't necessarily a physical escape, as in escaping the room, but a way to stop what is going on. One thing that we didn't know is that his asking for a restroom every where we went was actually escape behavior. He was also asking to go to the restroom at school a lot. After just a couple months of therapy, I can take him to multiple stores and he won't ask unless he NEEDS the restroom. It's been an amazing change.
Other ways ABA works is that they change the routine every time he goes. He likes things to be just. so. In. the. Same. ORDER. As the last time, and the time before that... etc. Life isn't like that. Things have to be more flexible and they are teaching him to handle it better.
ABA is also for his communication and social skills. They pair up similar age kids who are at therapy at the same time and work on playing together, and turn-taking... all those things kids learn mostly on their own by preschool or so. He can't learn it on his own.
We've been decluttering/cleaning/moving furniture around for an eternity now, but I guess it's only been less than 2 weeks! We cleaned out the bonus room after Mac moved out (Mac moved out! To an apartment! Oh, happy/sad/mostly happy!) I wrote about it in my Decluttering 101 post and finished most of what we had to finish last week. Robbie LOVES his new room set-up. He loves his new bed. He got Mac's full size bed, which was MY full size bed growing up (the headboard/footboard part that is, we bought a new mattress when Mac was little), and before that, it was my mom's! It's old, but still nice, with a bookcase headboard with sliding doors on it :-). K redid the dresser that he grew up with, and it looks really good. It's now painted "boat blue" - a Valspar color - and I just love walking in there and seeing all the room he has.
We're working on decluttering our own room now, and THEN I can decide on paint and a new comforter or quilt and it's going to be so nice to have a room that is put together nicely.
My daughter is moving into the dorms on Friday.
Back to work - we're going through her clothes and seeing if there are any gaps left after our shopping trip yesterday, and we're packing her up today and tomorrow.
Soon September will start. I'm looking forward to the bible studies I've signed up for - one at church that I have been going to for years, where we'll be doing a study on Titus 2 and mentoring, and one at another church that is for moms of special needs children. I'm stepping outside my comfort zone going to that one, but when I heard about it, I was immediately sure that I should go. The special needs moms study will only be once a month, so I don't think I've overbooked myself with two studies. I am looking forward to getting back into a regular routine, even if life is changing so much with the older two moving out of the house this year.
And that's life here, right now... Busy, crazy, and mostly fun.