Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hold Me, Please

As you can tell, Patches is taking a lot of my attention. I, like others here, feel like we are held hostage by her and her endless rages. I have my moments that I am angry. This has been so long and I want her to stop already. The problem is that she can't. She desperately wants to be better. She asks me all the time if it will improve. She is scared. So am I.

I was just catching up on another blog, she was talking about restraints and her feelings about them. She shared her thoughts on holding before the child is destructive or hurting themselves. You know the brief window of time when they are escalating but haven't done any damage? I agree with this for the most part. As Patches has grown from a children's size 8 to a jr's size 7 in the last 3 years we have adjusted this a bit. It has become more difficult to hold her more than once a day b/c my arms get so weak after being strained for an hour or more sometimes. We had a really bad time b/c of this with Ruthie awhile back. Her AT suggested we try to let her self regulate and leave her be. For the most part, I can talk her through extreme situations w/o terrible damage to our home or her. This is not always the case. I took a few minutes and spoke with Patches about her restraints and tantrums after reading this post. I asked her how the change has made her feel. It took her a few minutes to respond and then she has asked to be held when she starts to get out of control b/c it makes her feel safe. She had told me this some time ago right after her arrival. I am so impressed with her ability to verbalize her needs especially about this. How many kids ask to be held? I love this child so much, I wish she could learn to love herself.

1 comment:

T and M said...

just a thought, but with our oldest foster, we had a bit of a tantrum/self settling issue to start out with, NOTHING like what you deal with, but it avoided restraints, and she too said it made her feel sae like she was being held...
I was read about these hug-like slings and so I made a type of sling that is similar to that which is often found beneficial for autism spectrum patients:
the idea is like this: http://www.autismproductreviews.com/2009/04/calm-your-autism-child-with-cuddle.html
(although this looks nothing like what I did)

what I did:

- got a pull-up bar from walmart, the kind with mounts that you screw into the door frame, then put the bar into, made to hold up to 200 pounds or so ($20-30)

- got a lot of stretchy material from the dollar bin at walmart (I needed it for something else and by the time I was done, I think I had about five to seven yards left to work with.) ($10 for ten yards)

- laid the material out down the hallway, folded it in half hotdog-style, then again, so it was four layers thick, about 27-30" wide

- used the machine (zig zag 1/4" wide, 12 stitches per inch for all sewing I did) to stitch the length of the open side, creating a really long tube.

- folded over about four times (not folded in half, then folded again, but actually folded up about 1/4 of the way, then again, then again - so that both open ends are in the same location)

- stitched the top (where the open ends are) to make a shorter loop

- stitched the thinner side (NOT the side you've already sewn together to make the long tube, the sewing makes the opening more reinforced) of the loop starting about 6 inches from the top all the way to the bottom and back twice(the space lets the support bar go through).

- you now should have a 3.5-4 foot by about 30" pocket of stretchy but firm material.

- slide the pull-up bar through the top.

- mount the pullup bar in a doorway. I put ours about 9" from the top, Lil1 needed help getting in, but Big1 learned fairly quickly how to do it on her own, the bottom started about three feet off the ground, but it would stretch so that their butts ended up about a foot from the ground.