Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Regulation baby steps

My 'Rella is at camp again this week, a 9 am - 3 pm camp for children with special needs. She has enjoyed herself. One day last week she got into the car with me and exclaimed, "This is the best day of my whole life!"

Yesterday and today, she resisted going to camp. I struggled a little to convince her to get dressed, to get in the car, and once we were at the camp venue, to get out of the car and go inside. (She did get dressed, get in the car, etc, but she was protesting the entire time, and not very nice about it.)

Today, her resistance was worse than yesterday. She was really drawn to her restrictive interests (Wii and an animated movie).

Sidebar: I remembered midday that we caught her with gluten and casein at my mom and dad's, Saturday. Dietary infractions show up in her behavior several days later, and her resistance to leave her stims could be related to Ritz crackers and M&Ms from Saturday. (I'll watch for eczema on Thursday - I usually see the eczema on the fifth day.)

I'm better at staying calm through her dysregulation, although it dysregulates me, too. I know I need to stay calm and regulated so that she can feed off of my regulation and calmness. Co-regulating. Dr Gutstein always said it is co-regulation and co-control are the training wheels for self-regulation and self-control.

Thank goodness for the wonderful camp staff. They took a protesting 'Rella back to her classroom (her body and actions were participating, but her mouth was protesting). I left and waited for the phone call to come get her. Yes, I was dysregulated. Her upset can really knock me off balance. I have to work on that.

After the staff member walked her to the classroom, I talked to the other staff members about her competence. I don't want to leave her in a situation where she feels incompetent to deal with her own dysregulation. She is beginning to handle it herself, something that is a joy to watch. I also don't want to reinforce the idea that she gets to escape when she feels incompetent, either.

After I headed home, I learned that one of the staff had a talk with 'Rella, asking her if she would try one hour of camp and if she still wanted to go home, they'd call me to come get her. "Deal," she told the counselor, and she offered her hand to shake on it. And she stayed all day and had a great day!


1 comment:

Cristi said...

I know this camp was a big steps out of her (and your) comfort zone, but it sounds like it's been wonderful for her. What a testimony to the progress you two have made when you talk about how she's handling herself.

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