Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rising above worry, how does God fit in this situation

Practically every day at the moment is filled with questions, what does he need, am I understanding enough, is he going to talk today, how can I encourage him to talk, is he going to feel comfortable with family or friends at the shopping centre at a restuarant, at school. Without carefull attention I can be consumed with worry. I read something recently that gave me a little focus so I thought I would share it with you.

"We all worry from time to time, but wise people have learned to avoid over anxiety by following these guidelines:
  1. Define the situation clearly. What exactly is it your'e worrying about? Be specific. Often when we take the time to clarify a problem, a way to solve it will present itself.
  2. Face the worst that can happen. Would you lose your job? Your relationship? Your investment? In most cases even if the worst did happen, chances are it wouldn't ruin you. It may be inconvienent or painful, but does it really warrant all the anxiety you are giving it?
  3. Resolves to accept the outcome, whatever it is. Most of the stress of worry comes from denial, from not being willing to accept whatever happens, you'll find worry loses its power over you.
  4. Work to improve the situation. Renowned neurologist James H Austin said 'Chance favours those in motion'. Do all you can to ensure the best possible outcome, and after you have done everything... stand (Ephesians 6:13) Stand on God's promise
  5. Give the problem to God. He's the controller of all thing. The Psalmist said, 'Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10) Remember nothing can happen to you today, or any other day, that God is not aware of, in control of, and able to bring you through. "
Taken from a devotional called Word for today, October 13,2010

Of all the things I am anxious about, instead of worrying about the what if, I need to ask myself would it really be that bad, what could really happen. What am I living in denial about? What should I accept the reality of, the outcome that I am not accepting. Secondly what is helpfull for me to think, is to do what I am able to do and then leave the impossible up to someone who is capable of dealing with the impossible, God. Whether or not you believe in God 1-4 are still applicable for all those dealing with worry.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just when you think you are making progress

So after thinking everything was ok after Josiah going missing when we were in Perth, after we had settled back in at home, he suddenly stopped talking to me this was an issue obviously and at first I felt quite rejected and frustrated. I remember one time after Scott come home going into my room and bursting into tears to hear his voice after not hearing him speak for the most part of the day.

What also complicated this further is because we have our father in law staying the once safe place has been compromised which I would imagine would not make it in the slightest bit easier on Josiah. Something for now we can do nothing about until the holiday over, now only in a week's time, which will show us how he really is going.

At first this only effected myself but gradually it extended to others including my partner and his Grandma until there was only one person with whom he would speak, now after we got used to this situation, then he stopped talking to Grandad as well. Since then it has been two weeks since he has talked normally and it is hard living with a silent child.

We tried to get some help but unfortunately our normal psychologist is away for the holidays and the CAMHS are unable to help us into the New Year. So consequently we have been coping with this situation on our own. Mostly we cope ok with moments of fear interlacing with frustration and sometimes anger.

Before all this started we participated in a program called Babyhands where Josiah learnt basic sign language in the hope that he would use it at school when he was unable to speak. This has come into use now and he is able to at least begin to communicate in this way. And he has also started using this with other people who he hasn't spoken to in the past which is great because this in itself is a step forward.

So we are in the waiting game now to get any appointment for help in dealing with this so we don't enable his behaviour. Just hoping something happens soon, or that Josiah will re-emerge as a loud and noisy child he normally is.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What to do when your child gets lost

One thing that I have always feared is what do I do if Josiah ever got lost. Most children can ask for help, can say their name, their phone number who their Mum or Dad is. But a child with Selective Mutism is limited to respond in any way.

Before he went missing, we knew that he was already struggling. Our son who normally could talk to us had reacted to the pressure of Perth the crowds shopping and the loud noise, and was now not able to talk to us normally, he could barely answer questions. Even when he did he nodded by lowering his head in a way that he only did at school. So we had announced that we were going home and he knew we were on our way to the car park.

One second he was with us and we stopped to look at something, when he kept walking. It only took a minute for us to realize that he was gone. We waited literally two minutes to look around and see if he was anywhere. I then called Westfield Security who were good. I gave them information about what he was wearing his name, and also the fact that he could not speak and would most likely react badly to them helping him.

After this I was about to walk to the concierge desk, when I head my son he was screaming and I could tell he was coming towards me. I waited anxiously and finally I caught a glimpse of him and I knelt down and waited for him to get to me. The security guy bless him he was dark skinned and had Afro hair which would have been unfamiliar for Josiah and I knew he was a little scared of them normally. The staff at Westfield said that a lady had brought him to the concierge desk. They tried to get him to come with them. But he ran away from them in fear. They told me that they tried to tell him that they were trying to help him find his Mum. No help.

So now what can I do for the next time this (which I hope) never does can I do. Firstly I know that he knew who Police were and had recently had a discussion with him that they are safe and to go to them if he feels scared or loses us. To stand next to them and wait for them to help him. But I had never told him about security people so next time I will make a point of showing him who they are when we are at shopping centres. Also next on the list is possible finding a bracelet he can wear to show his name that he has Selective Mutism and my phone number. I will post later if I find appropriate ones that can be ordered from Australia.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some more progress


So recently we got a call from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to go in for an appointment for assessment. We went in chatted to someone, talked about how he is going, what is the problem and so on. He even asked if we can deal with this on our own I am not sure what he was meaning behind that. I responded that we are working blind at this stage just trying whatever works and we need some help. I think I have been so stressed and it come to the meeting and I had got all my stress out the week before. So it was hard to describe to him how hard it has been for us. So apparently they can work at the school. However we need to wait till the New Year for an appointment, I stressed how much we need it to start before the school year.

We also had a speech therapy appointment on the same day. After finding it so hard in these sessions. This recent appointment was amazing. Instead of doing the assessment with her in the room she sat outside listened and got it all recorded on a dictaphone. Which meant Josiah could feel comfortable and then she come in slowly further away and come in closer and closer till she sat down with us. This worked really well.

School work

This Monday just gone we did have some progress. Armed with some new activities from the speech therapist. We worked on story sequencing which was great. Then we did a barrier game, I sat with Josiah and the teacher sat on her side not looking at Josiah. He was able to give instructions with some help with the words and he whispered them to her which was great progress. Think it is the first time he has been able to do this really at all. I felt great that he felt comfortable to do this.

A barrier game you have a picture and each person can not see each other's picture and each person gives instructions to put object that are pictures in different areas of the paper. This helps language skills. Such as next to on, beside and so on. And definatley worked in this situation for Josiah. We will be doing this activity again soon I hope because it worked great!

Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved