Saturday, 26 November 2011
special saturday - Communication.......NaBloPoMo Day 26
This weeks theme on Special Saturday is communication. I suppose this can mean the different types of communication we use to help our children communicate. Things such as PECS, Makaton, & Sign Language etc etc etc..............
However, what about the other ways our special needs children communicate with us. They communicate with us through looks, stares, and other non-verbal cues. As I previously blogged about Challenging behaviour, the good old meltdown is in itself a form of communication. Our children are letting us know that something just isn't right for them and we put our deerstalker hats on and become detectives, trying to solve the mystery that is special needs.
Let me set the scene for you in terms of the not so typical ways that FD communicates her feelings to me.
Foot stamping - this usually occurs in our bathroom and usually in the middle of the night if FD gets out of bed to go to the loo. If the toilet roll has run out or she can't find the beginning of a new roll then she will stamp her feet! Took me ages to figure this out! She will stay in the bathroom all night if no-one comes to rescue her! We now have a baby monitor in the kitchen so we can hear all movement and noise within the house as the kitchen is central.
Hair pulling (hers, not mine) - this is an anxiety thing. When she was younger, FD used to chew on her hair so we always kept it in a pony tail. This in itself is communicating anxiety or sensory stimulation for her.
Complaining of tummy pain - outside of period pains, if FD has a pain in her tummy this usually means she is going to have a seizure. Years of trying to figure out her epilepsy and it finally dawned on me that this tummy pain was an indicator of an impending seizure usually followed by vomiting.
Rolling of eyes - she's bored listening to me nag. A typical teen thing!
There's a lot of other things that are really impossible to list because its just intuitive things I have picked up over the years, but all are my ways of reading my daughter. Of knowing who she is and what she wants. He body, her eyes, her very hands all communicate something to me. Sometimes they communicate anger, fear, worry, excitement or love. I like the love one best. The thing I love at the moment is that when she gets into bed she now pats the bed and smiles at me which means 'lets have some time to chat mum'. At first I thought that this was just a ploy to have the bedroom light on for a little while longer! But now I realise that she's inviting me to share her stories of her day. And so, we chat about her day. Sometimes we have a snuggle under the duvet, though that's not easy with a lanky teenager.
So, communication isn't always about the spoken word. We just need to keep our eyes and ears and minds open otherwise we may miss out on so much of what our very special children have to offer.
Posted by JB JOHNSTON at Saturday, November 26, 2011