Written after taking our Mini-Series: Practical Solutions for Self Care
I haven't felt this inspired & motivated to be a force of nature in a long time. I am so grateful for this rekindled flame. I cannot get over the progress we made in the last two weeks!! Siobhan is so pleased with her growing independence, and I am feeling more optimistic than ever.
As a single mom of two kids on the spectrum, our typical nightly routine involved me showering with my ten year old daughter as oppose to getting soaked outside the tub as I scrub her head with shampoo/conditioner and make sure she gets clean. She wraps the towel around herself but I need to really dry her off, one limb at a time. She will briefly brush the side of her hair and hand me the brush to finish. I have to be careful not to brush too roughly on her sensitive head. I hand her the deodorant and she needs lots for verbal prompting to apply it and hands it back for me to put it away. She throws the towel on the ground and we would do it all again the next evening.
After just one class, with an incredible group of people, I am no longer showering with Siobahn, she is more thorough with shampoo/conditioner, she dries herself off impressively well. She even hangs up the towel when she is done! She hangs up her brother's too, when he leaves it on the floor! She is putting the lid on and off the deodorant and putting that away after applying too! She brushes the back of her hair which is a big deal! She also seems really proud of herself! It is also pretty incredible that all this happened in spite of her being sick all week!
I threw her a curve ball in the morning after a couple weeks of our evening routine. I got up early & when she said "Get dressed??" I said, "You know where your clothes are. You can get dressed. You don't need mommy."
She was pretty annoyed at first, but went back up to her room, got her uniform, & got dressed!!! She even brushed her hair!! Then she brought me her tooth brush & we did her teeth together. She was BEAMING when the bus came!!!
Several things changed. Connecting with a group of like-minded people and having a clear action plan paved the way. The class is set up for accountability. I knew I'd be reporting back in a couple weeks and I really wanted to work on this!
The big thing I did in my time with Siobhan was mirroring the actions I wanted to see. As a single mom, sometimes it is just easier to do it myself, rather than push and fight and wait for them to do it. I had gotten in this routine and knew it was time to step back. Instead of doing it for her, I waited as I modeled the actions on myself while explaining which step to do next. Giving her that visual cue really seemed to help! I encouraged her each step of the way and really showed her that I believe in her. It is amazing to see her believe in herself too!