Thursday, April 09, 2009

Attachment Therapy Progress

We must be making some because G is getting, um how shall we say, comfortable to not do what is asked and to act out a bit in front of ms. a. And yesterday getting out of the car right before our "'pointment" G darted out past the end of the car into the parking lane. Oh My.... I almost lost it. Because you see between the back of the car (parking space) and the building is room for one car driving to a parking spot.

Thankfully there wasn't one coming but had there been this whole blogging thing not to mention my whole LIFE would be in a very different place I wish to not think about. She just forgot to look and forgot to hold my hand. Then she told me not to tell the therapist.

Well, I needed to because my ears were hurting from the blood rushing up into my head. I needed to talk because my body truly felt that I almost lost my child, and I was helpless to stop it. G was not happy about telling the therapist, but due to Gs control issues; it was best to tell even with her saying not to tell.

In therapy we are doing theraplay, and some things I can see helping and some I have no idea what we are doing. We start with finding hurts and taking care of them (physical hurts or freckles or scars or whatever we see) by rubbing a cotton ball on it and verbally recognizing it. Then we play "is G a noodle", and "can G tighten up". Yesterday we played hokey pokey, well, the therapist and I did, G leaned against the wall too embarrassed to dance and sing (this is what I mean about her getting comfortable to not participate or not following instruction).

Then we play mother may I, and G wouldn't do some of the things in front of the therapist. You know the easy things like a jumping jack or turning around and sitting down or what not. Even her mother may I hug was all one sided, mine!

In theraplay there is no scolding or correcting; just allowing. So I had to word things to give G permission to not follow the instructions she was given. Also, all decisions must be made by me, so I don't ask G if she wants to do something or give her a choice in any activity.

We painted nails this week too, and G wanted both toes and fingers. I decided fingers only and that is what we did. The first time last session the polish came out the therapist had three colors to choose from (therapist has no children) and one of the colors was red, one was hot pink and one was maroon.

I personally don't allow grown up colors (red and maroon) on G. Of course G wanted the red and I chose the pink. G let me know for days after that she didn't like that pink, she wanted red. Seriously I think I got her on video telling me how unhappy she was about the whole pink nail thing!

I told her, in front of the therapist that red is not appropriate for a 4 year old. The therapist meant no harm, but her not having a child I can see how she would have thought that was no biggie (or maybe she did it on purpose because I needed to make the color choice???). I think my first thought is more correct because she apologized for the color choices which was not necessary to do (to me anyway). This time I brought our bright orange color to put on to not give that sort of choice again.

Then there are bubbles which I haven't really figured out other than they are way too messy for home play and too cold to do outside right now! But I don't get the purpose. G was told to pop them with her elbow until she got a rug burn from it (I was cringing the whole time). So we switched it to pop with thumb, then catching them, then to bubble tennis between her and me (sort of get this one).

Then I had to hold G like a baby and sing a lullaby. Well, I CAN sing but not great or anything. Did I mention that this is all recorded?? So I sang a song that I used to sing when she was a tiny baby. She held her hand over her eye peering out from behind with one eye toward the end of the song only.

See, G has trouble making eye contact with me at times (mostly only if it is her idea) and has had that from the beginning. So there are some attachment related issues even though the therapist initially said no. And the therapist just either saw it or saw it significantly to say something about it after the session. I don't know. I guess being out of work which allows these weekly sessions is actually a blessing.

Now I can't tell things are going that well at home or at night. One rule we have is no book if we are not in bed by 9pm and so far we are doing well (but I am not working you see). As far as falling asleep quickly, um, nope! She is still able to stay awake and wiggle and squirm and talk after lights are out for an hour or more. I quit looking at the clock because it is just depressing.

The therapist recommends an egg timer to set to get the wiggles out, and I keep forgetting (passive resistance maybe?) to look for one. So it is a great idea, and I need to get a 5 minute timer or a longer timer with 5 min increments? Of course the oven timer would work too I suppose.

Anyway, here is my lengthy AT progress report. Will update again when I think we are making more progress. Oh I forgot to mention one activity was G picking up marbles with her toes which she did with her left foot (she is right handed). I thought that was interesting but didn't see the point. Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?


a Tonggu Momma said...

I'm glad to hear this is some progress. Hugs!

mommytoalot said... glad your little girl was safe. that is so scary. Happy to hear therapy is helping..some what.

Vivian M said...

Here is what I can attest to:
Kerri did not make eye contact and her hugs were one sided too. It is all about control (she is a master maipulator). And the more our theraplay included touchy feely play, the closer we became and the more she began to trust. However, Kerri had mild RAD so we had some more serious issues to work on.
We noticed that Kerri had some sensory issues, and that they affect her learning processes (especially fine motor skills). I am wondering if the marble exercise has something to do with that, or if it is just to make G come out of her comfort zone (lose control) and do things in an unconventional matter.
Kerri does not listen too well and would do like G and just run off. It drives us bonkers, because she really reacts and does not think first. I am desperately seeking an OT, since that is sensory related too. So, in addition to attachment therapy, you may want to ask your therapist if she can assess G for sensory processing issues.
I am glad you have the time to work on this with G, and I hope you see some progress soon.

Kelly Deneen said...

Wow - you are dealing with a lot. So glad a car was not coming! Take care.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog yesterday.

Dana Tate said...

My dd is four as well, and I know how stressful choosing nail colors can be for her, she always pics the one I would not.
How scary that she ran out from the car!!

Anonymous said...

I recall reading that your side dominance can be mixed. Dominance is primarily focused on eye, hand and foot. I don't recall what the distributions were, but I was rare because I was left dominant in all 3!

Elizabeth J.

Andrea said...

It sounds like things are going really well.
I like the idea of the bubbles.
Bubbles are just erally magical and fun.
I let the kids blow bubbles in the tub.
They love it because they are usually allowed outside-ONLY.
This makes them feel like it is something special..probably what the therapist was trying with G.
Kids will always blow some bubbles..they have complete control over them. ;)


Lisa (Briana's Mom) said...

I would have freaked out too if Briana had run away from me like that. Scary stuff!

I am glad you are making some progress with the therapy. It is very helpful to read all the work you are doing.

Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD said...

An excellent book that you may find helpful is the ATTACh Parent Manual (see and the book, Nurturing Attachments by Kim Golding. Both are written for parents and are terrific.
Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D.,