This is a continuation of our “diary” on how we are using the Adoption Support Fund to access DDP. You can read about previous sessions by going to the DDP category at the bottom of the page.
So this update is a little late, the last few weeks have been difficult for a variety of reasons which I won’t go into here. Our latest session was quite different to the first one we took Tom to the week before.
On arrival Tom was clearly unregulated and spent the whole session bumping into walls and did not stop moving for a minute, it’s exhausting just to watch when you are in a confined space. Dr E tried to engage him in various activities but he was angry, he spent quite a bit of time drawing aggressively and then deliberately breaking every colour pencil in the pack, he climbed on every bit of furniture and hid behind chairs, it didn’t go well. Eventually he asked to look at the cards of the bears with different emotions he’d looked at the week before, again he spent some time talking about what the bears were doing and how everything came back to the angry bear. Eventually I managed to scoop him in a blanket to sooth him before we left, it worked well. We also did a lot of hair blowing and stroking with cotton wool to calm down and reregulate before negotiating the journey home.
I came out exhausted, however the psychologist found it really useful in showing how he clearly has sensory and anger issues and that our techniques and the ones she’s shown us do work if he is ready to engage. I also had a revelation that what I thought was an “I need a wee” dance was actually him trying to regulate himself (he gets really angry if you ask & he doesn’t need a wee).
The regulating techniques we’re using currently are:
- Wrap in a blanket, hold / squeeze as appropriate
- Stroke with hands or cotton wool
- Blow mummy’s hair 3 times
- Blow cotton wool to each other
- Rocking side to side in my arms (forwards and back seems to help him push up and headbutt me)
Some of these we found out ourselves, some came from Twitter and some from psychologist but I have no idea who suggested what now, but what matters is this is helping us regulate at the moment. My fear is he is getting bigger and stronger and it won’t be long before I can’t ‘contain’ him on my lap, there are times when I need to step away.
Tom has really responded to looking at the picture faces of emotions and we are going to explore making some picture emotion cards to carry around and help him and us identify how he feels.
From next week our sessions are changing slightly, we see her ourselves one week and bring Tom the other, therefore I will only be doing a blog update alternate weeks, it also gives me a chance to blog about something else in between if I get the chance.
I do think it’s been helpful to talk etc. but after 8 sessions I really want some more strategies to manage the harder times, we will get there eventually.