Sophie has alot of compulsive habits or behaviours which ever label fits. She likes to twirl strings and mouth them, open and slam shut cabinet doors and drawers etc…. It’s overwhelming at times. I give in and run around the house like a maniac looking for her strings when she get’s over stimulated and is having a meltdown and it seems like when I need them I can’t find any of them. I know, I know, I should not encourage the strings but it pales in comparison to the head banging or hair pulling so I stick with the strings. I wash them constantly to ensure I always have some clean but you can never have enough on hand.
She also is repetitively obsessive with slamming cabinet doors. This one drives me crazy! She can slam her fingers while doing it and will stop to cry and then go right back and do it all over again, it makes me want to scream. My husband started putting up the child locks and never finished so she has free roam of the kitchen cabinets. She will slam them and pull out all the pots and pans and throws them across the room. Redirecting her from this is hard and exhausting. I will ask her over and over again to stop, I use the sign (ASL) and shake my head for no but she just ignores me. I will take her out of the kitchen over and over until I end up using the child gate and blocking her into the playroom which is right next to the kitchen which can sometimes end in an upset 3 yr old banging her head on the carpet because she did not get her way. The headbanging is becoming an outlet for her lately when she does not get what she wants or something is taken away from her like her sisters headhones that she thought were perfect for chewing.
Today my friends was an AWESOME day! Sophie headed into the kitchen and proceeded to open and slam the cabinets and I turned to her said “NO STOP” quite loudly and firmly while shaking my head. She looked at me as if in deep thought which lasted about 20 seconds then turned away and started to play with a balloon that was in the other room. She did not look back and continued on her merry way to new adventures in the living room. I was Floored! I immediately called my husband to share the exciting news, it only took one time and she followed instruction. For the past two days I have been using the “NO STOP” when she begins to head bang and she stops. I am one proud mommy!!
While we have alot of difficult days we also have these amazing moments to validate our continued hopes and dedication. This was a gigantic step for us. It’s a light through the doorway of endless possibilities and proof of her potential. These are the moments and days that make up for all the hard ones. One might ask how something so small can be so big? It’s the little things that are worth so much more.