Sunday, November 11, 2012

A bit of Psychology: {One Month}

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Lilah still shows her anxiety in her forehead and behaviours at times that she is uncomfortable, such as being put on the spot, being the centre of attention and when she is disciplined.

There is some improvement. Her skin is rosy and glossy and she has better balance.

She is still not quite where we want her to be. She still needs to bring her mind and body to the present and stay there. She needs to remain in the relaxed state more consistently and recognize when her anxiety is rising.

We are consistently doing our therapy. We continue with yoga each night before bed, we do our deep breathing and we do the nightly massage. We have tweaked a few of these things to try to get them to work more efficiently.

The Ball:

The girls seem to see the ball as a play thing, so in order to get them to sit on it properly, we now do our bedtime stories while they are sitting on the ball. They are distracted enough by the story, that they don't fool around, but have to concentrate more on the balancing.

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Deep Breathing:

Lilah hates doing the deep breathing and letting go of that control. So now when breathing, we place her hand on her belly so she can feel and focus on the breaths.

We will also use a exercise band and I will wrap it around her shoulders tightly for a few breathes (this limits her fidgeting) and then wrap it around her under her armpits for a few breaths and then lastly, wrap it around her waist for a few breaths. While she is breathing, I run my fingers up and down her spine so she can feel how long she should be drawing her breath in and out.

I then ask her to send her breath to the right side of her brain where her emotions are stored. This is to calm her. I touch her forehead and tell her to close her eyes and send the breath to my hand. You should be able to feel more heat on that side of her head.

I then ask her to send her breath to the left side of her brain (where anxiety is stored). She must first be calmed before she can release her anxiety.

I then ask her to send her breath to the middle of her head, at the back to integrate the two sides.

Our goal is to build more brain cells. This all may sound a little strange and out there, but hey, I am not a Psychologist, I am just trusting that our Doctor knows better than I do, what works!

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Yoga:

The girls love their yoga! And when they CHOOSE to cooperate, they do quite well and I can see them relax and balance better.

We are using a new book which I highly recommend.

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The Psychologist also had Lilah play in the sand table again. Lilah gets four minutes to pick from hundreds of toys that she can place into the sand and make a scene. At the end of the four minutes she has to tell why she chose those toys and what they mean.

Lilah picked the same toys as last time. A couple of little houses, a bunch of little people. Tim and I lived in one house, with the boys. Lilah, Abby and Zoe lived in the next door neighbours house with Auntie Kelsey and Uncle John. Cousins were mixed up with siblings.

This is part of her dissociation.

The Psychologist sees this as her starting to figure out where her place is in her family and what her family consists of. She is starting to see herself as a part of our large extended family, but still doesn't grasp being a part of our immediate family. A month ago, she didn't even distinguish neighbours from family, so there is some improvement here. We need her to see herself as a part of our intimate family unit now.

When asked if she had bad dreams at night, Lilah said no, she doesn't have bad dreams. She did open up a little bit and said that she dreams of a room with green curtains and lots of Chinese people.

I have had a lot of people ask about the constant repeating of bad choices regarding everyday, common sense issues in adoptive children... so I asked about this and how to best deal with it.

Remain consistent. Anyone, who deals with this in their children, knows how exhausting and frustrating it is. This is all a part of dissociation and once we can get Lilah understanding what her place is in our family and into a more consistent relaxed state, this should improve. Remain consistent!

The Psychologist said she thinks this is not a choice at this age... not sure I agree. I never dealt with this with my bio kids at this age...

We will see the Psychologist a few more times over the next few months and see how it continues to go.

*On a side note... I was told to continue massaging Zoe, even though it makes her laugh. This releases her anxiety. It frustrates me and makes me laugh, all at the same time!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting - especially about the green curtains and lots of Chinese people in her dreams. Are these people adults or children?
I understand about the breath even if sounds like it is all 'out there.' Minerva

the meaklims said...

You are obviously seeing some positive changes in Lilah's association with family which must be an encouragement.

Praying this all helps to bring her to a good place.
She has been through more than any child should have to go through. Which is heartbreaking. So thankful she has wonderful parents to help walk her through this and get her the help she needs.

Jill (hugs)

Danae said...

I commend you on being so faithful and consistent....I know first hand how frustrating and exhausting it can be.

I have been reading these posts and making notes. We leave for China on the 22nd to bring home our Noelle who has been living in an orphanage her entire. I know that there could potentially be many issues similar to Lilah’s that we could be dealing with. I really do appreciate and thank you for sharing your experience.

If I could ask one question..how has/or has Lilah’s behavior affected your other children? How did you handle it?

Blessings, Danae

Denise said...

I'm so glad you are seeing some progress! Hopefully in the next few months you will see more steady progress, or even a jump ahead once her place in your family is understood. A parenting coach I have been listening to says that children misbehave when they don't have a sense of belonging or significance. So that would make sense in her case as she doesn't even really recognize her belonging in your family... I hope this is resolved in her mind soon and she can rest easy. Keep up the good work, Momma!

Denise said...

I'm so glad you are seeing some progress! Hopefully in the next few months you will see more steady progress, or even a jump ahead once her place in your family is understood. A parenting coach I have been listening to says that children misbehave when they don't have a sense of belonging or significance. So that would make sense in her case as she doesn't even really recognize her belonging in your family... I hope this is resolved in her mind soon and she can rest easy. Keep up the good work, Momma!

Beth said...

Glad to hear you're seeing improvements Paige. I don't think all the breathing stuff sounds weird at all. As long as stuff isn't making it worse, it's all worth a try. You're so patient and I admire your tenacity but also understand that as a mom we want to do everything we can to help our kids in whatever way we can. Blessings as you continue your journey with those two lovelies (and the rest of course as well)

Marie said...

It only sounds odd to those who haven't tried it. Our bodies respond in amazing ways when we focus on our breathing. May have to try this technique with one of my kids.
Zoe's dream is interesting. It's difficult to know what's fact. Often Malia's dreams are of her life in China...or so we have concluded. They are the dreams that she describes as "not nightmares, but not a good dream either." I think sometimes the dreams are good...just difficult for her to deal with/understand.

Sara said...

Happy to hear your Lilah is making steps towards her healing. Yet another insightful read. I love how your blog is so honest and forthright about both the trials and triumphs of adoption. It really gives me a "heads up" on things I need to be aware of and practical tips to deal with any issues that may arise. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.



Marcy P said...

I would love to know the therapist you go to! I have children with sensory issues, learning issues, attachment...etc. They have all been with us since babies but I wish, in our rural corner of the world, that we had the experts. It sounds like yours knows what to show you to do. It's amazing how the brain can change and grow when we target it with certain exercises! I pray for God's healing in your little love's heart and mind. You are doing a great job!