Wednesday 25 August 2010

Dummy Fairy was a bit of a chicken... but partial success!!

Thought I should write an update to say that the dummy fairy had a slight problem after removing the final dummy from Sasha's mouth as she fell asleep (all the others had gone under her pillow...). Sasha woke up 20 minutes later and was wide awake, crying for her dummy. Sleepless nights flashed before me and as I'm not quite ready to go back to that, I (sorry, I mean the dummy fairy) caved in and gave Sasha the dummy back for sleeping. However when she got up in the morning I was very clear when explaining that that was the only dummy we had now and it needed to stay under her pillow, to be used for sleep time only. Amazingly, Sasha took to that rule instantly and it has remained under her pillow during the day. Sometimes she has gone upstairs by herself to have a sleep in her bed during the day and the dummy gets used then, but it never comes down during the day now. We've even managed two very long car journeys without it!

So I'm really quite amazed how good Sasha has been with that, giving up something which she loved. However yesterday we had the worst day we've had with Sasha in a long while, where I did question my decision to take the dummies away. We went to visit an old friend of mine who is about an hour's drive away. Funnily enough, I did stop and think about whether to take the dummy with us as a car journey with sleep was in the plans, but I resolutely decided it shouldn't leave the house or else Sasha would assume she could find it in my bag anytime. Sasha was quite niggly when we first got there (somewhere new, there were three other young children there, so understandable really) but after 20 mins or so it was like a switch had been flicked and she happily skipped about finding things to play with. That probably lasted an hour at most, and then the niggles and wanting to leave started again as she got bored. 
As we did a little tour of the house Sasha sadly got her fingers trapped in a self closing door, and although it fortunately wasn't a bad squashing, it did start the screams off, and they lasted for the following hour. She had decided she wanted to go home. As I'd only just said yes please to my friend offering to make us lunch, going home wasn't an option so I had to try and placate Sasha - but nothing I said worked, she just got more wound up and almost screamed herself sick. Spoiled everyone else's lunch of course (including mine, which I had to eat balanced precariously on my knee whilst holding her) so I did wonder if I would have been better off just leaving before lunch. But that would have been 'giving in' to what Sasha wanted, and I felt it was important not to. 

Tamsin says frequently at the moment 'Sasha always gets her own way'. That isn't true of course, we don't let Sasha make all the decisions and Tamsin doesn't have too bad a time of it generally - Tamsin's mostly upset of course because she's not getting HER own way! But she had been really good at my friend's house, and it can't have been a very pleasant experience for her either poor thing - I know I had a headache when I got home, she probably did too. The car journey home typically only took half the time of the one going; both girls woke up as we pulled onto the drive, so more tears followed as Sasha had not had a long enough nap and was still too tired. I was glad to finally put my feet up that evening!

Today was a sharp contrast to yesterday. I had to take the girls for an early morning dentist's check up, followed by feet/shoe measuring. Sasha took it all in her stride, she sat with Tamsin in the dentist's chair and opened her mouth for (just) long enough for the dentist to count all her teeth. We were very pleased as Tamsin's teeth seem to be in excellent condition with one new one growing at the back. Even Sasha's teeth look pretty good, which is amazing considering how infrequently we manage to persuade her to put a toothbrush in her mouth (let alone actually brush the teeth....). 

After that we dropped in to Clarks where Sasha actually let the male assistant put pop socks on her and measure both her feet on the foot gauge - I nearly fainted at this unexpected easy going behaviour! We followed that with a visit to the toy shop, where I managed to escape having only spent £1.50 on two chocolate lollies for the good girls (I know, bad for your teeth...) and home in time for lunch. Despite being stuck indoors due to British summertime being cancelled, the girls were both very good all afternoon, they amused themselves mostly and neither of them had a nap, which is almost unheard of! So no doubt they'll be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow, and be cranky for the rest of the day.....

Haven't managed to blog about the holiday yet, but one thing from that I must quickly talk about is how Sasha has suddenly developed a fear of her fingers going wrinkly after swimming! Half way through a leisure pool trip in Tenby she started pulling at her hands and getting upset about them - upset enough that I had to take her out and console her. Yes I know it sounds odd, and it is indeed completely irrational - I can't imagine many other 3 year olds not 'getting' what it's about despite having it explained. She loves swimming too, so I really hope it doesn't continue to cause a big issue - hopefully we'll find that out tomorrow!

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page. If you are looking for more information on Pathological Demand Avoidance, the posts below may help.

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?

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