Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

Parenting my daughter with Down syndrome, minimal verbal skills, and Intellectual disability is fun, exciting, challenging, and sometimes mystifying. 

Everyone in life seems to have certain preferences and routines. My daughter, Jaycee, is no different. Some routines in life, I have helped her develop. From an early age, she watched me pick out her clothes and place them on her closet doorknob. At some point, she started picking out her own clothes for the next day and placing them on her closet doorknob. She doesn't like to go to bed if her clothes are not set out for the next day. That routine is all me. I'm responsible for teaching her that. 

Sometimes, I don't know where my daughter's routines and preferences have developed. She has things that she does that just makes me go hmm. Why does she hate pillows on a couch so much? We have pillows on our sectional at home. The pillows aren't kept on "her" part of the couch. But still, where did her hatred of pillows sitting on a couch come from? She would rather see them on the floor than on the couch.

Speaking of the couch, she has her special spot on it where she likes to sit. She does her twice daily nebulizer treatments while she sits in her spot. Months ago, we had to start using a new nebulizer machine that had a shorter power cord. Suddenly, Jaycee couldn't sit in her usual spot to do her treatment. She needed to move to the other end of the couch. This threw her off for days. She was mad that she had to change spots and would get upset before each nebulizer treatment because she had to move. Her world didn't make sense anymore, but eventually she adjusted. Now, her new special spot is THE spot. 

Her glasses have a special spot too. Before she goes to sleep, Jaycee places her glasses on the nightstand parallel to bed. Never, never are the glasses perpendicular to the bed.
At the dinner table, Jaycee never mixes food. She always eats one food at a time. She will eat all her mashed potatoes, all her meatloaf, and then all her green beans. Jaycee never switches up bites of food. My son also eats this way, and I recall doing this as a child myself. This preference of Jaycee's carries over to when we are eating on the road. When I order Jaycee a happy meal from McDonald's, I can't hand her the box it comes in. That would be too simple. She will refuse to take it. She wants me to hand her the fries. When she's done with that, then I can hand her the sandwich. When I'm the only adult in the vehicle, it's kind of an annoying situation. Why won't she just take the box?!  

Here's my son when he was 5. He had to sort his M&Ms by colors before he would eat them. Kids develop funny habits! 

There's other things I can't figure out too. Jaycee hates it when I get into a vehicle before her. If we are all loading up to go somewhere, she cannot stand if I get inside the vehicle first. She will try to open my door in an effort to get me out. Sometimes, she will stand by my door and just cry. I don't know why this upsets her, but it does. I try to avoid it by letting her get in first.

As you can tell, there are some things my daughter does that I just don't understand. It makes life interesting and predictable for her and I. I don't know why or how some of the these things developed, but I've come to accept them. She is her own person and a pretty great one at that! Just don't sit in her spot when it's time for her nebulizer, and we'll all be fine! 

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