Tuesday, February 23, 2010
One of my daughters has significant special needs. Her biggest challenge is communication. With words like bus, horsie, ball and woof-woof, it is difficult for her to tell us if something is wrong. Sometimes she will cry or get angry and we will have no idea what is bothering her. A year ago, Acadia had a very large seizure and was quite dazed after it and cried continuously. We spent the day in the emergency room doing everything from blood tests to MRIs. She was released that evening and when we got home, we realized she was not using her arm and did not want it touched. Thankfully, the ER staff had strongly urged us to bring her back if we had any further concerns. She was x-rayed and a very bad break was found near her shoulder. But it took all day to diagnose the break because Acadia had no way of saying, "my shoulder hurts."
We have been working for a couple of years teaching Acadia to sign, "hurt." That is not as easy to teach as it sounds! As Acadia's mom, I spend my days making sure she DOESN'T hurt herself. Somehow, I can't picture pinching Acadia so that she can tell me it hurts.... I have to take advantage of life lessons. Like the stomach bug we had a few weeks ago. What a crazy scene! I spent hours holding Acadia, cleaning up the multiple messes... and holding Acadia's hands in the "hurt" sign over her belly saying, "hurt. Your tummy hurts."
A few days ago, we took Acadia for a walk in town. She started off happy and excited! Walking, giggling, holding hands with her sisters. Then suddenly she was screaming and crying and would not walk another step. But guess what she was doing?!? She was pointing at her foot! Yelling, crying, and POINTING!!!! The sidewalks were slushy and one of her sneakers was wet! Her foot "HURT"! The rest of the walk was llllooooonnnnggggg. But when we got home, I peeled off Acadia's sneakers and socks. It has never before felt so good to change a child's soggy footwear!