Monday, August 20, 2012

Repetitive questions

The kids are healing fast. At least it seems that way. Dolly is practically back to "normal". Tons of affection. Honestly, the only big thing I notice that is different is that I can tell the respite family didn't continue working with Dolly on her enunciation. Dolly was in speech therapy up through the spring when I had to discontinue it due to Medicaid issues (me being required to sit in the waiting room during all the therapies for Dolly and Pumpkin). At that time Dolly was very close to being discharged anyway as she had met almost every single goal.

Thankfully Dolly tolerates redirection well. She's slowing down and trying her best to be understood. I am thinking that if she doesn't go to Dallas in September though I'm going to try and get her back in speech therapy. I've found a company that does in home therapies so I would still be able to meet all the rest of my daily obligations.

A small difference in Dolly is the repetitive questions. She asks a lot of them.
Mommy, will we have cereal in the morning?
Can I have a snack later? (lots of asking for snacks period)
Daddy will go to work tomorrow?
Do we go to church?
Will I see my case worker tomorrow?
Mommy, you make food for me every day, right?
After we go to bed we will have breakfast tomorrow?
Mommy, you have to do a lot of work, right?
Are you tired Mommy?
Did you cry when I was gone?
Did my friends cry when Dude and I were gone?
Right Mom, you call us your babies?

I could go on and on.

Dolly is OK when I have to answer her question no. She doesn't seem to mind simple yes answers either. It's not like she's wanting to have a big long discussion each time. She just needs reassurance. She's struggles to ask each question though. As she starts to talk to me, it's almost like the question is stuck in her mind. She's not stuttering, but she is very slow in getting the words out. (It goes back to the speech therapy thing again. Spontaneous speech was harder for her before and it seems to be difficult again.) It takes a lot of patience on my end to wait until she spits out what she's asking.

I can see how this repetitive questioning can become a part of attachment disorder. (I knew it was a symptom before but I never really understood why.)

Dolly is struggling to remember our routines. She's working hard at trusting us again. She wants to make sure that we are going to meet all of her needs. And even though her case file says that she's never been "moved" because all they did was put her on emergency respite - Dolly has lived through moves. Last summer (2011) she had to go to respite for three weeks because the judge would not approve travel with us and our vacation was already on the schedule prior to the cherubs coming to our home. And then this summer...well, we all know they had to leave my house this summer.

Frequent moves confuse children. I had a former foster child tell me she had a hard time remembering people's names, personalities and even their religions. I can imagine how confusing it would be.

It's hard knowing that this minor personality change could have been prevented if she had just been allowed to stay in our home. Or even if they had just been timely in processing the paperwork to clear us!! I can definitely see that it would become a habit if she was moved more. Shoot, even going to her Grandma's in Dallas is going to be a confusing move! I do hope Grandma is prepared!!

But the cherubs are healing. Dolly is quite affectionate and seems to be meshing back in to the family almost like she never left. Dude has warmed up a lot too!! He still doesn't verbally tell me that he loves me yet. But he will tell other people that he loves me. And when I ask him, "Who loves you Dude?" He'll answer, "Mamma L*** and Papi S***". He's even back to answering the follow-up questions that I've been using for the last year. "How much does Mamma L*** love you?" Answer: forever. "Does Mamma L*** love you even when she can't see you?" Answer: yes!

In fact, at nap time for the past four days, Dude's story of choice has been Skinamarink. He wants me to hold him close and tell him how much I love him. This...this is a good thing. Even if he won't say it back, at least he's starting to trust that maybe I really do love him and that I never stopped.


Jennifer said...

Totally agree about frequent moving being confusing. Our foster kids' older sister, 7 years old, stays here about one weekend a month. She calls us mommy and daddy because she says that our names are too hard (they are both simple common names).

Mama P said...

So glad to hear they're seemingly moving forward!

Ohhh, the repetitive questions. "Do you want me to brush my teeth now?" "Do you want me to put this garbage in the garbage can?" "Do you want me to wipe this booger off of my nose?" LOL