Friday, April 13, 2007

The Avanator

Ladies, I need advice to pass on to Ava's mommy. It seems my girl has begun to morph into a manipulative monster, albeit a very cute and funny little monster. It seems she is hitting and biting others, and gagging herself to get attention. It boggles my mind that she could POSSIBLY need MORE attention. Believe me, she gets plenty. So what should Laura do? Ava is too young for timeouts, spanking is not an option, and yet it hurts when the Avanator smacks you in the face! Worst of all is the evil look in her eye as she is smacking you. Once she gets over her irritability she is all love and hugs and smiles again.

All kidding aside, Ava has certainly developed some behavioral issues. The gagging part is no laughing matter. She vomits regularly...every day...because she either stuffs her hand or a toy in her mouth until she gags. She won't settle for anything less than Laura's undivided attention, and gagging and retching is her weapon of choice if mommy doesn't comply. So what do you do? It's getting so problematic that the feeding therapist suggested that maybe Ava needs a psychologist!

Just when you think you have this whole WS thing under control some other issue pops up and the fun starts all over again. I am actually somewhat jealous of some of you, although I am not proud of it. Ava cannot eat anything with texture-nothing but stage 2 baby food. She can't even eat those teething biscuits that dissolve into goo the minute they make contact with saliva. She is working on using a sippy cup but gags most of the time. Often she can vomit just by looking at food. She isn't mobile, although she has begun to roll around. Her sensory issues are getting worse. She is a scratcher and a wheel spinner. (Sheesh...nice labels) I guess we are all just getting impatient. We want to feed her real food. We want her to grow and learn new skills. And none of it is happening fast enough. It would be so nice to know just how disabled she really is and what we could reasonably expect of her.

I am trying really hard to feel grateful for Ava's relatively good health, and I know that we are luckier than so many families. But darn it, is it wrong to want it ALL for your grandbaby? I love her so much!

PS: The pic was taken in July '06. At that point Ava was crazy about standing up and dancing to the ring tone on my phone. So when the photographer needed a way to get her to smile..Voila!. We held hands and danced.


Every minute counts.... said...

Sounds like Ava hit the "terrible 2's". Abi went through much of what you are describing. Alot of Abi's behavioral issues are frustration, she can't communicate what she wants so she hits,bites scratches. Maybe that's Ava's too. Abi loves sensory stuff and when we see her start to "melt" we would break out a blanket and swing her for a few minutes and she could calm down before it got too far. She even started to realize that she needed it and would ask to swing. She also loves to climb into boxes or tents when she is on sensory overload. Ask your OT about Sensory Intergration.As for the gaging, been there too. We started singing to her and letting her watch T.V. when she ate and she had less trouble with the gaging. She would take a bite and if she gaged we would tell her to "stop" and then sing if she stopped.If she was destracted she would focas on what we were doing and less on the texture of the food. She used to gag on everything but she eventually overcame it. I hope that you are able to find what works for Ava. It took awile to find what works for Abi but life is much better now that we have.

Good luck!

Nancy said...

I would try reacting as little as possible and doing the distraction thing, too. It's pretty common in kids, from what I understand, and maybe if she doesn't get much of a reaction, she will stop...? On top of everything, she has a great gag reflex! I hope this stage passes very soon -- and it will pass.

Erik is still eating baby food here and there because he rarely eats my cooking...just keep trying different textures. It's frustrating beyond belief, I know.


Teresa & Shawn said...

I don't have any advice for you on the vomiting, but Clare has definitely hit the terrible two's, so we have our share of hitting and pinching. I, too, think she is too young for time-outs and spanking (since I don't feel she would understand either concept). Whenever she hits or pinches me, I say, "No, Clare" in a stern voice and immediately put her down. Usually she will start crying - either from my tone or the fact that she is no longer in Mommy's lap, her favorite place to be. Is it helping? I honestly don't know, but I don't think we should do nothing when she displays inappropriate behavior. So that is what we are trying for now.

Lisa R said...

Ava is a trip...welcome to mommyhood with girls...and my mom wished this on me...Tatum sticks her fingers down her throat all the time we usually just pull them out and discourge her...Emma was the worst at it...I would joke that she was practicing Balumia...I know sick...

Tatum gets mad if you leave the room so we have to sneak off or distract her...What Drama Queens we all have LOL

Aspen said...

We are currently in the middle of this battle as well. At a lunch date the other day after I told Daven "NO" to something, he proceeded to bite my check, slap my check then grabbed my glasses away. I was so angry but wasn't sure how to handle it. Like Teresa said, I honestly don't think Daven grasps the "spanking" concept. So, I simply held his hands down, looked him in the eye and said in a very deep voice NO DAVEN NO!

A little tip that I received from a couple of WS researchers was when you discipline a WS child, you must make your voice very deep and very loud. WS children respond to sound and no matter how loud or deep or scary it sounds...that's how they will "get it." They even joked and giggled that everyone else around might think you are ridiculous and mean. But it works she said.