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Sunday, June 1, 2014

A disability meets a duckling


We have 4 children with disabilities. Some days it seems to go smoothly, some days it doesn't.
Since Rose had her surgery, Lili has been filling in on the chore end, helping Tyler with calves and chickens, and she also has to fill up the silage cart with silage so the milkers can feed the cows.
The first 10 days, she did a FABULOUS job. The last 10 days, NOT SO GOOD!!
In fact, each day has had some sort of ISSUE with her chores.
Mostly, she is just lazy, and doesn't want to do much, but still, we always require a certain amount of chore help from all the children-it builds character:)
It seems that she has gone backward in comprehension, as well as desire, and almost looks for ways to be difficult. Dawdling would be a very KIND word to use-and I do have a purpose in all this, so bear with me!
We also had a set of ducklings born about a week ago, and we are so thrilled to see them waddling all over the yard with their mama.

Lili's cognitive impairment ranges quite a bit, as does Rose's, and so sometimes, we just get commplacent and forget that inside, there is a brain that wants to be independent. Most of the time, we see the total dependence on us for SO MUCH, like bathing, washing and doing hair, instructions in most daily tasks, issues with vocabulary, etc...and then there is a day when she tries something totally out of character, and we are flabbergasted.
Like trying to catch a duckling...and they DO NOT want to be caught-it is a real challenge for any of the bigs to catch one, so how she actually chased one down and was able to pick it up, we will never know.
All we know is the outcome was a squished, thrown down, dead duckling. And so now, instead of watching the mama hover around her 7 babies, she now has 6, and we were all quite sad.
And yes, Lili was supposed to be doing a job when she decided to tackle the duckling, and no, she was not having a good morning already, as NOTHING was getting done well, even with supervision.
SOOOOOO,
My question to all my bloggy friends with disabled children,
How do you handle their laziness, their lack of direction even when doing simple chores, and their lack of comprehension that they did something really wrong????
Lili has been showing SO MUCH language lately, using words that just floored me, and then, she just goes TOTALLY backward.
All of a sudden, even simple things evade her.
I look forward to some help here, as it is an issue that kind of runs through all 4 of them,
the serious ups and downs in comprehension, ability, desire, etc...
But, this is the first causalty, and we really hope to keep it that way:)

My sweet little girl, almost 9 years old, I so wish I could get inside your head and see what makes you tick!!!
We love you, we want to guide you to as complete a life as you are capable, but we are stumped sometimes.
Blessings
Chris for all 9 of us!

14 comments:

Susan said...

Murdering an in innocent duckling = animal torture.

Sign of a future serial killer! Clearly, you need to supervise this vile kid way better!!

Sara Patterson said...

That's so hard to know where a child's intentions are. I would be very cautious to assume the worst - that she intentionally killed the duckling. She could very well have been simply trying to catch it and just not understanding how fragile it is. Yes, she was distracted and dawdling when there were chores she was to be doing. And yes, she probably needs to better understand some things are fragile and should be off limits. However rather than freak out about the dead duckling. I would reinforce that she was not obeying, and there was a sad consequence of a dead duckling. Also, if there are other fragile animals/things around I would enforce "with permission and supervision". That way you'll be able to teach her how to handle them AND have a better idea where her and others hearts are at.

Chris said...

Well, I guess I wasn't clear enough-we aren't freaking out about a future serial killer:)
We are simply trying to figure out what makes her tick, and how to get her to her potential, when the comprehension seems to be way over the board, from one day to the next.
Special needs parenting can be so hrd to know, is it deliberate, is it lack of comprehension, is it just plain "I don't care"
I don't suspect she had a clue she was hurting the little thing, what perplexes us even more is HOW she caught the feisty little thing to start with, and is she capable of the things we have been asking of her lately!!!
Thanks ladies:)

Sara Patterson said...

(: I assumed as much from your post. So glad they all have a family that is willing to stick with them through the ups and downs. It is certainly a hard job!! May God give you LOTS of wisdom. And a good dose of patience and grace too. Blessings on you all.

Vicky said...

Chris, I wish I had some sage wisdom to offer. I pray that God will give you wisdom and answers to knowing best how to help your girls achieve success as future adults.

The 4-O-7 said...

To Susan- Didn't your Mommy and Daddy ever teach you that if you can't say something nice then you don't say anything at all. Why would you ever leave such a vile & hurtful comment? That's pure evil. Shame on you.
~Tina

To Chris - You are an amazing mother & wife. I'll be praying that God reveal to you the insight you need to help you children flourish. Love & hugs ~Tina

Red Brocade said...

I think this is way out of line. She may not know how to be gentle with a fragile animal. Also, she has a cognitive impairment and may not understand what she did at all. I think Chris is a brave mom to reach out for ideas, prayer, and SUPPORT. Chris, you are a loving mama and your children will be blessed because of it.

Earl and Sharee said...

Chris, you're a brave, loving and sensitive mother and I had the pure pleasure of meeting you during our adoption trip! You have a true heart of gold! Reaching out for help is a positive sign of love for your children. The best advice doesn't always come from doctors but rather parents who have walked the journey! While I don't have advice to share I do offer up prayers for your family and ask God to provide you the insight and continued guidance. You're an amazing family and I admire the love and devotion you show your family each and every day. PS: Yea Tina, I appreciate your comment and yes, shame on Susan for the insensitive and rude message. Love, hugs & prayers!

Jennifer Williams said...

My heart goes out to you! I had this exact same conversation with a friend today after having a really hard day with my son who has 'challenges'. I don't have any great wisdom, except to say you are not alone and persevere in the name of the Lord. :)I often hold close the words of the Lord: Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are OLD they will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6. Hang in there, you're doing a great job! :){{hugs}}

Anonymous said...

No, Sarah's not an especially fabulous mommy in this particular instance.

Pets (not unlike human children) are vulnerable creatures that rely 100% on adult humans for food/shelter/etc. this little girl has a cognitive impairment that her parents are 100% aware of -- and yet failed to supervise this kid appropriately and a duckling is dead as a result.

Supervise the kid properly, keep her away from small animals and don't just blow this off.

"Oopsie" she didn't mean to squish a LIVING CREATURE so she's not gonna be a serial killer doesn't really cut it anymore!

Sarah said...

Sorry some people seem bent on raking you through the coals Chris! I have to wonder what kind of a label they would out on a child who pulls a cats tail??? Come on! Children, impaired or not, tend to experiment with cause and effect. I have seen dozens of children be a pest to animals. Our job as parents is to teach and encourage kindness, not think the worst over something children have done for centuries. Your job may be just a little harder as you do try to figure out what makes her tick. Being privileged to attend the same church I know Lily is a generally happy go lucky smiley girl. She doesn't come across as malicious.
I have full confidence your children have as much supervision as any family with several young active children. That's not the issue here. God bless you for bravely asking for some help only to be verbally martyred by people who don't know you or your children. :(

Anonymous said...

Do these people feel the same about abortion? Why do I get the feeling they care more about one helpless animal than squishing peoples feelings or offering some kind HELPFUL suggestion??
Abortionists are 'serial killers' too then for mutilating helpless HUMANS with no more thought or feeling than a child with impairments.

Leslie said...

I have no real advice Chris. I have a lazy one, who does have special needs, but he is VERY SMART and cognition is not the issue.

Does she like dolls? If so, maybe you could try some role-playing except with stuffed animals, like a duck specifically or some type of bird if you had one.

I do think role-playing REALLY helps children with cognition differences. I know it helps ours, who have learning struggles. And over and over and over again!

I'm sorry about the duckling, and thanks so much for your condolences about our sweet Snowflake. LM is doing better but at bedtime she is very sad and cries and cries. Grief has always come out for her at nighttime.

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