Friday, March 4, 2011

Baby Steps

The blog post that I wrote yesterday was not the one I intended to write.  I guess I needed to write it.

This is the blog post that I meant to write yesterday:

Having been to several classes that were intended to help families and students prepare for life after graduation I have decided that I need to start asking a little more of Haley. 

If in fact she may some day be independent or at least be out in our community more she will need some skills that she doesn't yet have. 

I never meant for her to be totally dependant on me, it is just the way it has been.  I have been caring for her and doing things for her for almost fourteen years.  It is a bit hard for me to change at this point.

We try to get Haley to do things on her own, but it isn't easy.  She is a perfectionist and she knows how life is supposed to look.  It is hard for her to make mistakes, she gets so frustrated.  She will try things once and if it isn't just right she will give up.  If I keep pushing her she will shut down.  That is the way it has always been.  Lately she has been having some successes though and it really is gratifying to see that. 

She goes through learning spurts just like she goes through growth spurts.

Her teachers have been trying to get her to dress down for PE on her own.  They asked me for advice a while back and I suggested to them that if there was a chair that she could sit on while she took off her pants and put them back on that it might help.  They tried that and she has been doing really well.  I got a note last week that she dressed down for PE completely by herself for the first time.

At home I have been making her use the bathroom by herself.  I used to help her.  Like a couple of weeks ago, I helped her.  I have been backing away and asking her to do everything herself and you know what, she is doing it.

When she wants something to drink she usually brings me the container from the refrigerator.  I have talked to her about "using her words" instead for years.  Lately she has been.  She still brings me the container, but she asks me right away without all of the prompting. 

We ran out of juice yesterday and I told her that if she was thirsty she could have water.  I got her a glass of water and she drank some and then poured it in the sink.  She came to me an hour later and wanted juice again.  I told her that we still didn't have any juice, but that she could get some more water.  I tried to get her to put the cup under the sink and turn the water on, but she wouldn't do it.  I went over and made her do it, hand over hand.  She took a sip of the water and spit it out.  We have been working on spitting after I brush her teeth, I think those two lessons got a little mixed up.

She likes me to write words on the white board that is on the refrigerator.  I have started asking her to write them herself.  She recognizes letters so I figure she should be able to write them.  This one is a little harder, but she does know how to write her own name, so at least she can write H A L E and Y.  I am not giving up on this one.  I may be doing it for several years, but I am willing to keep at it.

This is what the board looks like today.

She wanted me to write Grandpa because she talked to him on the phone last night.  I told her to do it and I started to spell it, she started to get mad at me so I helped her write it.  Then she wanted to write Heather, I said "H", and she wrote H.  I said "E" and she wrote what looked like an A, the next letter is her lower case a, then she got mad and I helped her finish it.  Then she wanted Haley and I told her she could write that, and she did.  Then she wanted me to write Mommy.  I got choked up.  That was a first.  I wrote Chip and Chelsea for her about fifteen minutes later.

I am letting go.  A little at a time.  Baby steps.


  1. Sometimes it seems Haley is progressing much quicker than her mother! I'm sure it is hard to let go, but you are the one that needs to keep taking baby steps. Good job, MOM! Love your posts.



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