Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tears (and Cheers)

Before I post, I wanted to let you all know that Louie's mom has a great post on her blog. Check it out here.

As you all know, preschool started Monday for Payton. She always loves being around other children and I think she really does enjoy it. With that being said, our evenings this week have been tough. Payton was reverting back to her outbursts, tantrums, wetting her pants, etc but Bob and I thought it may just be because of everything going on (the fair, preschool, getting ready to move). She's definitely had some bumps in her routine so this is how she's dealing with it. Last night (as she did the other two evenings) she was constantly telling me her stomach hurt, was telling me she didn't want to go to school, and wouldn't sleep. It's tough because she still is not the best communicator, but I really was trying to get out of her why she didn't want to go to school. Finally she said something about a whistle, put her hand to hear mouth and made a 'whistle' noise. I couldn't believe we narrowed it down from 'noises' (like she first told me) all the way down to a whistle! I told her we'd go in a bit early this morning and talk to Mrs. Miller about the whistle.

This morning on the way in I asked Payton what she was going to talk to Mrs. Miller about. She ofcourse said "the whistle". I wasn't suprised she remembered because my lands the child talked about it all night long :) When we got there Mrs. Miller said "Good Morning, Payton!" and gave her a hug (like she does with all the children) and then Payton said "talk about the whistle". Mrs. Miller held out her arm and sure enough she had a whistle on a bracelet on her arm. Mrs. Miller said "yes, I use the whistle outside when it's time to come in for snacks". Payton just kind of looked at her, so I tried to finish it up there. It was chaotic and I felt like I didn't have time to really get my point across, but Mrs. Miller told Payton she would stand far away from her when she blew it. Payton was her usual self and smiled huge and said "OKAY!". I wasn't comfortable with the answer, feeling that even though she was far away, Payton would still focus on it all night. I, myself, was still nervous about it and then as I left the intercom went off paging for one of the teachers. I didn't dare turn around and look at Payton's face when it went off because I knew I would be brought to tears. In my mind, I can picture her hands going to her ears and the frightened look on her face.

Once I got to work I decided I'd give her aid a call. She was ofcourse very nice about it and then Mrs. Miller wanted to talk with me. I explained to Mrs. Miller that I didn't have a chance earlier to explain that Payton is making herself sick over the whistle - up late at night, up by 4am worried about it, and basically venting it out on us at home - and that I was concerned that blowing it when she's far away from Payton is probably not going to be enough. She said she always tells Payton before she blows it to give her advance notice that it's coming and the day before Payton told her not to do it. She said she explained to Payton that she had to blow it because it was time for everyone to come in for snacks. Payton ofcourse said "OKAY!" and went along with it because that's her nature. In a strange way she is a people pleaser and really does WANT to do what the other children are doing. The teacher asked if I was aware of anything else bothering her and I told her Payton just kept saying "noises" and then finally said "whistle" so I think the whistle is it. Thankfully, she said they wanted to do whatever would make Payton comfortable and help her want to come to school. Thank you God for a teacher that cares.

So, this morning my heart is aching because we're just a few days in school and already noises are getting to her. She'll ofcourse adjust to many of them, but I hate it because I still don't think people realize how bad it hurts her. How do you explain to people that you might as well just slap her across the face because it hurts that bad to her (actually probably even worse than that)? The mother in me ofcourse wants to protect her and it brings me to tears just thinking about it. But yet I'm also cheering her on because she communicated to me what was bothering her (that's huge)!!!!

12 comments:

Michelle said...

Oh Tara, I totally understand. Noises are a huge problem for Arianna. It's always the stragest things though that set her off. For Ari it's almost more the anticipation/anxiety of the noise than the actual noise. It's also really tied into "control" for Ari too. If I turn on their bouncy house then her ears are covered - If I allow her to turn it on then she is absolutely fine. Go figure. All I can say is that some of the noises will become routine, others will not but it's how they learn to deal with it all that will make the difference. I tell Ari that the world isn't going to be quiet for her - she doesn't cry about noise really at all any more but she does spend a lot of time with her hands over her ears - Over time she acclimates to sounds mostly based on anticipation. She will spend 5 out of 6 days at Disney with her ears covered constantly and by day 6 she is acclimated. So I guess I have no real advice for you just wanted you to know our experiences and what happens with Ari. I hope Payton acclimates to the noises and the issue of the whistle is resolved quickly.

Amy said...

I like that you explained the extent of how the noises impact Payton, otherwise the teacher is not going to get it. Smart move mom...advocating for your daughter is a way of protecting her. Don't worry, you were there for her and will continue to be in the coming years. And great new on Payton telling you what it was that was bothering her!
xoxo
Amy

Every minute counts.... said...

Abi has some of the same reactions. Yesterday the PT came to pick her up in the front of the school and had with her a balloon. Innocent enough you would think. Abi freaked out covering her ears and hiding behind me. The PT tried to just let Abi touch it and she started crying"no POP!" and covering her ears, so the PT took it in the other room and kindly said " change of plans for therapy today !" I wish that everyone understood that fear and noise are Abi's two biggest anxiety causes.
I hope that teacher follows through!!

Noel

Michelle said...

It's me again...I was just vaccuming and noticed Ari covering her ears - it got me thinking about Payton again and the Whistle. Would the teacher ever let Payton be the one to blow the whistle? I was thinking about how Ari would hate having a whistle blown but if I bought her one she'd most likely be blowing it all the time...Sorry to sound so nutty...but it just got my mind going about this stuff

Tara said...

That's really actually a good thought Michelle. Payton is SO loud herself, we all sit and laugh how she can be so loud but yet if someone else laughs loud or talks loud she gets upset. It's all about 'control'. Yes, I imagine if she were the one to blow the whistle that she would be fine with it - but then I bet every student would want a turn blowing it (which makes sense to me!). But, I may check with her on this - because I can really see it working for Payton. Like you said - it's the 'not knowing' when the noise will happen that gets them.

camille said...

Wow, that is amazing that she is communicating with you that much. It's incredible how much people take those things for granted, but we never will.
I am with you with the noises, they are starting to bother Connor more and more and it's so hard to watch.
Thinking of you...

Penny said...

Wow, that is really awesome that she tells you what bothers her. As you know,we have the noise issue too.

Heather said...

good job for Payton expressing herself. I know how hard it is for our kiddo's when they are younger. :)
I really hope that the teacher can find a calmer way to call the kids in from recess. Maybe she can let payton blow the whistle instead? I have found over the years that the noise did not hurt Caleb's ears so bad, but it was the jolt from being startled by a loud noise that hurt his nerves. Even though he clapped his hands over his ears like it hurt. Now that he is older the noises don't bother him as much, especially if they aren't a surprise. Does that make sense?
Good luck with the teacher, and continued success with school. Hope the move goes smoothly!

Heather said...

oh hey, I hadn't read Michelle's comment, so now that I did, I realize that we are on the same page... Not a nutty idea at all.. Great minds think alike ;)

Julie said...

I am glad she was able to communicate to you what was bothering her. I hope it is a matter of just "working out the kinks" and that the rest of the year goes smoothly.

Michelle said...

that is great that Payton was able to communicate with you well enough to specify it was the whistle noise in particular that was bothering her! Could her aide bring her inside the school a few minutes before the teacher blows the whistle? Then she wouldn't have to be outside to hear it. I hope they are able to come to some solution so it doesn't bother Payton.

Kerry said...

I am just reiterating everyone else here on how great you were able to communicate with Payton, and so AWESOME of you to stick with it and talk to the teacher. I was getting a bit aggravated reading your post when it sounded like she was going to do the whistle no matter what, so I am glad she is working with you.