Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Maverys Visit

Thank you for all the sweet comments and emails on my last post. I needed that encouragement and it was a true blessing to me.

The appointment went well. I thought the doctor was amazing. Probably helped that she has 4 kids, 3 of them adopted from China. (1 adopted at 4 years old) She is a believer. AND she homeschooled. So, she just gets it.

Some "funny" things that made me laugh.
The therapist saying "Impulsive + Smart = Deadly".
When asking how to deal w/ some of the behavior issues in public, their response "Get a sitter"!

There were 2 doctors in with us. One was the adoption doctor, one was a therapist. We were with them over 2 hours just talking.
They were very impressed with language and said they thought she had amazing articulation for a 3 year old who is just learning english. They thought she was better than most 3 year olds born here and just went on and on about how well she could speak.
They tested her and she did great at all the 3 year old "stuff". Testing such as pointing at objects, stacking blocks, counting, colors etc. She had a whole bag of tricks, but I was not able to pay attention to that so much because the doctor was asking questions. They do not think she is behind at all, which is good. Though that is what I have blamed alot of stuff on. That she acts like a 2 year old.
I gave her a snack while they observed and we were able to talk alot about her food issues. She shovels her food in, fast. They said we need to teach her to slow down, give her just 2 pieces, and count with her as she chews it up. Then give her 2 more. This will help her to not eat so much so that she is full faster. They suggested we get very strict with meal times and snack times. Which I typically am, I am not one to just feed my kids random snacks. Unless we are out. The biggest issue is breakfast. She wakes up starved and screaming for food, so they suggested trying a healthy bedtime snack. She wakes up at least an hour earlier than Sage. So she wants to eat right away, then have a 2nd breakfast with Sage. So I am going to try to make one a snack time for her.
They said that she is showing signs of ADHD. Yikes! Now, before anyone freaks out, we know that she is to young to be labeled with that and no worries, we are not rushing out to medicate her or anything. (though medicating ME, that might be necessary!!, KIDDING, I am kidding) BUT, that has been my concern with her. I did not mention that to them. They could easily tell she has NO attention span at all. And she is hyperactive. She is not capable of sitting still. So they said call it what you will but she does have those symptoms. Some of it is age, some of it is still adjustment. She might grow out of it, she might not. The biggest suggestion they have with this is routine. They said I need to run my home like a boot camp. Schedules, STRICT schedules. And I know that this is true. Mavery is GREAT at bedtime, naptime, mealtimes. When she knows what to expect. It is the free time and when we are going somewhere that we have issues. They said school will be good for her. (she was in a preschool setting at her SWI) They suggested gymnastics to burn off energy.
They also suggested we get her tested for some possible sensory issues. We will meet with an occupational therapist for this. I am a little fuzzy on all that. But they said the screaming (which they got to experience) the food stuff, the repeating over and over (and over and over) could be to do with some sensory stuff. I guess there are exercises they can do with kids to help them basically get themselves under control such as carrying a squeezy ball around. She said something about she might have an under sensitive sensory system? Anways, we will see what the specialist says on that issue.
They stressed the importance of boundaries and enforcing time outs. I have been feeling guilty that she spends so much time in time out! They said that is the right thing to do and encouraged me to keep a diary for myself. So that I can pat myself on the back when I can look and see it went from 2 hours to 45 minutes a day etc. ;-) (and she is not in time out 2 hours a day, just an example.)
They went on and on about how smart she is and how HARD that is for us! WE KNOW! You might remember that the director told us that in China. "Jin Song very smart and very hard to take care of." Oh how I would love to sit down and chat with Mr Jin and compare notes on Ms Mavery!
They were SOOO encouraging to us telling us what a great job we are doing with her. They made ME feel so much better. Just a relief to hear that it is not US doing anything wrong.
The good news was that they thought she seemed very attached to us. I had worried maybe there were some attachment issues but they both agreed she seems to have a healthy attachment. They said they see some kids that are to attached and then the other end of not attaching. We are glad that we are doing well in that area.
They were very big on making sure that we are getting out for date nights, me leaving the house alone, having time away. Which we are getting better about.
We know, and they reminded us, 6 months is not that long since she came home. We realize that. BUT, we just want to stay on top of these issues. And on top of our sanity! I am not sure what it was, maybe all of you praying for us, or maybe the relief of hearing the doctor tell me I am not failing her, but Mavery was so much better today! Or maybe it was ME who was better. Instead it was Sage who spent the day in time out. Mavery kept telling me, "I listen, Sagey not listen to you".
So hopefully I can now catch up on everything else I have to blog about. Mavery got her first haircut last night! (& I am back to my natural color which makes Mark so happy) We have a vacation booked and we can't wait! We are doing some home construction to make room for Mavery getting a bedroom. Preschool, homeschool, another child being tested for stuff. Recipes I promised to post, videos I want to get up. Updates on how I am losing the biggest loser contest, BUT my new resolve to walk to turn into running. The preemie baby I had asked for prayer for still needs prayer, he has a staph infection. And I am in need of some decorating help so hoping that someone who reads my blog is going to help me out when I post some house pictures. I get to go on a girls MOPS retreat this weekend. Thinking about going to women of faith, anyone been? Steven Curtis Chapman and Lisa Welchel will both be there, I adore them! Just keep bugging me to play catch up, I need the nudge!


Mei Mei Journal said...

Paige was adopted at two and had similar ADD type issues. As she has adjusted and become comfortable in her new life they have greatly diminished. She has been home a little over a year. She also does gymnastics and therapeutic riding. She was evaluated by an OT and seems to have a high sensory threshold, it takes higher than typical sensory input to stimulate her, thus she is a sensory seeker.
She was pretty tough to live with initially and has gradually become a delight (most of the time). I believe you will see big changes in the next six months!

Shannon said...

Thank you April, that is exactly what she called it, sensory seeker. I can't find your email but would love to hear tips they gave you on helping her with that.

Mom to my China Posse said...

Sounds like a good visit! We loved Dr. Ladage as well and I remember it was a long day the day we went because they really take their time, observe and talk with the parents. Glad you had a better day yesterday.
The retreat sounds fun and you know we just seen SCC a few weeks ago and he was awesome but still so very sad. I continue to pray for his family as they go thru this tough time.

Karen Mercer said...

You are a wonderful mother. It's as simple as that and Mark a great father. YOu are doing fine. Raising children is hard work and you will get through it. Just cherish it because it goes so fast and then they will be grown and gone with children of their own.
You're doing great!

Dana said...

Shannon I'm right there with you! I often don't LIKE Ellie...even though I love her dearly. She can be very difficult when she wants to be. The strangest things set her off!! We also saw Dr. Laddage. Talk about an UGLY appointment!! It was in October 2 weeks after we arrived home from China. We had a Mandarin
interpretur since Ellie was 4 years old. Not that she would answer her...LOL! I really liked
Dr. Laddage...she is so down to earth and genuine!
Ellie and I are both still on the "attachment slide"...good days and bad. But we are making progress everyday. Three steps forward...two steps back!!
Just keep stepping!

The Hickels said...

I think that the doctor you saw is my friend Nicole's neighbor. She IS amazing! We had her booked to speak to our MOPS group last year until her work schedule changed and she could no longer do it. We were sad to lose her, but she was so gracious to answer written questions from our moms. I'm glad your visit with her was so encouraging!