Meltdowns and Puzzle Pieces

Yesterday, Elizabeth had two meltdowns which was disappointing after she had gone several days without one. I think it’s because she’s sick and her body probably already feels overwhelmed.

It took lots of holding, swaying, and comforting for her to calm down from the first one. The trigger was getting her dressed mid-morning. She’s been doing pretty well with our routine but she got very upset yesterday and didn’t recover afterward. I gave her a few minutes of space, then I offered to hold her, then I talked to her and encouraged her to tell me how she was feeling, but she wouldn’t say anything. She was just screaming. No words at all. 😢 Finally, I went ahead and picked her up and she immediately relaxed, though she was still crying. She put her head on my shoulder, she seemed exhausted. I stood and held her until my arm wouldn’t let me anymore. She was pretty much okay after that.

She screamed about a lot of random things throughout the day, though, which was another letdown because this past week has been significantly better in regards to that. I don’t know, she just wasn’t content and her ability to communicate suffered because of it (or was she lacking contentment because her communication skills were off?) I still think it was because she is sick. I’m hoping it was illness and not regression because we were making such progress! 😕

One thing that’s really been helping her is my responding to her requests with a “yes” as much as humanly possible. For example, she wants to get into the entertainment center cabinet where all the videos and dvds are, so this week I made it possible for her to do that by removing all the dvds (which she could and would break). There is a baby lock on it so I have encouraged her to say “open” when she wants to get in there, which she is now doing daily at least once. She empties all the videos from their cases and looks at the pictures on them and then she’s done. No big deal. It feels good to say yes to her request, especially because I get to hear her say the word “open.” 🙂

So last night, she asked to get in this other cabinet we have in the living room. She said “open” and then “key” because you do have to use a key to open it! I was so proud of her! I didn’t WANT to open it because there’s nothing in there for her, but I couldn’t deny her the joy of getting in there when she had said TWO WORDS!

Well, she wanted the container of big kid puzzles, of course she did. She happily dumped the bags onto the floor for her and Isabella to explore. While she wasn’t looking, I removed about six bags so she only dumped four or five. I don’t like messes but I loved that she was motivated to talk and that she had fun with Izzy.

About thirty minutes later, she started screaming and crying for no known reason. It wasn’t a meltdown but she was definitely upset. I tried to talk to her but she wouldn’t respond. I had already been planning to get her ready for bed in a few minutes but her behavior was making it obvious that she was tired so I picked her up and carried her to my room where I get her changed. This set her off and a meltdown ensued. I got her into her pajamas and as soon as we were back in the living room, I got her blanket and she laughed. She must have realized sleep was coming and it made her happy? Poor thing had so much mucous from crying but she didn’t want me to come near her with a tissue. :/ She actually went to sleep fairly quickly and she didn’t cry anymore once she was in bed. I hope today is better for her.

9 thoughts on “Meltdowns and Puzzle Pieces

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