Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I don’t know if I should get this personal in this blog but I’m hoping that typing my thoughts down will help me to relax and be more positive about Leila. Sometimes I worry that Leila will stop being affectionate. She’s already selective with hugs and kisses and it seems lately that she is even more so with me. I made her angry last night because I kept giving her kisses in her bed. She fussed and then turned her back to me. Sometimes it’s really hard to accept this about Leila. That she will always be careful about affection.
She’s been this way since she was a baby. She was awake all the time and preferred to be in her swing than in my arms to be rocked to sleep. I should say that within the past year Leila has become increasingly affectionate. For awhile she’d let me rock her to sleep before we gave up naptime. She will sometimes just come up and give me a hug or a kiss, she does let me soothe her, and she does prefer me over others. I take advantage of these times when she is spontaneously affectionate. Natalie, our ABA supervisor said they have exercises they can do to help Leila be more comfortable with affection. They take brushes and run them all over the child’s arms, legs, and face and they relax. I hope that Leila will one day be able to freely cuddle with me and I hope to hear her say that she loves me. It’s hard to not think that I created this. Was I not affectionate enough with her? Did I pay too much attention to Lucy? Should I have held her instead of putting her in the swing? I run through the same questions every day.  I try to remain positive about Leila. But sometimes my thoughts just bog me down. I should be happy that my child is happy and healthy. She is not dying, she is not sick. I guess I am just still mourning the loss of that “normal” child. It’s still incredibly hard to accept right now. Since Leila was born I’ve always said in 3 months it’s going to get better… I’m still saying it.

1 comment:

  1. Jessica,
    I know it is good for you to share how you are feeling and to be honest about things. I'm sure that it is also hard not to blame yourself for things being the way they are, but I will just remind you: you have done nothing wrong or to cause this and you are really doing an amazing job.

    I am no expert by any means on the subject, but in the 4 yrs that I taught in the US (plus my student teaching and subbing experience), I had a lot of experiences with children on the autism spectrum. At my school, we had at least one or two children per grade level who were either diagnosed or should have been diagnosed but the parents refused to admit it (that's why it makes me so proud of you to see you dealing with it and working to make things better). Anyway, because we were working with so many students like this at our school, we had a lot of training on how to work with the students and help them be successful. One of the main things is that they have sensory issues, so they often don't like to be touched. For them, it is sensory overload and causes pain or severe irritation. This has nothing to do with you not giving enough affection to Leila earlier on as a baby, it is just the way Leila's body is wired. if anything, it explains why she preferred to be in a swinging chair than in your arms (which as a mother is not an easy thing to accept, I'm sure). With occupational therapy, there are so many improvements that can be made, and it sounds like your therapists are doing an awesome job with her!

    I can't pretend to understand what you are going through, but please do understand that it is not your fault. I really look forward to reading your blog and seeing the progress that Leila makes throughout her (and your family's) journey. I'm praying for you and your husband, Jessica! Be encouraged that you are doing a wonderful job as a mom.