Thursday, 3 April 2014

Show and/or Tell (please)

Kitten has been crabby. She has been screaming randomly, going from happy to inconsolable in 3 seconds. She has been clawing her throat, head and pulling her hair. None of this is unusual for her, but the frequency has increased of late. Finally, yesterday she seemed a little unsteady on her feet, and actually, voluntarily, took a nap.
Yeah, so when Daddy got home, we took her to the Walk-in-clinic and sure enough, double ear infection.
I try to keep track of these kind of behaviours for this reason. It is hard to know when she is crabby because she is crabby, tired, hungry, thirsty, toddler angst, hot, cold, or, in this case, sick. She has no really functional language. She will occasionally make her wishes known by grabbing food off a counter, or stealing her brother's drink, but mostly, it is a mystery. If I should happen to guess wrong, and, say, hand her a bottle of juice, or a snack, she will fling the offending item, often at the nearest target.Then go in to full meltdown.
She sounds pretty much the same if she is in pain, furious, or frustrated.
"Behaviour is communication" But if the message is too obscure, or if Mommy is just not getting the message, communication is next to impossible.
I went through this with the Monkey, I am sure we will weather it. Still, at least he had what we called "the imperious point" when he would stand in the room where what he wanted was kept, and grunt or keen loudly, whilst pointing in the direction of his desire. He didn't really direct this at anyone in particular, but it gave a clue about what was going on, what he wanted. Kitten doesn't do that. She just stands and screams. If there are words, they are scripted from Dora or some Disney show, and are generally not helpful to figure out the problem. She has shown no interest in ASL, PECS (except to chew off the Velcro backing), or the iPad apps that have helped Monkey.
I think she will discover the utility of language in her own time. She will enter a special needs preschool in the fall, and will get the speech and language and occupational therapy that will help her get there. If she doesn't...well, I guess I am going to have to find some way to interpret those cryptic scripts and behaviours that are her current way of communicating, and somehow hope that she will meet me halfway.


  1. I hope she finds a way, and soon! It's frustrating on both sides of the equation, to not be understood and to not, for the life of me, figure out the mystery. Still have issues about that around here!

  2. have you tried saying, "Use your words?" I feel like you should try that. Probably that will fix it all up.

    Kidding aside, Lily does the same thing, and "Use your words" IS sometimes effective with her, but she rarely melts down regardless.

    1. LOL, She uses plenty of words...just nothing that we can agree on the meaning of! And thanks to Dora, we get Spanish too! If there is rhyme or reason to her choice of scripts, I haven't figured it out yet. I am a little slow that way.