Today I had to attend a training that was held at another school in my district. The training is called CPI (Crisis Prevention and Intervention). Basically it’s about how to handle situations when children are being either verbal or physically aggressive. I’m not going to go into details about it because not the purpose of this post but does play a part.
Wednesday night into Thursday, Courtney had a really bad night sleep. She woke up some time between 3 and 3:30 a.m. Fortunately she doesn’t wake up much in the middle of the night any more but when she does, it always has the same outcome. She is usually up for a couple hours. For the most part, she can be calm during this time, but sometimes she will get aggravated. Last night there were some moments of aggravation some of which involved her trying to bite and scratch me. Finally at 6 a.m. she fell back asleep. Yep…6 a.m.! Only to have to be woken up for school at 7:30 a.m.
I headed to work feeling beaten and exhausted. I got to my workshop early so sat in the car and googled meme’s that described how I felt. I found myself typing “autism sucks”. I hate when I feel this way because I feel like it sounds like I don’t like who my child is. Of course that’s not the case and I know no one thinks that is the case. Because of autism, my daughter was up for 3 hours. Because of autism, during those 3 hours I had to be on high alert because I wasn’t sure when she was going to try to bite or scratch me. Because of that, autism some times sucks.
Then came the workshop. Because the nature of my job, I am required to attend this workshop. It didn’t dawn on me until a few minutes into it that as many things with my work, this workshop hits home too. We started the workshop of with a pre-test and it included the following true/false question, “CPI is considered a trauma, true or false”. I answered true and shared with the group a personal experience. I told the group about my middle of the night with Courtney. I shared with them that after blocking bites and scratches from my daughter, I curled up with her as she calmed down and I broke into tears because honestly, who enjoys restraining a child who is out of control. You darn right, it’s traumatic!
I get home from the training and Courtney was in distress. We had new windows put in so there was a lot of drilling and hammering going. Courtney’s sensory system can not always handle these loud sounds so she was an emotional wreck. I was able to get her down in the basement. She was screaming as if she was in pain. What is your instinct when your child is screaming as if in pain? You hug or hold your child. I knew full well this wasn’t a good idea because doing that when Courtney is so upset does put you at risk for being bit. I didn’t care. Comforting my daughter came before protecting myself. Well…she bit me. Yep, sometimes Autism sucks.
By the time it was bedtime, I had one exhausted and sensory overloaded child. I cuddled with her in my bed hoping it will make her feel safe after such a long day. Today it sucked but tomorrow is a new day.