This past week was tough with Courtney. I think she is officially done with this whole “remote” learning and teletherapy thing. When quarantine first started and teletherapy began she definitely struggled. We immediately saw an increase in behaviors such as biting herself, and pinching, biting and scratching Joe, Alyssa and me. It was frustrating but I also expected it. In a blink of an eye her whole world changed. I worked really hard at not letting it bother me. I kinda took the mentality of I would probably be getting bite, scratched, pinched if I were at school, I can handle it from my daughter too. I was also able to stay positive about it all because although we were seeing behaviors she was also continuing to make some progress.
As remote learning and teletherapy slowly became our new normal we did see some decrease in behaviors at least towards us, but not towards herself. In fact, the biting self behavior increased and continues to increase. Pretty much the biting is happening on and off all day long. As it has been increasing my heart has been breaking for her. Her bites are hard enough that they leave bruises. I can see these bruises all day long and it just reminds me how much she is struggling.
Tuesday’s teletherapy session was what finally broke me. Courtney was off and as the therapist and I kept trying to work with her by giving her breaks, making the demands easier she continued to try to tell us she wasn’t having it. Fortunately, our internet caught on she wanted nothing to do with therapy and it crashed. But it was too late, Courtney had already hit a point of no return. She had one of her worse meltdowns to date. What finally calmed her? Time alone in a tub of water and a bubble machine blowing bubbles in her face.
As I watched her become happy again I felt broken. I kept asking myself if I had anymore virtual therapy or remote learning sessions in me. Heck, does Courtney have any virtual therapy and remote learning sessions left in her? Her poor arms and knees that are full of bruises don’t. On the other hand I also know giving up on it all isn’t the best option for Courtney either.
My village of teachers and therapists may not be with us in person but it was at this moment that I realized they are still there to help us. So I poured my heart out via email to both her school team and her private therapists. The past few days I have felt them rally behind us ready to find ways to support us so we can still thrive as a family during this new normal. Her private PT put me at ease as she said in an email “whatever we can do to have your back we will do” and I know they will. They have since the beginning of our journey and I’m sure they will find a way from a far too.
Courtney’s aggression will likely be an ongoing part of our journey but so will my village and together we will find ways to work through them. And sometimes we will just let baths and bubbles solve the day’s struggles…