Sunday, October 22, 2006

Reflections on Communication by Behavior..10/22/06

I am writing this in Billy Ray’s room before sunrise Sunday morning. All of a sudden it dawns on me we have the old Billy Ray back – the easier one to figure out. You will note that I didn’t say “easy” to figure out. My groggy mind is flooded with some of the changing phases.

That horrifying and wonderful first day, March 29, 1984, when my mother and I went to the adoption agency to pick Billy Ray up he was smiley and happy until we got into the car and he screamed all the way home. Because he was still on soy formula and baby food at 15 months old we had to stop at the store. My mother tried to comfort him but he screamed the whole time I was in the store.

He ate more for his lunch than his former adoptive parents said he ate in a whole day so we decided he must have been hungry but he continued to cry and scream. I rocked him and sang to him trying to get him down for a nap He continued to scream. Mom took over and tried rocking him and giving him a bottle. He continued to scream. Both Mom and I feel dejected. She said she had always been able to comfort babies and couldn’t figure it out. I felt he just didn’t want me.

Finally we put him down in his crib to cry himself to sleep. Once we took his shoes off he stopped crying. His little feet had been crammed into shoes that were two sizes too small for him. He woke up two hours later the smiling happy baby enjoying his new crib and toys pictured here.

In the past 22 years we have spent together, Billy Ray’s changing behavior has often been his way of communicating something needed adjustment. It could be as simple as he’s got energy he needs to release or the bright lights are bothering him or as complicated as some physical problem he can’t communicate but it generally has means something.

The ever present challenge is to figure out what he is communicating. This morning he woke up before 5 a.m. very noisy and bouncing in his bed. I went through the full gamut, did he need to go to the bathroom, was he is pain, etc., etc. Alas, I realize this is the way our mornings were before the range of physical issues the past couple of years. He is feeling better. Mornings are noisy until he “gets it out” of his system. He is happy and full of energy. It is time to wake up and get on with our day whether the family is ready or not.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
My Other Blogs: Amazon Author Connect and Lighthouse Parents
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child and Lighthouse Parents
Club Mom
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group


KC's Mommy said...

Hi Peggy Lou,
Thanks for sharing Billy Rays journey with us. I adore the photos of him! Just look at the little guy in the crib! You are an awesome Mother Peggy Lou, Billy Ray is a happy camper! What does Billy Ray think of Halloween? Does he like passing candy out?

Lora said...

I agree with Tina, that you are an awesome mother and that Billy Ray is such a happy camper. I have learned so much from you not only through your book but also by reading your blog(s) and it has helped me tremendously with Griffin. Thanks Peggy Lou!!!! ~Hugs~

Anonymous said...

Hello, I have a 7 month old son with Down syndrome and just came across your blog. I love reading blogs of other mother's, you're the first that I've found with an older child with DS so I can't wait to read more!