About Those Difficult Moments

November 14, 2016

They do happen. Those difficult moments do happen.  They do not happen too often, but they  happen much more frequently than the posts in this blog would admit.  I could blame Robert’s issues with irritating skin eczema or his never fully understood (despite colonoscopy and endoscopy) digestive problems.  I could state that the increased anxiety was brought by unanticipated changes in Robert’s  environment.  Changes that also include alterations in behaviors of people surrounding him.  Robert responds to such changes by becoming more rigid in his insistence that other follow those rules that they exhibited in the past.

Too often, Robert’s reactions take me by surprise.  I realized that I had stopped planning ahead of their arrival and thus I was  not prepared to respond properly when they happened.

Well, you cannot always be prepared.  Just yesterday, Robert and I bumped into each other as he suddenly turned after closing the linen closet door.  We didn’t hurt each other, but Robert was scared and very upset. You couldn’t plan for that.  There was nothing else to do but to assure him that we didn’t do it on purpose.  It was an accident.  It was scary, but nothing bad happened. We are OK.

However, I could plan better for his outing in a place he hasn’t visited in the last six months.  I knew, that Robert might want to come home before the end of the program, because he had to adjust again to a place that changed slightly during the time he was absent.   I could have given a warning to the staff. I could have stayed close by and returned to pick him up as soon as was needed to  reduce his separation anxiety.

There are also those situation when just good planning of everyday activities might reduce unwanted behaviors, including OCD .

I realized that lately I have been doing with Robert much less than in the past.  Less cooking together, less shopping together, less walking together.  So, it might be that the lack of the activities that would reveal to Robert their importance in a day-to-day survival resulted in Robert’s  brain placing more attention on maintaining the same order as a way of assuring his safety.  For instance, since I stopped cooking with Robert, he has considered  cooking to be of lesser importance than  a  meticulous way of placing  dirty laundry in a hamper.

I do think that all too often, we use the perceived intellectual disability of others as a way to reduce even further their chances for fruitful existence. Planning for NOT REDUCING such chances is one of the most difficult preparations needed to be done thoughtfully and adjusted every day.

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