Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Saturday, December 06, 2008

What do you do when

your daughter is out of control? She's overstimulated and doesn't know how to calm herself down? What do you do?


Mindy said...

With our visiting little one we usually take her somewhere quiet and get down on her level. We start off asking what's bothering her (and we never actually get an answer I've noticed) then ensure we maintain eye contact and reassure her that things are ok or remind her what she did wrong if that's the case. It works like a charm. It's almost as though she just needed that little bit of attention from us.

Not sure if that's what you were looking for but wanted to share.

... said...

Sometimes Ella Grace becomes over stimulated and I take her out of the situation...we go upstairs to her room or someplace quiet to "recover." I hold her, sing to her, or just lay there and talk to her - usually about 30 to 45 minutes and she is doing much better. I have found making her world small again when she becomes over stimulated helps a great deal.

Saquel25 said...

Sometimes Nathan is the same way. He just cannot remain still for even a couple of seconds. Today we reached that point and Gary was luckily home. He will force him to sit on his lap for a while. We were all watching a movie and he struggled around for a bit but eventually accepted that he wasn't going anywhere. I will say that I don't have the patience for it myself. He seems to struggle more with me and I don't like getting pummeled. Hope you can find something that works for you.

Diana said...

First of all, make her world very small and KEEP it very small for quite a while. Even though it isn't fun for you and everyone (including extended family) wants to ooogle and ahhgle over your new babies, it can be disasterous for the kids. Second, pay close attention to situations that overstimulate her. This can be anything from TV to playing too long with siblings to shopping to being around a bunch of strangers to virtually anything. Anything that stimulates any of the senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell) and anything that moves (among other things) can overload kids pretty fast. So can not having a regular routine or varying from it. Remember, just three short weeks ago, her entire world consisted of 4 rooms and everything is still very new to her.

When she is engaged in ANY activity, make sure she gets frequent, quiet breaks away from the noise and crowd in order to recover. Take her to as low a stimulous environment as possible and have her sit quietly and calmly with you...and alone with you as much as possible(even if she doesn't want to.) Yes, I know very well how difficult this is to do with three needy kids. Some days it feels like the world is caving in on you and you're never going to be able to keep up. But do it as much as possible anyway. When you're sitting together, sing to her (primary songs are awesome!), talk quietly to her and let her know she is safe and loved and she's not in trouble. Once she's calmed down and quiet, then you can talk with her and teach her about more appropriate behavior.

Not only does she not know how to calm herself, but she really doesn't even know what she's doing or why she's doing it or even that she's out of control. But it is her way of telling you that her entire body system is totally overloaded and she's now checked out of reality and is running on auto-pilot in order to cope.

More often than not with PI kids, this type of behavior stems back to lacking early attachment (all that positive stuff babies get from their mommies during their first year of life that most PI and often foster kids miss.) I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY reccomend reading (and digesting) the Beyond Consequences books - both of them. There is also another one that our DCFS post-adoption people gave me about the Dance of Attachment that is also very good. I don't remember the exact title of that one, but I'll find it and email it to you. Have your hubs read them as well if he will. They will be a God-send to you and your family...and they make really good Christmas presents, too :-).

traceylynndel said...

When Katya was newly home I would take her to her room and rock her quietly. Sometime's I'd sing to her if she was enjoying that. Other times that would be too much as well so we'd just sit and rock. I'd sometimes talk with her then as well, telling her how much we loved her and were glad shew as here. She probably didn't understand but just the sound of a quiet voice was enough. After several months she stopped needing to be removed except after church she still has her overstimulated reactions.


Michelle said...

My son Luke is not adopted but he has an autism diagnosis so we've had to learn a lot about calming techniques. These may help you. Deep pressure - like letting them lay down, putting a bean bag on top of them, and sitting on it. Or just starting from the hands working up toward shoulders and same from feet to truck, squeezing pretty hard hand over hand. When they are worked up a light touch just feels awful to them. Brushing is another technique but we found the same benefit came from the "scrubbing" gloves you can buy in the bath section, they are sort of scratchy - put those on your hands and give them a massage. Finally, music with no words - only instrumental, and some time alone with calm manipulatives like legos or whatever is age appropriate, can be calming but not punitive. Hope this helps.

Stephanie said...

When my kids were spinnng out of control ( both have adhd and sensory issues) i'd throw them in the bathtub with lavendar bubble bath and play lullabye music.. it usually worked. Sometimes nothing would work until they "crashed", meaning that finally there body had enough and they would end up having a meltdown but once the melt down was over their were calmer. I'd see about getting a referral for her to an Occupational therapist, she sounds like she's got some sensory issues. Try keeping things calm and in a routine for awhile to help her gain some control.

Lynn said...

our daughter loved being in the tub with warm water - soothed her.

Tami said...

I can't give you any more suggestions than the ones above...but I do want to encourage you that they can and do work.
Maddie has been home about nine months now and I have seen a remarkable change in her self-regulation.
At first she would get out of control just going to the grocery it takes a new situation for us to have problems (or in the case of preschool - for there to be a lot of other kids who are out of control).
She's finally learned some self-regulation.
I simply take her out of the environment, hold her and rock her...usually singing to her. She calms down pretty quickly now.
Hang in takes time, but with all of the great suggestions you got, you'll find something that works for your little girl.