January 5, 2010

Ahhhh, the silence. Lauren is out with her DSP and it is blessedly quiet at home today. Silence has been in very short supply lately. When Lauren is unhappy, bored, upset, or PMSing, she makes noise, a repetitive, insistent, voluminous vocalization. I know she is trying to communicate something. But beyond providing food, a new activity, changing her music, or position, I don’t know what to do to satisfy her, I cannot make it stop. Lauren weathers minor changes in schedule or care very well, prolonged change...not so well. The holidays wreak havoc with her schedule. There have been many days in the last two weeks when staff were off. They have families, too. Plus, one has been out sick for most of two weeks. I explain what is happening to Lauren, but she either can’t or won’t understand. The more she doesn’t weather something that I have no control over the more frustrated I become. The more noise she makes, the more frazzled my nerves become. I sit with her and try to watch a movie – she makes it clear that she is not pleased. We play a game – she seems bored. With wind chills in the single digits, we’re not going outside. George and I put her in the van and take her for a ride. She’s happy with that until we pull back into the garage. And, the noise begins anew. We’ve attempted various methods to help her communicate but she has not responded. She actually seems to understand the concept of using pictures but is unwilling to use it to express herself. We will try it again.

Lauren is usually fine as long as she is constantly on the move. That is not practical or readily achievable, especially in New Jersey in January. I know the noise is her attempt to communicate her confusion, frustration, and displeasure but it is not productive beyond producing the same results in me. But today it is quiet. I attempt to catch up on the things that over the past few days, Lauren’s needs have kept me from doing. In less than an hour she will be back home. The silence will be broken.

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