Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31 for 21: Better Than It Looks: Support

Article of Evidence #7...and you thought I'd lost count and forgotten!!

I have access to AMAZING support networks.

As the mother of a typical child first, I know that there are groups around town that you can choose to get plugged into.  There is, of course, family and long-standing friends that would come to your aid in a pinch...but for all out network that you know that you can call in the troops and EVERY MAN OF THEM WILL COME RUNNING?  Yeah, us cool kids have got that in spades.

I love the 31 for 21 blogoshpere because the veteran mamas will come out and post religiously...and I take obsessive notes... 

Last year, I was driven by friends' circumstances, to do a bit of research on sexual abuse and kids with special needs.  What I found was nauseating.  You can read it HERE.

I was pushed by that information to start limiting and structuring Elise's emotional/affectionate displays.  As a protection. 

The problem is, that Elise is still fairly non-verbal, and it is absolutely in her affection hierarchy to hug close friends.  We did put a total (successful!) kibosh on allowing her to kiss anyone but family.  But I'd allowed friend hugs to continue.  I was still somewhat at a loss to how to stop it completely, as it is in her emotional repertoire...and, I'll be honest, as a Southerner, it's heavily in most people's friendship greeting repertoires... so it's a really grey area...

She is also heavily physical in her displays of ALL emotions...AND I struggle because she craves sensory input, and asks for "heavy hugs" regularly as a calming device...

This year, a friend of mine posted a blog entry that has brought it all up in my mind again...and I needed to throw that out there for your thoughts and safety and also to ask for to allow for affection without putting her at risk...  HERE is her post. 

Truthfully, the safety factor is pretty clear.  But I am also somewhat worried about hurting her spirit, too...  It's a nasty, fine line...  Even if you argue that you can allow it with close friends, the statistics are clear in that 30%-60% of sexual assault occurs within close friend/family circles...

Can you ever protect as much as you need to and want to?  *sigh*

Pray hard.  And don't dismiss the paranoia.

I'm thankful for urges to protect my child and to deliberately think about ways to protect.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I agree in that there is a huge grey area. Elise communicates with hugs and needs them for sensory reasons. Yet, there is the stat that most abuse occurs with people you know. . . how to teach her and not crush her spirit? I have no answers for that question :-(