Diego’s pediatrician hit the nail right on the head when she said the following,
“Lyric has visited the empathy line numerous times, and we are just trying to get Diego to visit it once”.
Diego has seen me cry over movies and things and the tears were simply met with a “mommy you are crying”, no inquiries why or any attempts to comfort me.
I have been having a rough time with Diego for the past week or so. He has started some self-injurious behavior while having his tantrums and it is heartbreaking to watch. We have an appointment pending with a therapist and I have discussed some ideas with the behavior therapist with his social skills group.
I was helping Lyric put together his Rock Band a few days ago, and Diego was of course fascinated by it and about to jump all over it. I asked him not to but he ended up kicking the guitar on purpose, I raised my voice a bit and asked him not to do it again and BOOM!!! Tantrum….ok….I can deal with a tantrum, not the first one & definitely not the last, but then he started hitting himself in the face, when i begged him to stop he just screamed “I can’t!!!” I kept it together because the both of us couldn’t be crying, Rickey came out and tried to intervene but had minimal success. Diego got through the tantrum and then I helped him get his play-doh set up, finished setting up Lyric’s Rock Band, and then went in the living room to cry on Rickey’s shoulder for who knows how long. I was so devastated to see my usually silly and happy boy hurt himself, this was the 2nd time he had an episode like that but it was much worse than the first. Well as i’m crying Diego walked out of his room for something and then just stopped and looked at me.
“Mommy you are crying”
“Yes honey Mommy is crying”
and here it comes
“Why Mommy? what is wrong?”
***my jaw dropped to the floor***
HE ASKED ME WHAT WAS WRONG!!!!! HE NOTICED!!! .
Diego walked over to the couch and laid his head next to mine, and again he asked,
“Mommy why are you crying?”
” Well Diego it makes Mommy very sad when you hit yourself”
then put his little hand on my face and said…
“OK Mommy don’t cry, I won’t hit my face anymore”
My baby actually tried to comfort me!!
I got in a bit of a cuddle before he scooted back to his room to play with his play-doh and then there I was, sitting on the couch, crying now for an entirely different reason.
How bittersweet that evening was!!
I really credit Diego noticing to Jacob* in our social skills group as well as the therapists in the group. Jacob is the youngest of the kids and has had the hardest time. Jacob cried a lot for a while, and was always in Diego’s group. Diego and Jacob formed a bond once Diego figured out Jacob would let him play with his ears and sit in his lap. The therapist noticed this, and would ask Diego to help Jacob when he was having a hard time.
So it seems that after a couple of months Diego has started to learn empathy.
Besides comforting me, Diego really went out of his way to help Jacob last Tuesday ( he was having a rough day) and at the end of group cutie pie Jacob gave Diego the biggest hug goodbye. It was such a genuine and beautiful moment that I cried.
surprise surprise :).
These things may seem so small, but to me they are the world.
*I changed the name due to privacy :)*