Because Mariah has CP, she walks differently than other kids. Sometimes she crawls upstairs or goes slowly down. Sometimes she falls down. Ok, she falls a lot. Some of it is from CP, and some of it is on purpose as part of her control issues.
Being a special needs parent of an adopted kiddo makes me feel like I have a bulls eye on my back. I feel like people are always staring at us. I am an introvert. I like to be a wallflower so this makes me feel extra uncomfortable.
One of the biggest issues I have is with people always trying to "help" Mariah do things. They see her doing things more slowly, or differently and they assume she needs "help."
Many times people will rush over to "help" her and will act like I'm not even standing there. They will ask HER if she needs help. To her credit, most of the time she says "No." BUT she has struggled with indiscriminate affection so many times she will very gladly accept the "help" of a stranger and let someone pick her up.
This is not ok. Ever.
So many of her control issues and attachment issues stem from her early life at the orphanage where she was carried everywhere. She was never allowed to crawl about and play on the floor or encouraged to do things for herself.
This led her to feel like she should NOT have to do things and sometimes she will pretend that she cannot do things that she really can, just to see if she can get someone to do it for her. Its not about how hard the task is or isn't. Its about control.
So, when someone comes over and usurps my authority as mommy to my child who has both attachment and control issues, it makes my blood pressure rise. ALOT.
People also think its ok to hug her or pat her head or back or leg, or ask for a kiss, etc because she is "So cute."
I can tell people to back off, but no matter how I say it, if they asked HER first, I look like the bad guy.
So today I taught Mariah what she should say when someone who is not a family member comes over and touches her in any way. She knows that we don't hug people who are not our family. We do not tell people who are not our family that we love them. We do not ever agree to go to people's houses with them (yes people will say "Want to come home with me?"). We do not put our hands all over another person's body for any reason if they are not part of our family.
We role played me being someone who is NOT family and practiced having her say, "Don't touch me! You're not my family!"
I certainly hope this does the trick.