There is no app to solve this problem.


Her eyes still blurry from the night's rest, Emily reached for the beeping phone that alarmed her into wakefulness at precisely 6:00am each day.  Barely able to focus, but still noticing the tightness of her FitBit around her wrist, she swiped around her phone until she could find her SleepTracking app.  Noticing that she was restless and had 20% less REM sleep than the night before, she quickly determined that she was exhausted.

She glanced at the time.  6:01am.

"Alexa, what is my first appointment today?" she asked into the air.  She loved the syncing between her work calendar into her home.  "You have a meeting at 8am and a reminder to call Ella's teacher before 9am."  

Emily heard a sudden alert from her phone, indicating that her phone call with the teacher has been labeled as a stress event, based on previously collected data on heart rate changes based on time and event.  Her wellness app automatically scheduled 15 minutes of meditation prior to the phone call.

Staring into the vastness of the day in front of her, Emily wondered what Ella's mood would be when she woke her up for school.  She could barely scrape together the energy to think about finding ways to work around Ella's unpredictable behavior.  Her motivational app buzzed and provided its daily dose of encouragement.  "Quality is not an act.  It is a habit. - Aristotle."

"What are my habits?" Emily paused and considered.  A reminder buzzed her back to alertness and Alexa turned on the lights in Ella's room.  Emily knew that she better hurry up or she would never make her 8am meeting.

Emily jumped toward her treadmill, taking note that she could only stay on target for her designated goal of 10,000 steps per day as long as she could get 15 minutes of walking done in the morning.  All of her friends were exceeding the 10,000 step goal.  Emily felt inadequate.  And then she remembered - she felt exhausted too.

Ella, alerted by the lights and Alexa's auto-playing of her favorite morning songs from Spotify, sat on the edge of her bed and reached for her fidget spinner.  She knew that her mom would eventually come into the room, kiss her gently on the forehead, and say, "Good morning my beautiful girl!"  That wasn't happening yet.

Emily walked and walked; Ella spun and spun - each responding to some external authority of stimulation and action that neither could identify.

+++

"Why did you come to see me today, Ella?" the friendly occupational therapist asked.  He made it a point to always ask the children this question because he wanted to understand the child's level of awareness and concern about their own occupations.

Before Ella could get a syllable past her lips, Emily interjected: "She is just so disorganized - she can't seem to do anything unless I am prompting and supervising every single activity.  She gets upset at the most unusual things and when something happens that she doesn't expect she just has these huge meltdowns.  The teacher tells me that she has a hard time socializing with the other children and I am just at my wit's end.  I feel like I am a failure at parenting."

The friendly occupational therapist nodded, and listened intently.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deconstructing the myth of clothing sensitivity as a 'sensory processing disorder'

Re-post: The Passion from a kid's perspective

The danger of assuming universal and singular narrative explanations of disability