Saturday we spent half of our day at church. I was working on reorganizing our Sunday School room which was topsy turvy after some recent renovations. We brought entertainment for the kids (scooters, a video, snacks, etc.) but it was still a lot of time in one spot with not much input from mom. They did well on Saturday. Sunday was a different story for our daughter. Surprisingly she did not protest going to Sunday School, but during Sunday School she had a hard time self-regulating (intel from the teacher) and after Sunday School when she learned that we needed to stay a while longer so that Dad could attend/help run a business meeting she approached meltdown. Shouting, grabbing toys, you name it. Then once we were ready to go home she started resisting again. The ride home was not pleasant. Fortunately we've arranged seats so that she has her own row in the van, but she found some things to torment the person in front of her (me.) Fortunately I was not driving. We needed to stop and fill the gas tank which was just going to prolong the agony. By divine intervention (I think) the first gas station we stopped at was out of order...all of the pumps were out of order...how often does that happen? So we decided to go to one closer to home. As we approached the gas station I received some inspiration...linear movement. I told my husband that when he reached the gas station my daughter and I would get out and walk the rest of the way home. It was a distance of about six blocks. We walked at her pace. We did not talk. I made minimal eye contact just to make sure she was safe. It worked well. By the time we were home she had regained her equilibrium. And it gave everyone else (even me) a nice break, too.
Between a social skills class we did over the Summer and some strategies at school we've been slowly building a repertoire of activities that help her re-regulate and we're putting her in charge of them. I think linear movement needs to go in the box...but I need a kid friendly name for it. Any suggestions?