So here's a funny tidbit that you probably don't know about yourself. The people who know you pretty well, usually have a small stash of pink starburst set aside for you on the off chance that you need them. Why you ask? Well, that takes some explaining...
I can't remember the first time you had what you lovingly refer to as a "pink square" (when you speak, you use literal descriptions....strawberry starburst = pink square) all I know is that you love them. Seriously. You. Love. Them. You may tolerate other flavors, but pink is your favorite!
Besides the obvious behavioral motivation, like using the potty, or sitting still in the doctors office, they also help us when we are out in public faced with a "fight or flight" response. Pink squares have become quite the tool in helping you to calm down in stressful situations. Situations that others may consider just everyday events, but for you, sweetheart, cause stress and anxiety.
Sometimes stores, restaurants, church, etc...can cause you great anxiety and fear which trigger what's know as a fight or flight response. Everyone possesses this natural response. It's our bodies way of survival in situations that are dangerous or fearful. It's what tells us to run away, to fight, or sometimes freeze! Your body releases adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream when this response is activated! I've heard of people being able to actually lift cars off of people trapped and they have no idea where they found the strength.....insert fight or flight response.
Certain sounds can also activate this response in you. Your hearing is over sensitive or in other words "super awesome" so you hear things that we may miss, or before we realize that they may cause you distress. We are currently working on wearing headphones, but it'll probably be some time before you are accepting of them. Small toys or chewy tubes don't seem to cut it nor have most any other "usual" tools to help. But...I have discovered that "pink squares" do the trick! They can be the perfect redirection of senses for you.
When you get upset, it starts with screaming and then you will start hitting whoever is closest. When you can't see where these sounds are coming from, you perceive anything around you as a threat....hence the response to defend and hit. But, if I give you a "pink square" you have to redirect your focus on your proprioceptive senses using fine motor skills to open each small square and then the chewing can provide you the deep pressure that you find soothing or comforting when your environment is anything but. So it may not be a permanent fix, but right now it can get us through stressful situations and is a sweet reward when necessary.
I know to some it may look like we are pumping you full of sweet treats, but there is a method to our madness.
Addie, believe me if I could take all of your fear and anxiety away I would in a heartbeat! But please know I will never stop trying to help you find answers to so many questions I know we both have.