The journey to understanding and helping our son continues.
I continue to read all the time and seek to find new ways to help our son; and to seek to understand him better.
Our son is complicated. Every person is. But our son, it seems, is even more so.
One minute he is the absolute model child. The next he is the absolute model child, of what every parent doesn’t want in their child’s behaviour.
The longer I work closely with him and the more I read, the more I learn about him.
For a very long time I think I’ve treated his meltdowns like temper tantrums. What I’ve discovered is that the 2 are not the same. Temper tantrums the child can stop, usually when they get what they want. Melt downs, the child just can’t stop the emotional outburst once it’s in full swing.
Keilan needs me to be more sensitive to his sensory overloads. But this is so hard to do! I don’t want to raise an entitled child or a spoiled child or a child who uses temper tantrums to get his way. But, what I’m learning is that Keilan needs me to help him with the sensory overload and to help him learn tools to recognize and manage his own sensory overloads.
I think in some areas Jason and I have been pretty good at helping Keilan to succeed. For example, he will often now just say to us something like, “My body needs to move so I have to run right now.” I think that we have helped him learn to recognize when his body just needs to move.
I think we haven’t done a very good job of teaching him to reconcile when he’s hurt how to best express that. I think we’ve hammered in to not throw a temper tantrum. But, it causes him to instead just cry and not talk and communicate with others what’s wrong.
What I’m learning is that, I think he is in sensory overload and his only way of coping is silence. The problem is – we can’t help him if we don’t know what’s wrong; And he is only holding himself together by not talking. When I push him to talk, I think I actually push him into a sensory overload. So my attempt to help him actually is doing the exact opposite.
Problem is – he needs to learn to communicate so we can help him. How that will happen I suspect will continue to be a challenge. But, now that I am aware that this is one of the issues, I will try to have more patience next time it happens….I did say try…
I am learning that our son has sensory sensitivities that I think we have really just not even recognized. I believe he has sound sensitivities and definitely certain touch sensitivities. I think that I never really considered these things before because he really doesn’t present as a child that I typically think of with sensitivities.
But, the more I read, the more I realize that no children are the same and sensitivities can run on both ends, hypo and hyper. I believe our son’s are fairly mild in the big picture. But I do believe they are a contributing factor to his ADHD combo and ODD.
There are just so so many puzzle pieces we are slowly identifying that work together to make our son the person he is. But the more I pay attention and the more I learn, the better I can help him to manage and deal positively on a ongoing basis with his emotions and reactions.
Ultimately we just want our son to be successful in life. And it’s my job to help him walk the path and find the way to his success…
So, although the path is long and littered with obstacles I will stay by his side and we will get to our destination together one day.
What I miss most – time alone, dropping my child off for a play date alone, going pretty much anywhere without the constant anxiety of when and how his melt down will happen, the ability to plan a few days away from the kids – all the kids but our son I can easily find care for. Not him. So we don’t go away. I love my family. I love my son. No, my life right now doesn’t look at all like I planned it to. I didn’t plan to home school. I didn’t plan to hide from people I know to save the embarrassment of my child’s melt downs. I didn’t plan to set my hopes aside for even awhile longer yet…because my child just needs me. I am doing what is best for my son right now. Nope, it isn’t easy. Every single day is a different challenge. But I am here, and I do it. I do it because it needs to be done and it’s mine to do. I do it because I love my son and this is what he needs.
I continue to hope Jason and I can one day get away. And I know that one day we will. But right now, unless it’s a 3 some with a little 7 year old tagging along, it just isn’t going to happen.
But… I count my blessings! Jason and I went to Rosebud this weekend with close friends and had a wonderful time! It may not be a night or weekend or week away, but it was an evening. And everyone was good when we got home.
All this week I worked while my kids were off for Easter break and no one killed anyone. That is a blessing too!
And we have a house guest for the next few months and he is a good influence on my kids, so that too is a blessing!
I have a husband who loves me and for that I too am blessed!
So, when I get overwhelmed by the journey I’m on with my youngest child, I have but to think on the blessings I have in my life to help bring perspective and peace.
I know that the work I put in now with our son will one day pay off in spades. I just have to keep that in perspective!
So everyday is a new day and it brings new and also the same old challenges. But every so often the new day brings a new success or opportunity or enlightenment or understanding. So even in this way every new day is also a blessing…