Clayton's Story

by Tracie
(Traverse City)

When my child was born he came home and everything seemed fine for a week- then he cried non stop for the next seven weeks (I was a walking zombie); after that he settled into a routine of waking every hour or so to be nursed., I had to "hold him tightly" to get him back to sleep (closely next to my body or he would awake.)

I literally was never able to put my child down for the next couple of years or he would scream and run into the nearest wall, road or any place that he could, usually hitting his head extremely hard and leaving a bruise. It was very dangerous and I was very exhausted from chasing him.

My son had little language before age two and received two years of speech therapy at our hospital along with an early intervention team of speech, occupational and other therapies offered by our community including play groups and home visits. My child would not cooperate with any of the activities and would not separate from me for many months.

Eventually he did but it was difficult as he would eat any "non-food" item such as glue, paint, sand and shaving cream- you name it. My son would pace, hum and bang his head hard on the wall or floor or me. He was having a few problems with ear infections for which he later received "tubes"- this fixed some of it (his language began to improve and there was much less frustration so his banging of his head ceased, eventually.) I was also eventually able to get him to look at me and listen- which has helped a lot as far as keeping him from running away- though he still likes to "hide."

He is five years old now and had been given the ASD label at school (yes, he did two years of an earlychildhood program)- He is very intelligent; he recognized letters and numbers by age two- if we can keep him on task he is writing and reading sight words. He is clever and likes to get a reaction from people so he will do things like hide in a locker while the teachers panic and search for him- they eventually find him, laughing.

He still hums unless we redirect him to another activity (sometimes it is more of a "siren" sound). He is still known to eat lotion, sand, mud and chapstick, etc., he still paces and "rocks" on his tummy for comfort and yes I still have to hold him tightly in one certain position to get him to sleep at night (if my hand is not exactly is the right spot he will grab it and move it where he wants it- my arm goes to sleep on me from having to remain in that position). He wakes up at times and it is "Mom, hold me."

We don't have too many food issues, he loves food. He craves sensory input, so we are opposite of the many stories I am reading. We are also opposite of the many children I have encountered who actually have Autism... We have tried brushing (still use it sometimes) the "Listening Program" (still are doing this), weighted dogs, tutles, vests (he still carries the weighted turtle at circle time in school). We use a sand table (with noodles, rice, beans, etc., and switch it out often). We use twitchy balls and bouncy pokey balls- we have used music therapy, etc.; irregardless he still hums, still paces and is still known to rock on his tummy. I wonder do we fall into SPD but on an entirely different "spectrum"- there is such a limited amount of data out there that has anything to do with my son- everything seems completely "opposite".

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