Exhausted and defeated

I have a 3.5 year old son, sensory seeker, possibly mild Aspergers, and temperamentally very fussy and rigid. He has been in early intervention since age 2 - OT, PT, therapeutic playgroups, preschool, you name it. (we had to drop the OT about a year ago because he didn't qualify anymore and we are now going to pursue it privately at our own expense b/c we think he really needs it.)


I am searching for others who can relate b/c I am at my wits end. I never feel like I can relax. All I ever wanted was to create a loving, relaxed environment in my home and it feels impossible. I have been more patient and nurturing than anyone I know, but the past few days I just want to scream, cry, tear my hair out. I know how dramatic that sounds, but there is just no peace.

I never feel like I can just be a mom, I feel like a therapist. I have to warn him before I turn on the coffee maker, the garbage disposal, the dryer. I cringe every time I hear something drop to the floor because I know it will be a meltdown. I can't make everything okay anymore. sigh.

Can someone tell me it gets better ?

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Apr 24, 2012
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I feel your pain!
by: Beth Capodanno

I just stumbled upon this site. I quickly read through the comments you posted and I can identify with all that you have been and are going through. I was pushed to the point that I wrote a children's book, Stinky Feet Stew, that helped with the freak-out balls to the walls meltdown when it came to bath time. I was melting down too, and felt like the worst mom in the world, because I couldn't comfort him, but then I remembered that humor goes a long way with my HS students. I went for a cheap trick...smelly feet, and using those disgusting toes for the main ingredient for a "soup" i was making in the bathtub. It worked!

So please check out my book. It works, and it will help to build positive memories with you and your child through reading and laughter. You can also check out the Stinky Feet Stew face book page to see more artwork, and happenings with the book. I'm looking forward to doing a local summer tour to many Long Island Tutor Time Learning centers, as well as other preschool venues. I'm self=published, so now the work really begins! I'm not looking to make a fortune, I honestly want to pass on what worked for me to other parents and caregivers, and children.

Aug 25, 2009
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thank you !
by: Anonymous

thank you so much for all these helpful and heartfelt comments. somehow i thought it would notify my email, so all these months i had thought no one responded and just today i went back to the "exhausted & defeated" link and lo & behold all these kind words ! thank you, everyone.

the reason i went back to that link is because we had another one of *those* days although, honestly, and as someone else posted, i don't know when we *don't* have one. i know my son has it worse than i do and that life is a struggle for him. and it tears me up inside when i think of that. but selfishly, i feel like i just don't have it in me to hug & console him one more time just because the door closed and he wanted it open.

even when i can tell the difference between what is sensory (the door, the baby crying & the happy birthday song) vs what is being 3.5 (forcing a pull-up on him at night, his refusal to listen) it doesn't make me more willing to help him. with a 10 month old who is into everything and with this boy who is up every night...well, you can't pour from an empty pitcher. i got myself through the first year of his life by telling myself it was just his severe reflux. his second & third years it was his language delays - "once he has the words, he'll be better equipped to handle everything and he'll be happier" but every year it just gets harder !

it does help to know that there are other people out there struggling, although i am so sorry you have to go through it. i am not the mother i thought i would be. i have a short fuse and am much angrier than i ever thought i'd be, especially in front of an innocent, special needs child.

and then there's the part of me that feels like...it could be so much worse. he could be severely autistic or who knows what. like the other mother who posted, we are also fighting with trying to keep him in the traditional preschool and i am so certain that it is the best place for him because he models what he sees, but the teachers (and even the other kids to some extent) don't always want to deal with it. it is so sad to see him go off into his little fantasy world when the other kids are being loud and he can't take it.

anyway...another stream of consciousness. i am sorry for that but again, thank you for helping me to hang in there.

Jun 08, 2009
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You can do it
by: Anonymous

It is not always easy, but you can do it. One thing I would recommend is asking your OT about music therapy to help deal with noises. Our son (now 6) has been in early prevention since he was about a year old if not sooner. We finally found a really good OT that uses music therapy to help with the hypersensitivity to sounds. He still has a long ways to go, but has made great improvement.

Jun 04, 2009
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Exhausted and Defeated
by: Anonymous

Hi, I thought I was the only one feeling like I just want to scream. I am a single mother with a seven year old, and I can identify with everything you are saying. I'm always warning him when I'm about to turn on the vacuum cleaner, or the blender. Sometimes I forget, and it takes forever to calm him down.

I've been homeschooling him through our school district, for the past two years. His teacher told me that she will not be able to work with him next year, so I've been trying to find a school that can deal with his needs. I've been dealing with special education, and it's been really frustrating. Basically, they want me to put him in a regular class before they will test him. I was already told that they would only test him for academics, and that they do not recognize SPD.

I'm at the point now where I really don't want to deal with special education if I don't have to. I've been trying to find another alternative (a private school, or independent school), but everything is so expensive. Along with trying to be an advocate for my son, I'm struggling with Panic Attacks/Agoraphobia myself. I do get some help from family members, but they can only do so much. I feel like I've been going back and forth between the both of us, trying to find the right school situation for him, and therapy for myself.
I didn't mean to go on and on about myself, but I am so glad you expressed what you've been feeling, because I really felt like I was the only one who felt defeated. Thank You.

Jun 03, 2009
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Me too
by: Kathleen

I have a 3.5 YO with SPD and possibly also PANDAS. We do not even ever have a single day that goes by that is good. I am in your shoes too and am not doing good over here. I will try to do what the previous poster mentioned about remembering how hard it is for them in order to help me keep my patience. It seems that patience isn't my problem, optimism is.

Like you, I find myself wondering and almost believing that this will be my life forever and I feel very defeated too. Not much help to give you, just wanted to tell you that you are not alone.

Jun 01, 2009
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exhausted and defeated
by: Leeanne M.

Sometimes my husband and i feel the exact same way. Our son is 3.5 years old and quite a handful most days. We feel like we can never relax either. Everything is just so hard some days, from eating to dressing to playing outside to going to sleep.

I can't say whether things will get better, but i do try to remind myself when at my wits end, that my little guy has it so much harder than I do. Thats what keeps me doing what i need to do for him. I have learned i have the patience of a saint. And yes some days, most days, we are exhausted and frustrated, but we make these sacrifices for our little guy, so he can have a better life.

Your a GREAT mom who puts her child above everything else :)

Jun 01, 2009
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I can relate
by: Amanda

I know exactly where you are..I also have a 3.5 year old son with SPD. He is currently in OT therapy and PT therapy for low muscle tone in his legs with major muscle rotation. He was just diagnosed about a month ago. He also has complex partial seizures. It is a never ending struggle. Some days are are just a normal as can be others are not. I also have a 20 month old that I have to attend to so that makes it even harder.

His therapist tell me that it will get better but I really need some support as well. It is rough..

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