At the end of my rope...

by Monica

My oldest son is 6 and was diagnosed w/ SPD when he was 4. We've had problems with him his whole life. As a baby he had colic, he cried constantly, he needed to be held and rocked constantly, he had an irritable stomach, etc. As a young toddler, he was very loving and smart. He knew the alphabet and read by 1.5 years but had horrible tantrums and fears of things like the doctor, thunder, fireworks, theaters, museums, flushing toilets, dogs, that were almost paralyzing for us as the parents. His eyes would dilate and he would become unreachable. His screaming was so alarming to us that sometimes it would bring us to tears. Potty training was also a nightmare and didn't happen until he was almost 4. He also started flapping his arms at 3 whenever he got excited.

Since then we've had him in PT and OT to help him with fine and gross motor skills, body awareness, and coordination. We thought we were making great strides and he has overcome many of his fears. We've had him in karate for 2 years to help w coordination and discipline and it has helped to some degree.

He has a 3 year old brother and now a 3 month old sister. We've recently increased our PT/OT sessions because he's started kindergarten and although he reads on a second grade level and does well with his other subjects, his teacher say he has a very hard time following instructions, completing multistep tasks, staying on task, sitting still, and they also say his flapping is disruptive to the class because it's distracting and the other kids are wanting to joining in and flapping along w/ him. He is such a smart boy and loves to learn but frankly I don't know how much longer he'll be able to keep in stride w/ his peers.

It's been a very hard year for us and him because as kids his age are beginning to settle down w/ their wiggles and although we've tried things like weighted blankets, weights, and fidget toys, and a trampoline for home, every time I walk into the room I'm dreading what the teachers

are going to tell me next.

I describe his behavior as someone who is going through life with a blindfold on. He falls off chairs, he's always disheveled, he gets up from the dinner table to get a glass of water and instead ends up flapping and jumping in the kitchen "just because". He whines constantly about everything and I have to supervise and consistently remind him about completing the smallest tasks and routines, such as appropriate bathroom rituals and getting dressed. His 3 year old brother is now reminding him to wash his hands when coming inside, etc. He laughs when someone is hurt or crying, seems to lack empathy for others in many cases, and we have caught him several times tickling his brother in his privates which made us worry even more. When we try to talk to him about why we don't do certain things or why it's important to do others he has a hard time even looking us in the eyes or even standing without falling over while we talk and nothing seems to ever penetrate. He'll be doing the same thing minutes later. We've tried reward charts, marble jars, achievement boards. We've tried removing privileges.

He becomes so focused on the rewards and consequences that he misses what we are trying to teach him entirely. I am constantly reminding myself that he can't help the things that he's doing and that he's not doing things on purpose but I'm starting to resent him because he's taking up the majority of my time and I feel like our other two children are always coming second. I've read Raising a Sensory Smart Child and Sensory Processing Challenges but I feel like most of the solutions are physical and we are having a harder time improving his thought process and behavior. I've decided that he, my husband, and I need to see a psychologist but I've been wondering if he has other underlying disorders such as Aspergers.

I am literally at the end of my rope and every day of parenting him is becoming a challenge for me. What more do I need to be doing for him and us? Thanks:(

Very concerned mother

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Jan 16, 2015
Can relate
by: Laurie (Arizona)

I have had similar struggles with my 3 yr old. Haven't even started potty training :(
He's very bright and enjoys learning, but refuses basic tasks like hand-washing, brushing teeth, sitting at the table to eat. When we try to stick to our guns and get him to do these things, there is a melt-down that ruins our day. It's just so hard some days. Things really came to a head when our 6 mo old daughter was born, which he seemed to take as a trauma. We are still adjusting.

He too has been very tough since he was born, a screamer. My husband and I feel like we are on eggshells with him and don't get out as a family because of his behavior.

We have an appointment scheduled with a developmental pediatrician to see if they can give us some answers.

Sounds like we need more support and need more breaks somehow. The unfortunate thing for us is that I stopped working over a year ago and we don't have extra income for hiring sitters to help out.

Dec 31, 2014
Just Breathe
by: Anonymous

Please have your child tested for autism and do some research. Look into diets also, but you're his best advocate.

You sound overwhelmed with all your familial responsibilities, enlist help anywhere you can get it, family, friends, etc. You need a support team. Look into local support groups for families with autistic children.

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