We had no idea... but success has come!
Brian was our first child-we were 25 and had no idea what "normal" was. He cried ALL NIGHT. When he finally napped in the day... if anything touched him he would wake and scream. Once, he was 18 months old and I canceled a well baby check-up because he was napping. The receptionist was incredulous that I would cancel - but I thought it would be normal to do so. In my house when Brian napped NOBODY moved!
He screamed in the car seat ALL the time. Only when he was able to talk did we know why. "NO TURNS" he would yell. "NO TURNS" he didn't like the pressure of the car seat against his body when the car turned. I would drive miles and miles out of the way so I wouldn't have to turn the car.
Brian screamed at tea kettle whistles, screamed at radio music, screamed when bright lights were on, wouldn't wear certain socks, had to have labels cut out of all clothing etc. Once, he was 3 1/2 years old and literally screamed from 11 PM to 6:30 a.m. I tried everything to comfort him... holding, singing, story telling, warm wash cloth on his face and hands... I finally fell asleep exhausted while he still screamed. At 6:30 AM he stopped and I asked him "why did you scream all night?" he very calmly pulled his foot out from under the covers and said "my sock fell off." aghh!
At age four, when my two year daughter could outperform him in many tasks I finally talked to my doctor... I finally realized this wasn't the way he should be. At four, Brian couldn't climb stairs easily, couldn't button, zipper, bounce a ball, ride a bike
(he was 10 for that), catch or throw any size ball, hold a pencil or even use a straw to drink. Long story short he was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder.
Finally! help arrived! Brian attended two years of specialized pre-school. Six students, three teachers, OT, PT and a miracle every day. I delayed kindergarten another year so he could keep making progress on his sensory issues.
It took a long time. But once we knew what the issues were I just avoided the triggers. Even though so many people suggested do the things he didn't like MORE so he would get used to it... I didn't believe that was right. When I HAD to do something (like turn the car) I would warn him... then help him through it. "Brian... a turn is coming... I know, I know... let's count-- when I get to 5 it will be over... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5." Eventually he would count with me instead of scream.
Eventually he used a straw (age 5... but he still doesn't like to), whistle (at 12 years... once just to show me), ride a bike (11 years) button and zipper (13 years) etc. etc.
Brian is 18. The only thing left over is he is EXTREMELY ticklish! (which I use to my full advantage (smile)). He earned a first degree black belt, is an Eagle Scout, he has been graced with a beautiful voice and sings opera in four languages, he is applying to Harvard and Oxford next year.
IT'S A LONG JOURNEY. To all Parents... get help, get advice... but trust your heart. Always, always, find time to love them, fully with every breath and in every moment. That's all that really matters.
Blessings to all