Four months ago Leo was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. Earlier this year I thought I was a bad Mom. I thought I couldn't teach my child how to be respectful. I thought he hated me because how aggressive he was towards me. I cried a lot. Leo cried a lot. Emme cried a lot. It was hard. We entered attachment therapy, which helped some. Some days he would be great! Others. Well, let's just say it was bad again. Then our pediatrician noticed this behavior and said "we need to step back, something is wrong here". She explained Sensory seeking behaviors to me, and I just nodded my head because it made sense! His lack of self control, his aggression, his disregulation. I still don't understand it entirely, I just know that every time I read about it the more I understand my son.
Now that we have this diagnosis does not mean that it's gotten easier. It just means we are seeking help. We are just now getting him started on Occupational Therapy (yes, it's four months later. Let's just say insurance has been hindering this a bit). We stick close to home, not venturing out too much. We are picky who our play dates are with (Leo doesn't handle younger children very well right now). We do a lot of sensory play around the house. Sometimes it makes a big mess, but sometimes it's very much needed. I don't decide to do something outside of the house until I can see Leo's mood. We have been back on a bottle now, which helps calm him. We stay pretty low key for Leo's sake.
We have had good weeks, we have had horrible weeks. One of the bad weeks was for my Grandfather's funeral. We decided that Trent should stay home, it was crazy busy for him at work. I should have thought this through a little better. We had some moments that were good, we had lots of other moments that were bad. I saw people watching me closely, I felt their thoughts seeping into me. "Wow, she can't control her two year old", or "I would never allow my child to do that", or "If that were my kid I would...". Oy. I know that's what people think, because I see those looks a lot.
I see these looks every time I take Leo somewhere new. He gets overstimulated, I try to calm him down, and he goes back to what he knows best. Biting, because he didn't have enough food when he needed it most. Hitting, because he couldn't hit when he was faced with traumatic events when he was younger. And I can handle his rages because I have an idea of what he is thinking. But it doesn't make the looks any easier. I know my son. I know that he is aware of right and wrong. He just can't control it right now. Afterwards, he will say things like "I try not to be bad, I really try!" Or "I'm sorry Mom, I don't want to hurt you". But those people don't hear him say that. They don't hear the pain in his voice when he is insistent that he REALLY is good! They don't see him sigh in relief when I tell him "No matter what you do, I am your Mama. And I will always be your Mama."
So we have gone back to basics for Leo, until we can get into Occupational Therapy. Next week we have our first appointment. I'm hoping to learn more about his needs, and how I can help him. I'm hoping that they teach me the appropriate way to react. I'm hoping that Leo will learn how to calm himself, or be able to take himself out of the situation before someone gets hurt. I just wish that every person could see the happy, sensitive, creative and smart little boy that I see when we wake up in the morning.
I will send an update after our fist appointment, wish us luck!