Friday, June 1, 2012

Wishing and Hoping

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!


  1. Hugs to you, Katie. Parenting is tough, then you throw in what our kiddos have been through and it's even harder. Our momma hearts break for our kids when they are hurting and we want so badly to take all of their hurts away. As far as other people, I struggle with that too. I know that I need to learn that it doesn't matter what people think or say...but that's easier said than done. Just know that you are an AMAZING mamma, whether you are watching a movie with your kids or doing a wonderfully messy Pinterest project!

    p.s. YOu are also an AMAZING friend and I thank God that he brought you into my life!!! Hugs and continued prayers!!!

  2. I stumbled upon your post and was surprised to find some one talking about the exact issue we have been working with our child. We brought our son home 9 months back and the hitting and biting was constant. We initially thought it was just a communication issue and he was a 2 year old expressing himself by biting and hiting. We later started noticing that the aggresiive behavior increased when put in a new situtaion. He did very well at home . When we took him outside he was finding ways to run , push other kids , things etc. He was totally unfocussed. We live in Ohio and I called the eary intervention program (our program is completely free for children under 3 years) and we had an initail asessment and the therapist pointed to us abt sensory issues and over stimulation. We have been working with a OT the last 2 months and we are making progress. The biting has completely stopped . He still hits and we are working on it. Hang in there . As for other people giving you the look,We get that all the time :) my husband and I have becoming good at ignoring those. Our little children have been through a lot than most people will ever in their life time! Goo luck with your appt. - Sharmila

  3. Sharmila- yes, its SO hard to find people who have dealt with this. And I have felt so lost for months now, because most people tell me its his age. And I would tell myself that too! I never thought to call the birth to 3 program because developmentally he is at or above where he is supposed to be. I am so happy to hear it has gotten better for you, it sounds like you guys are working hard! I'm not very good at turning the looks off, I need to do better. I have a lot of work ahead for me too. Thank you so much for commenting, I would love to hear how you guys continue to do!

    Nikki love you too :-) , you are one of the few people I have been as honest as I have with this whole process. I have been so thankful for you since tat first fateful meeting in Target! Can't wait for our trip and the wedding!

  4. That would be US too! In the same boat. I started reading Empowered to Connect. Look them up on facebook if you haven't heard of it before. I changed my parenting. I tried counseling (not anymore). We still have bad days, but I see progress. Things are improving. There is hope! I blogged about our experience here:

  5. Sorry to hear you're having a rough time with Leo. I'd like to say the looks stop, but they don't. What I've learned is that it doesn't matter what those parents think. And if one looks hard enough, I have actually said "Your staring isn't going to cure his autism" (or in your case SPD which Logan has as well) As SPD is becoming more and more well known, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the looks are from people thinking "I feel ya, mama! I've been there/my sister's been there/my best friend's been there..."

    I hope the OT is helping!