Where was I?
I’m ashamed to admit what I’m about to say here as a mother, but I’m going to be honest with you.
One day I broke down and completely lost it right in front of all my kids. I wished I never had this child. Secretly I hoped something terrible would happen to me so that I wouldn’t have to raise him. I hoped to be ill, in jail, dead. Any reason not to have to raise this child! It was too hard, too insane, too inhumane to live with him, let alone parent him.
I was also torn with guilt for feeling this way. Deep down he is a real sweetheart with a soul full of love.
How could I have ever thought such thoughts about my very own offspring? I mean I carried him for 10 months and labored to deliver him to the world! I was happy with my bundle of joy then, but now I was in deep remorse.
It was just getting to be too much to care for a child who spends 20 hours a day yelling and crying in extreme tantrums and meltdowns, on top of caring for his 4 young siblings.
Why was he acting this way?
Yes, he has special needs and it’s not his fault. He has Sensory Processing Disorder and a handful of other diagnoses that used to make him very crazy, though he was completely innocent. But how can any human live with this much yelling, screaming, crying and melting down as an “everyday lifestyle”? How can you still continue to pour out love?
How can anyone sustain walking on eggshells to this degree everyday?
I meant it when I said it was a “lifestyle” to walk on eggshells with my son 24/7. He is so insanely “sensitive” to everything in his environment including the air that he breathes! (Yes, a breeze used to set him off into a screeching beast.)
What did a typical day look like?
Everyday went something like this: I nursed a set of newborn twins in my arms, refilled milk cups over lunch with my hands. Meanwhile, running over to clean a toddler’s bottom and his potty, while keeping the newborn twins in my arms, to dump the potty remains into the toilet without dumping the babies all in. Suddenly, my 3 year old son burst into a frightening scream.
I flew over to see if everyone was still ok, and I realized that his sweater had touched his cheeks. I fixed the sweater. Then he started bawling because a piece of cheese was now touching his finger as he tried to eat. I quickly wiped the cheese off his finger, but now his pants touched his feet and he was crying again …
Could it get any worse … you bet!
I went on putting out one “fire” after another like this without ever eating or drinking all day. When night came I couldn’t wait to put this child to sleep (and all the rest of them too). But I had to deal with a 2 hour long unconsolable meltdown over bedtime routines before I got to tuck him in. When I finally made it to the tuck in moment, “the blanket isn’t right, the jammy isn’t right …”
Was another meltdown actually possible at this hour? Yes, it certainly was! That’s Sensory Processing Disorder for you! More insanity. When he finally went down, I was too beat to sleep too. I would just be woken up in half an hour to another emergency-like high pitch scream. Followed by an unconsolable 2 hour episode. I counted my days by increments of 2 hours: one episode starts, one episode ends, another episode starts….
Back then, I didn’t know what to do
I was filled with resentment about my life.
And I certainly couldn’t ever leave him anywhere, or with anyone else to get a break, because no one else could care for him or knew what to do with him. I had even gone to church and had the children’s church tell me they couldn’t care for him. Life was exhausting!
Where am I today?
Fast forward to today. My family life has journeyed from “chaos to harmony”, and I brought this son of mine from “outcast to outstanding”.
Too many people ask if Sensory Processing Disorder is “curable”. My short answer? No, not really.
And you cannot play dead just so you don’t have to deal with this child with Sensory Processing Disorder. Bottom line – you have to learn how to live with it, and it is YOUR responsibility to nurture this child so he/she lives out his full life potential.
How did I get a better place today?
I did it. So no doubt you, too, can too. But you need to take matters into your own hands. You have to have a deep understanding of what Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is and how it impacts your child’s everyday life and behaviors.
Too many parents see that their children aren’t behaving as they expect them to, and they attempt to discipline the behavior. Most times there is far more under the surface that causes the behaviors. Thus the attempts to treat the behaviors and discipline are unsuccessful. I’m all for discipline, but it’s the wrong timing to talk behavioral discipline before the sensory issues are addressed.
How do you transform your child with SPD and thrive?
The first step to helping your child with SPD transform is understanding what Sensory Processing Disorder is, how it impacts your child, and what you can do to help you child. I explained and put all this information together in an e-book called ‘Thriving With Sensory Processing Disorder – 5 Steps to Demystify Sensory Processing Disorder and help your Child Flourish’ that you can download for free here.
Don’t make the mistake that prevents your child with SPD from flourishing
Do you know one of the biggest mistakes parents of children with SPD make? They rely too much on outside professionals to work with their children and expect the providers to make their children all better. But the reality is, no one else knows your child better than you do. You could end up paying tons of money and spending many hours going from appointments to appointments, therapy sessions to therapy sessions. But you won’t see a significant level of results if you don’t educate yourself on how to help your child with SPD . You need to learn the skills to properly support your child with SPD on a day to day basis.
No service providers can be there 24/7 to ensure the day to day continuity of your child’s care and support. A once, twice, or even three times a week appointment just isn’t enough to really transform your child with SPD unless you carry things through on a daily basis. Furthermore, not every child with SPD looks alike, so you really need to learn your own child’s specific “quirks” and specific ways to support your unique child’s needs.
You know what else? Many children with SPD aren’t doing so well in school and can’t qualify for an IEP. If that’s you, in order to help your child have a smoother time in school, YOU very likely will have to be the one to educate your child’s teachers about your child’s conditions and how to best support your child, because if you trust your parent intuition and you educate yourself, YOU are going to be the best person to help your child.
I transformed the life of my child with Sensory Processing Disorder and you can too
So soon enough I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started proactively finding ways to support my child’s needs. That’s how I ended up starting Harmonious Clan – to empower and enable parents like you to nurture your child from outcast to outstanding.
You see my transformation from feeling resentful, hopeless, and helpless about my child’s situation, to where I become happy, confident and well in control of my child’s conditions? It all started when I took matters into my own hands and developed my skills to personally address my child’s needs.
If you ever feel as frustrated and confused as I once was, start learning the skills to best support your child with SPD, and you will be the one to change your child’s life. Start by downloading the free e-book ‘Thriving With Sensory Processing Disorder – 5 Steps to Demystify Sensory Processing Disorder and help your Child Flourish’ (especially if your child sounds one-fifth as wild as mine!)