Saturday, April 10, 2010

Self Regulation...

So just reading up on SPD (or SID I guess) I'm already getting exhausted! I'm also feeling encouraged, in that reading the descriptions of other people's kids makes me realize that A) we caught it pretty early on (so many kids being diagnosed at age 10!) and B) his SPD is liveable and manageable. His SPD makes some social interactions embarrassing, and some situations inconvenient or exasperating. But he doesn't make life impossible or even close to it.

And I've been thinking back, trying to mentally go over the past two years to think about his self regulations problems. How often did he have issues at X time and what was his general reaction to Y situation... that sort of thing.

And already I can see progress. Like, a ton of progress. All steps in the right direction, encouraging me to believe that even without OT he'd probably end up just fine. No, not growing out of it, but he himself is getting a handle on this little by little. And he's soooo much better than he used to be!


It's naptime!
P 2 years ago: Shrieks bloody murder for an hour, likely wets self, eventually crashes into fitful sleep and stays out for 3-4 hours.
P 1 year ago: Cries and whines and needs to be read to and/or physically held still for roughly an hour before falling into peaceful slumber. Sleeps 2-3 hours.
P today: whines and complains, tries some defiant behavior but mostly gets in bed and stays there. Sometimes in and out of bed for half an hour to an hour, before falling into deep sleep for an hour or two.

No you may not play with that toy!
P 2 years ago: Screaming, crying, scratching, biting, punching, kicking, flailing, spitting, slapping, etc. Has to be held and restrained until his body goes limp and he composes himself enough to actually ask for it again or move on. Sometimes took up to half an hour.
P 1 year ago: Screaming, crying, stealing toy and running, bouncing off the wall.
P today: Defiant, "yes I can!", often calms down himself within a minute and discusses the issue.

Let's meet someone new!
P 2 years ago: Crying, hiding, punching me, pinching my arms, hiding his head in my chest.
P 1 year ago: Running away, hiding, ignoring new person OR being all over them.
P today: Everyone's a friend!

General changes/transitions:
P 2 years ago: Shrieking. Violence. Crying. Often needed to be held tightly against body until he either passed out or calmed down.
P 1 year ago: Scared but acting super hyper, running! Lot's of running! Some violence. Some screaming.
P today: Gets really hyper active and talk, talk, talks! Or sings or hums or something, jumps and makes noise and has trouble keeping eye contact. But calms down himself typically within about 5 minutes and is willing to discuss his behavior. Sometimes instead of becoming hyper he cuddles in and says "I'm sad/scared/don't want to be here/do this!" Sometimes all it takes is a 2 minute cuddle fest and he's transitioned and ready to go!

So, yeah... definite improvement!

Age has helped.

Preschool has helped.

Our understanding of his needs has helped.

Project Enlightenment has helped.

Friends with similar children have helped.

And Wednesday we start OT.

So... Hooray! We may never "fix" this but can you just imagine how much better he'll be a year from now? When he's a year older? Has a full year + of preschool under his belt? And OT? And a Sensory Diet? And we understand him even better and probably have a bigger support group locally? I know he'll never be a "perfect" child or an "angel" child but my God! Just think of the possibilities!

My goal right now is that a year from now we'll be able to look back and say "good Lord how did we live like that???" because our lives will be so much easier then.... except we'll have a toddler and a new baby most likely... but I'm talking about with the SPD.... :)

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