Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Raising my spirited child....(Part 1)

So it has been almost a year since we were at our wits end trying to figure out how to handle the almost 5 y.o. Booger.  By July 2010, he was having out of control rage episodes, screaming, hitting, kicking, 2 hours tantrums, refusing to do simple tasks, having breakdowns at daycare, to the point they were really sure what to do either.  But let's start from the beginning, and work our way back to now (this may take a few entries).

Booger was a typical pregnancy with the only real complication of insulin dependent Dia"becca".  We had level 2 ultrasounds and genetic counseling because of familial histories, and were told "you have a 20% chance of having a child with Down's Syndrome because his femur length is short." Really? Have you looked at my stature.   Anyways, he came out healthy.  And colicky.  Oh sweet lord could he scream.  It took us four months of complaining, switching from nursing to soy formulas to finally get him on reflux meds, which helped greatly.  In the mean time, for four months we spent our evenings from 5--9 pm jumping in the bathroom with the fan on.  Not just the screaming, but the full stomach dumps that he chose to do on me after every evening feed.  Awesome, I know.

He developed normally, walking by 11 months, talking later but within typical range.  We were blessed with having our close friend watch him when I returned to work.  And all was well.  He was a very smart and sensitive, but incredibly intense child.  That is really the best way to describe it.  You didn't want to poke the bear.  His fits were unreal.  But when he was good, he was gold.

Flash forward to when he entered preschool at the daycare at 3.  I was at this point working in the school system and just had the Mudget as well.  He had difficulty attending in group, refusing to participate in certain tasks, and difficulty with adult direction.  For the next year, we winced at the daily sheet, wondering if it would be another "tough" day.  I started pulling out my OT tricks.  Social stories with pictures, reward charts, sensory play.  You name it, we did it.  But his off days were getting worse.

By the summer of 2011, I had lost it.  I was starting to refuse to take the kids out, be around anyone but the closest family members, because frankly I didn't want to have to deal with the looks and stares of people when he lost it.  I had already been embarrassed as I had to carry him from the playground, kicking, hitting, and screaming at me, while a father asked if I needed help. I was mortified.  And after getting to work in absolute tears after a 45 minute battle for getting dressed, I went to Barnes and Noble.  And sat in the child psychology section.  And read the back of every book.  The Explosive Child. Nope.  The Bipolar Child.  Nope.  The schizophrenic child. Nope. The ODD child. nope.  Then I got to Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and almost burst into tears.  I actually started laughing.  And the lady around the corner must have thought I was nuts.  It was Booger, to the T.  It literally could have been a snap shot of our lives. "The word that distinguishes spirited children from other children is more.  They are normal children who are more intense, persistent, sensitive, perceptive and uncomfortable with change."  Holy Crap, I thought.  And felt some relief that I wasn't insane.


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