My son has never been a normal kid. From the moment he was born he wanted his space. No babywearing or cuddling with him! He was happy on his own looking around (much to my dismay, I wanted to cuddle my baby!). He never liked baby games. Peak a boo, patty cake, the itsy bitsy spider, etc. Nor did he like any lullabies or "normal" baby songs. The ONLY song that could be sung was the alphabet song or he would scream at the top of his lungs. Also, from a very young age if he heard Elmo's voice he would scream at the top of his lungs. If someone pushed an Elmo 3 aisles over at wal-mart we would have to flee the area so he would stop screaming. Other than that he was a very mild baby. Slept through the night at 6 weeks. Never followed me around refusing to let me leave the room. He was always "different" than kids his age. At 3 months we had to buy toys for 6 month olds. At 6 months they were for 1 year olds. He was always just ahead and boy did he have an attention span! He would sit and play with a toy for HOURS as long as nobody interupted him. He did not like us playing with him. He did like me carrying him around (in a non-confining position) and talking to him, showing him things. So that's what I did. It was the only way I could spend time with my baby boy.
He was an early talker. By 1 year he was speaking in sentances. At 10 months he was properly using a fork. But he was always very careful in everything he did. I took him to a gymnastics class but he didn't jump with both feet until close to 3 years old. He was afraid to do most of the other things kids half his age were doing in the class. We encouraged him but did not push him.
His behavior was always just a little worse than seemed "normal." You could NOT redirect this kid for anything. At the age of 1 I could redirect him from something 10 times. We could leave the house for the day and the second we got back inside he would immediately return to it. He was very determined and never forgot his goal.
By 2 we were doing time outs. However, time outs were BAD with him. I would put him there and he would sit nicely for his 2 minutes. The second I let him up he would explode. Yelling, hitting, kicking, etc. We could spend the whole day in circles of putting him in time out and him getting up, exploding, and being put back. Obviously time outs were not working. The rules were consistent. The punishments were consistant. I had done 20 years in childcare and 4 years as a preschool teacher. Heck, I had taught parenting classes! But nothing had prepared me for this.
Another thing. From the time he learned to climb out of his crib at 1 year old to this day he is impossible to get to bed. More often than not he would fall asleep like this...
Yep, anything to not do what he was supposed to do. NONE of the techniques I had been taught were working. So I sat down and talked to him (remember he was an early talker) and he said time outs made him mad so we agreed to try a new strategy. I would send him to his room to calm down.
It worked for a while but life with this boy is a never ending struggle. He always had strange medical things going on the doctors cannot seem to figure out. Thankfully I've managed to push enough we are down to urinary issues and possible asthma at this moment.
But his behavior. Wow. He is out of control. We are consistant. We discipline him. We have set rules and expectations (which we came up with together). We use rewards as well. I am a SAHM and homeschool him. He excells academically. He will be 5 next month and is on a 2nd grade level. I don't push him, we decide together what to work on when.
He talks non-stop. He asks "why" non-stop followed by "what?" He screams at the top of his lungs. He runs and jumps in the house. He hurts his sister (2 years old). He throws things. He has major meltdowns. He interupts. He hits and kicks. His face cannot be washed with water. I cannot put him in the shower anymore because he won't let me get the entire front half of his body wet. He has major anxiety (I'm talking heart racing, fast, shallow breathing, terrified) to bugs, water, falling asleep alone, and small spaces. It hurts when he pees but he has urinary frequency and incontence (sp?) so he has to pee a lot. We go through a lot of pairs of underwear and shorts a day and he always smells like urine. I have to do projects like painting outside only because he flings it and it ends up even on the ceiling. But still, he is afraid. He won't climb trees. He won't try monkey bars. He won't use the "big kid" swings. He just now started drawing stick figures but he rarely as much as picks up a crayon. Yes, he can write but he prefers not to so I don't push it. That's the one area academically he is not at 2nd grade.
We were out one day and he was jumping and screaming. I kept telling him to calm down and hold my hand and he was ignoring me. All of the sudden he stopped and held my hand. I looked down at him and he says "that little girl was doing it so I thought I should too." I asked him why he didn't do it when I asked him to and he completley seriously said "because you didn't tell me to." I asked him what it sounds like when people talk and he kind of mumbled. A couple of years ago I took him to the ENT because he kept breaking down crying that he couldn't hear me. They said he passed all of the hearing tests and his hearing was perfect. I said "but how can that be? He is crying that he can't hear me even when he wants to know what I am saying!" They said that maybe he could hear but could not understand. They wouldn't give me a direction to go with that though. I have a call into them again trying to get a direction for him in this area.
We have cut out all food dyes, annatto, and now high fructose corn syrup from his diet. They have BAD reactions with him. Hyperactivity, insomnia, violence.
He had some HFCS on Saturday without us realizing. All it takes is not reading ONE label and our lives our thrown into turmoil.
Today was bad. Very bad. And we had errands to run at that. It's not as simple as returning home when you live an hour away from the major stores. And he had a physical therapy appointment at the end of the day so we had to stay down there. Physical therapy was a joke btw.
It used to be he was well behaved for others but not for us. But it's getting worse. He got in trouble during tee ball for knocking hats off of other kid's heads and throwing sand at them.
Of course when he was evaluated for the developmental pedi he was perfect. They aren't giving up though. They say we wouldn't be there if something wasn't wrong. They don't want to just give him a PDD-NOS diagnosis because it won't really help. They think he has sensory issues and maybe some ODD going on. And this just in he might have PTSD from a bad experience with a needle. They are referring us to the autism and neurology unit at UCSF because they just do not feel equiped to deal with him.
In the meantime, I'm going to go insane! So if I ever seem short with you ladies I am so sorry. It's a lot to deal with. And of course I'm really struggling to make sure my daughter doesn't get lost because of all of this. She is so easy and "normal" but she is a joy to play with. She cuddles. She plays baby games. She is so much fun.
I doubt anybody made it this far but I feel so much better :) I'm going to be optomistic and pray for a better day tomorrow! Usually his reactions last a week so that's being VERY optomistic. Hubby is on call this weekend so it's just me and them until next weekend. I might not survive another day of this!
Ok, my injured wrist is throbbing now. Must stop typing. Thanks for reading :)