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Help for over emotional toddler with SPD - TMP's Special Kids

Old February 20th, 2014, 12:30 PM   #1
MileHighMama

 
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Help for over emotional toddler with SPD

So my son is almost 3 and has had problems dealing with emotions for a long, long time. But its getting worse. I was told by doctors and evaluators that he most likely has a Sensory Disorder. He is supposed to start seeing OT but they aren't getting him in until April and even then its just an OT consultation and working with him wont start until after.

I'll start by saying that my concerns are not frustration but rather I am upset that I cannot calm him and it has gotten to the point if I take him to a store or my doctors office, it leads to me almost having a breakdown because he is so 'out of control' as people like to tell me.

Here is what I am dealing with.

He cries, almost all day. He's not teething, sick, tummy or headaches or bored. He just cries. Not whining, but always is upset about something. Whether it is something not going his way, being told not to do something, having to lay down for bed or a nap, his toys aren't lined up correctly....and so on.

He gets so angry at the simplest things resulting in full fists, shaking, punching, kicking and throwing things. He is with me all day and does not ever see these behaviors from me, a TV show or anyone else. If I give him a drink in his sippy cup and he decides he doesnt want it he has resorted to throwing it multiple times until the lid breaks off, so I had to buy a new brand of cups that the lids need to be unscrewed.

If he has to lay down for bed (even when I know he is getting tired) he literally will destroy his room. Tip over his toy chests, rip the shades down, flip over his toddler mattress, I just dont know how to stop it and calm him. Reading, rocking him, music, low lights, nothing calms him down.

In public he screams but not words. He screams just weird sounds that many of my friends and family describe as the 'special ed kids at school', which I do not find a kind way to say that. He screaches, then gets a really deep voice that honestly sounds like something from the exorcist type of movies. He throws fits. Arches his back, tries to throw himself backwards. And when we get ready to leave (saying goodbye to my doctor, checking out at the store) he completely stops and just says 'come on mom ready to go!'

If i put him in time out or the corner he will punch the wall or scratch it and if i tell him to stop he does it faster. He will slam his head against the wall.

No type of discipline, even small butt smacks or a pop on the hand, deters him. Like the stove, I tell him its hot and not to touch and he will try to anyway and then if I pop his hand he laughs, then tries again as if its a game.

He gets my attention all day, so he isn't attention deprived. He is taken care of, loved and we do activities all day. i just dont get it and I need help big time.

I am getting concerned because I have no idea how to handle it with him, I want to help him and in return help me but everything I have read and tried I just haven't had luck yet.


Thanks in advance for any advice


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Old February 20th, 2014, 12:40 PM   #2
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Oh gosh mama. You definitely need help with this.

One thing that can really help with kiddos like this is visuals, from signs, felt boards, hand gestures. Signs reminding him no throwing, felt boards with little felt figured and a schedule to help him prepare for transitions, hand gestures to help draw his attention to you when you're talking to him.

Your little guy sounds EXACTLY like my cousins LO at that age (and now too, although it's gotten a bit better) they have used a combination of things to help him - he's on medication, went to a developmental preschool, sees a behaviour psychologist, etc.

What's going to work to help you might look different, but you shouldn't have to do it alone. Have you looked in to what is available to you and how to access them? If you feel things aren't happening fast enough, push push push to have more done, seek alternate routes, other services.


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Old February 20th, 2014, 12:54 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response, it really is helpful!

I will look into the felt because he likes soft textures and things that feel like fur because he thinks its animal stuff. I think we would benefit from a pet like a rabbit but dh is allergic. He LOVES animals and they make him so happy. And I know he couldn't 'play' with something like a guinea pig, and We are all allergic to cats. Im not in the place of mind to take on a puppy (3 months pregnant and also dealing with DS lol). Maybe a small sized older dog?

It is crazy to me because he is a sweet, amazing child when he isn't acting like this. Loving, helpful and cant wait to meet his sibling. Asks about the baby and helping with it ALL the time. It makes me happy to know he wants to be helpful.

As far as the time frame of things happening, its just slow. i got into it the earliest I could but its run by the public school system so a LOT of kids are run through it daily and its just a waiting game. I am looking into paying out of pocket for an OT in the mean time while we wait but I am also concerned that if I do, by the time they see him if he has greatly improved at all I do not want to be turned away from the service because they are supposed to offer the PT, OT and developmental preschool program for him.

Im just getting pushed to the limits and I have been crying a lot at the ends of the day because I don know how to help my baby.


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Old February 20th, 2014, 01:46 PM   #4
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I don't know the struggle first hand, but I've spent many many days watching my cousin shed tears over her youngest for the same reason. It's so hard when we know our kiddos need help but we have no idea how to do that.

My cousin's little guy can be the sweetest most loving little guy you've ever met and 2 mins later he's telling her he wants to hurt her and burn the house down with her in it because of a toy or bad shopping trip. It's really frustrating, and it's SO hard to have that patience with them when they demand it all day long and it never seems to get better. Help seems far away but I hope once he starts OT you get some relief and some help!

Is your LO also PDD-NOS or am I thinking of someone else?

You might actually find the iron supplement to be a big help. They saw a big change in her LO's tantrums and triggers once his iron levels got closer to normal.

In typical children iron deficiency will cause the typical physical symptoms - fatigue, weakness, bags under the eyes, brittle nails etc.

For some reason in these little guys it often causes none of that but a host of behavioural issues from tantrums, not wanting to sleep ever, restlessness, etc.

Another thing you may want to bring up with he neuro or pedi if you haven't tried it yet is melatonin for bedtime. My cousins little guy was awful, awful, awful at bedtime. It got to the point where they had to take everything out of his room, screw down his vent covers, remove blinds, bar the windows, etc. He even tore up his mattress. He'd spend hours throwing himself and everything around the room until he'd crash, even with everything removed. Their pedi recommended melatonin and with 1/2 dose of what would be normal for his age and size he was asking to go to bed and falling right to sleep. Now they only need to give it to him when they have big routine changes, because those set him right back to square one, but otherwise he almost always goes to bed peacefully now. He just needed some help learning to settle his body and go to sleep without fighting it.


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Old February 27th, 2014, 12:51 AM   #5
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Sounds like my daughter. However, sometimes it is to see my reaction so does my second son too. Behavior depends on many factors - sleep deprivation, consuming "fake foods" with dyes, chemicals, etc and sensory like too overstimulated or too much of something like crowds, lighting, noises such as ambulance so on.

Did not read if you are going to OT (occupational therapy)? Look for someone with a specialty in children with Autism that focuses on sensory. Some may not -

The above is the factors that get my kids going or misbehaving. I put "earwigs" in their ears and have them listen to classical music (soft) and with a blanket over their head or turn off lights. I sit next to them, and to make sure they sit still. With my second son he needs the touching (massaging) so I usually sit and massage his back or softly go over his skin he likes that.

Get the book, "The Out of Sync Child" best book I ever purchased.


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Old February 27th, 2014, 12:56 AM   #6
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I have found lighting to bug my kids so most times just turning off the lights helps a lot. Soft music (do not have anything with people singing) it bugs kids with special needs I am not sure I read an article that stated that it is like "dragging your fingernails down a chalkboard" kind of BUGGING. Soft soothing music works.


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Old March 4th, 2014, 02:29 AM   #7
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So since I have started this Iron supplement his sleeping, not sleeping routine, has slightly improved. He hasn't woken up the last 2 nights (the few days before that he was sick with a cold so he wasn't sleeping) but once he went out the past two nights, he stayed out. No crying, no talking, no thrashing. Im praying, fingers crossed, that this is not temporary and that the iron is doing what its supposed to be doing.

As far as his behavior and everything else...still working on it. His anger outbursts, irritability, and over all emotional state remain the same but the Neuro said it can take up to three months to see a big enough difference.


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