Thursday, November 7, 2013

Self Awareness

Not my own.

I prefer to remain blissfully ignorant of much of myself. Too confusing.

But I really really REALLY love psychoanalyzing others, and who better to practice on than your own children!

See, kids are like animals. They either can't talk yet or have a hard time expressing feelings or pinpointing a pain or discomfort. Horses, of course, taught me a lot about this. We are constantly trying to feel FOR them.

Like...they're tight on this rein so something is going on with this hind leg. Or they're swishing their tail and tightening their back during this move so something about that is uncomfortable or difficult for them.

Inside every rider is a teeny veterinarian, just like inside every mom is a teeny doctor, much to the dismay of the entire community of medical professionals.

We've spent the last 5 years trying to understand how James feels. Because he's a freakishly good kid, but when he freaks out irrationally at's....irrational. And not normal kid irrational. Fact is, something is, at the very least, uncomfortable. We know that SPD causes people to be uncomfortable in their own skin. Things that should feel good to them in reality feel noxious and threatening. And it's very hard to know how to comfort someone when the traditional means are off-putting.
There are a few things that bring James immense comfort in his difficult world, that I KNOW other parents certainly don't understand. Yes. He's five years old and sleeps with a pacifier. Yes. I know he's going to need braces. He's my son. He was gonna need 'em anyway. And yes. He almost always has a specific toy in his hands at times. It's a bit odd but the alternative is a full blown panic attack, and he can handle being at school without them, so I'm not worried about the long term repercussions. Baby steps, people, baby steps.
What I worry about is: what is going on in his head and body that causes all of this behavior (the fidget, the eye rubbing, the zoning out, the incredible focus on certain things, the outbursts, the feeding and gut issues). All the therapists we've seen over the years said the same thing, "there is an element of this that will get easier as they get older and can understand you, and you, in turn, can understand them."
So I'm tucking James in two nights ago, and with one hand fussing with his eyelashes, he started this conversation:
"Mommy, you know what?"

"What, buddy?"

"Mommy, I don't want to be so itchy all the time."

"Where are you itchy?"

"I'm itchy everywhere. All the time. I'm always itchy. Eve isn't itchy all the time but I am."

"Okay kiddo, well remember all those labs we just did?"

He nods.

"In a few more weeks they're going to help us find out why you're itchy and help us make it all better, okay?"

"Okay. Mommy you know what else?"

"What, buddy?"

"I'm tired all the time. I don't want to be tired all day anymore."

I have him a big hug to hide myself tearing up and said, "okay bud. They're gonna help us with that too. And soon we'll get some new vitamins and learn what the best kind of food is for you to eat and feel all better."

Please God, let them help.

1 comment:

  1. Lots and lots of hugs. There is good news -your son probably has gluten (protein in wheat) and casein (protein in dairy) intolerances. My son also has SPD and the difference since we removed wheat and dairy from his diet are remarkable. He too complained about itching and having "ants in my belly", had rashes, slapped cheek look, irritability, etc.. Google "gfcf and spd" and you will find so much helpful information. It's the first line of offense for autism (and most children with autism have sensory issues). I hope you give it a chance and have as much success for James that we have had for our little boy.