Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Have we stopped the peeing issues?

One of the issues our family has been struggling with for a long time is peeing issues with our son. He's old enough by now to understand the basics that most boys his age know such as you pee in private and in a toliet (or if your in the wild in the bushes) however, it is only until recently that I found out why he kept doing this. What it all boiled down to was CONTROL.
My husband and I have gone nuts but it took me sitting down with my son creating a senerio with his toys about peeing everywhere to understand that it had to do with the fact that my son was doing this because he was mad that someone told him no. There have also been the situations that he has not liked the noise/look/smell of the bathroom.
I don't have a permanent solution and I can't say what we did with our son is the first or best approach you should use. I just happened to use my son's favorite topic (earth science). Seeing my son pees a lot in the house I told him that like with most liquid it spreads as he's seen water spill from the table move into a large puddle of water on our floor. I talked about how liquid assorbs into the wood and walls and floor and weakens it. Then I was terribly mean and told him if he kept doing it when an earthquake comes the walls he's weakened will fall down first.
I felt horrible but I had to get him to QUIT peeing and find other ways to gain control so now that the peeing has stopped (we've gone over 2 months!) we're working on other ways to deal with the issues hoping to give him more skills before he realizes that I lied so it's not an issue.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our SPD Christmas Survival Plan

One thing I have noticed about the holiday season is how overwhelming Christmas can be for a child with SPD or Autism. The lights, the presents, the stress, the noise and travel all add up and while it might not lead to a melt down on Christmas the days following are typically when we see the results of Christmas. This year we thought about previous Christmas' to help us determine what to do this year. Here is what we decided:

  • Anticipation of celebration is very high and so we decided to skip Christmas service. We know church is going to be more full than normal as 2 services combine into one. Add people with loud music and chaos and it just doesn't work for our child that well. If it was mellower then we'd consider but our church has grown considerably. Not to mention the anticipation to get home. Instead we decided to stay home and do the Christmas story with our kids.
  • We decided NOT to go to relatives on Christmas day. We will drop by on Christmas Eve but once again the preparation to go and come home is a lot of work when you multiply it by 3 children. This isn't something that is always taken lightly at other family members house especially if you are breaking tradition but sometimes it's good to pull back on a day that is going to be out of schedule for your child.
  • Rather than fussing with reading name tags on presents this year we decided to go and wrap presents without name tags. We instead allowed the kids to pick a character wrapping paper. This we're experiementing with in hopes that the kids will quit trying to open one another's presents due to the inability to read.
  • We decided to also not put presents under the tree until Christmas Eve. We also decided that our motion detector will be put up on Christmas Eve as well in case we have some early birds.
  • Lastly, we chose our children's presents this year different. We kept in mind two questions:
    • WHAT WILL HELP THEM WITH THIER SPD ISSUES - This will help me throughout the year as well as doing OT or PT with them.
    • WHAT WILL LAST - This just happens to be something that is common sense. More expensive but longer lasting meaning cost effectiveness especially seeing it's less destructable.
Overall, things this year we're also trying to be more laid back about. We've talked to our kids and let them know that the house has to be CLEAN before Christmas presents. Having things clean means that things can easily be put away and there is room to play  not to mention one of our gifts to them is a climbing toy made of what looks like colored PVC piping. We need room which means that the house has to be clean to set it up.

We're also going to be changing the food we eat to a less snack type food to a more healthy focused Christmas. Sure we'll have goodies but just not all the food that is considered 'junk'. We also limited candy this year as well because our kids scour the house looking for it at all hours.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Twas the night before an SPD Christmas

Saw this and just had to share.

T’was the Night Before an SPD Christmas


T’was the Night Before an SPD Christmas
By Patty, her husband and Hartley

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The snack packs, arranged on the counter with care,
In hopes, on our journey we’d be well prepared.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Chex Mix danced in their heads;

Ma in her hoodie, and I in my sweats,
were to put away pillows and therapy nets.
When in the back room there arose such a clatter,
I ran at full sprint to see what was the matter.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a puzzled old man buried up to his ears,
(In scooter boards, swings, and small colored spheres.)
Poor devil had brushed ‘gainst our therapy stash,
When it came down around him it made such a crash!

He recovered with grace, so lively and quick,
That I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
"What is all this stuff that you people collect?
Are you Circus performers?”--the old man interjects—
“I came here with toys, for the boys and your girl
But looking around I think ‘what in the world?’

This room that would normally have children’s stuff
Is packed to the gills with equipment enough
To start your own CIA torturing session!
Tell me I’m wrong and you’re not!” (oh good heavens!)

My wife and I snickered and held out our hands,
And reassured Nick we’d had no evil plans.
“Our kids have a condition; they have a hard time—
They yell when it smells and they climb up the blinds.

At first we didn’t know just what to think,
But eventually found an OT who could speak
To their curious quirks and aversion to crowds
And toothpaste and barbers and things that are loud.”

St. Nick answered back, "So, then they misbehave?"
We answered with, "Actually, no, they're really quite brave.
Kids with SPD deal with all kinds of things,
Like big hugs, itchy tags, and loud alarm rings,
Or can't get enough and spend hours on swings.
You see, our children are sensitive to all that life brings.
Yet do very well with a consistent routine.
But it isn't bad behavior you see when they yell,
But rather a problem that is hard to tell.

Our kids work hard, at therapy and play
Spending hours and hours and hours each day
Trying to find ways to control their bodies,
And working hard not to look naughty.
But what they need is understanding, and some help along the way,
Because our kids amaze us, each and every day."

The old man looked surprised, at what we had shared,
Small children with parents who did what we dared.
To seek out help, and look far and wide,
Turning over each rock, letting nothing hide.
Until we found what they needed, what would make them feel whole,
For families like ours St. Nick couldn't leave coal.

So, Nick with the bundle of toys on his back,
Frowned and thought, then sullenly sat,
(And mumbled to himself which took us aback):
“I’m quite at a loss, I don’t know what to give
To children who struggle while trying to live
In a world that is already noisy and bumpy
And twisty and scary and thorny and jumpy—"

Then he rifled again through his sack and reposed
While he tugged at his beard, and scratched at his nose
(And he huffed and he chuffed and he shifted his clothes)
Then with a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
He drew the sack wide till the seams popped some threads,
Dug in his hand and pulled out a small box
(With very small writing) --but before he could talk
He ungloved his hand to wipe soot from his eye
(Or was it a tear? Or perhaps a sty?)

So he bid us farewell, and went back to his work,
He filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
While giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

I said to Ma, as she turned towards the tree,
"Who knows what St. Nick left us, we'll have to see.
Yet we gave him something great, I say with fairness,
We sent him on his way with a new found Awareness."
Which is a gift to our kids, in a different kind of way,
Because when all understand SPD, that will be a new day!

Now we looked o’er the copious gifts left behind,
The tiny collages of paper and twine,
The moon-sparkled ribbons, the plastic that shined,
We spied the small box for the children to find.
“The best gifts can be pretty small--” Ma started then said,
“But our best gifts of all are still snuggled in bed.”

This Holiday season, you SPD Fathers and Mothers,
You cousins and nephews and sisters and brothers,
When you wake in the morning and throw off the covers
(And tear into presents while everyone hovers)
Do you think ‘Will I get what I wanted this year?’
Or realize ‘all that you need is right here!’
You might think it’s corny, but surely remember
Your children are better than any gift in December.

And in case you were wondering what Santa had stashed,
It may not surprise you, it might make you laugh,
“What did the children receive?” you may ask?
Well when the snowy chips are down…
…Even Santa gives cash.