Thursday, June 23, 2011


Toileting, for kids with SPD, can be a challenge. 

Well, that's putting it mildly.

Conventional wisdom on toilet training is that you let the child set the pace, and do not push them befoe they are ready.  Unfortunately, if you apply this to the child with SPD, they will be entering middle school still in diapers.

Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it doesn't feel like much of one right now. 

My son is four, and will be five in September.  He's entering kindergarten this fall.  He is doing pretty well with peeing in the toilet.  He still has an occasional accident, but from what I understand, that's to be expected in any kid his age. 

He still, however, will not use the toilet for pooping if he can possibly help it.

What makes it all the more frustrating is that he's used the toilet in circumstances when he had no other choice, so I know he's perfectly capable of doing it.  Generally this happens when we are out, whether at a store or restaurant, and I tell him I have no change of pants at all for him, so he has to hold it until we get home, walk around in soiled pants, or use the toilet. 

We've tried all the suggested tips- prizes, charts with stickers, having him clean himself and the soiled underwear up, you name it.  Nothing has worked.  Recently we've gone to more negative reinforcements- no more Wii playing with Daddy in an evening, for example. 

I just don't know what else to do.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

May 31, 2010

Really? One case proves it doesn't exist??

This guy seems to think that because his method worked for this girl, that means SPD does not exist. Someone needs to explain a few things to him. (And I'd be happy to do so, except for the fact that the Leave A Comment function seems to be disabled. Hmmm...)

1. I'm not a scientist, but even I know that anecdote does not equal data. (Thank you to the smart folks at the messageboard for for teaching me this!)

2. Notice the girl was allowed to pick out her own clothing even after "discipline" was established.

3. Of course, kids are never misdiagnosed with anything. It's totally not a possibility that this ONE CHILD was misdiagnosed and the misdiagnosis happened to be SPD. Does this mean that because some kids are misdiagnosed as having ADHD that ADHD does not exist, too?

4. Also possible- maybe the girl was too visually stimulated by everything that had been in her room up until that point.

5. She could have just given up because she realized her parents were not going to tolerate her trying to communicate her sensory issues to them. This, to me, is the saddest possibility of all.

June 2, 2010

Buzz cut! We went for a haircut today. Haircuts for Frank consist of advanced warnings, beginning two days in advance: "Wednesday after school, we are going to get a haircut."

"But I don't like haircuts!"

"I know, but it needs to be done."

I decided that, it being hot, and because the poor child sadly has inherited my thin, fine hair, which makes it impossible to keep neat-looking, he was going to get a buzz cut. *waits for the groans from all the other SPD mommies* Yes, kids, he was going to get a cut that would require use of the electric trimmer for the entire haircut.

Frank, as noted above, does not like haircuts. He cringes when the stylist uses the electric trimmer (the buzzer, he calls it) to do his sideburns. (He has gotten pretty good with the scissors portion of the program, though- he sits there with a suffering in silence look on his face the whole time, but he no longer sobs hysterically through the whole thing like he used to.)

So, we got to the place we like to go. They are a children's haircut place, a chain, and they're walk-in. Sometimes we can go right in, and sometimes it's an hour wait. I prefer about 20 minutes or so- it's enough time for Frank to get himself accilmated to the sounds, smells, etc of the place, but not so long that he starts getting squirrely. When we got there today, they informed me it'd be about 15 minutes. Awesome. Cars was on the flatscreen, so all was right with the world. He sat on my lap, watched the movie, and I did squeezes on his body, head, and scratched his head a lot.

30 minutes later (yes, he was in fact getting squirrely. Lovely.) we got ushered in. The stylist has done his hair several times before, so she's somewhat familiar with his issues. She also speaks with a very sptrong Spanish accent, so when she talks to him, he always looks at me for translation. I told her that today I wanted a buzz cut, and pointed out another kid who was just leaving. "Buzzed, but not too short- like that kid."

Frank immediately piped up with something that had been on his mind for the last day or so, since I'd told him he'd be getting a buzz cut: "I don't want it to look like Daddy's!" The stylist has never met my husband, so she looked at me. "My husband has no hair," I told her. She stifled a laugh and said, "Okay, honey, it won't look like Daddy's. Promise!"

He did GREAT! I mean, he cringed a lot, and looked at one point like he was maybe getting a little teary-eyed, but my little man soldiered on and got himself through it with flying colors. The stylist gave him a couple of handheld toys to play with, and she played the dumb little movie on the screen by her station they always play for the kids during a haircut, and he made a huge effort to focus on the movie and the toys. I was really proud of him, and told him so. He's not crazy about the haircut, and told me that. I smiled and said, "I really like it, but if you still don't like it by the time we come here next time, you won't get it cut this short again."

As we always do, we walked to Target afterwards and I let him pick a small prize out. He picked out this obnoxious Cars Chick Hicks thing that makes a lot of noise, and is very repetitive. He loves it. I already want to throw it in the backyard- maybe it'll keep the bears away! (For a kid for whom loud sudden noises can be upsetting sometimes, he sure does like the noisiest, most obnoxious toys!)

September 8, 2010

Red-shirting kindergarteners?
So, this article, appeared earlier this week:

It's really got me thinking more about this whole parenting thing in general, and my own child in particular. Frank's birthday is September 20th. The cutoff date in our district is October 1st. Most people in this position, especially with a boy, would "hold back" their child until the September he turns six. We plan on sending him when he turns five, next year. The amount of crap we are getting for this decision is incredible. Everyone from my mother ("This is one of the worst possible educational decisions you could make for him. He will struggle for his entire educational career.") to coworkers ("I held back my son. It was the right decision. I'd do it again.") has an opinion on my son's education, or rather, when that education will officially start.

You're really damned if you do, and damned if you don't when it comes to parenting, I've found. It starts before birth, even: What kind of birth are you planning? You do have a birth plan, right? And, then, the birth itself: Really, you had a c-section? There are entirely too many c-sections in this country. They're not neccessary. Our ancestors gave birth in between working crops and humanity has turned out just fine. Then: What do you mean you're not breastfeeding??? Breast is best! It'll keep your kid from having ear infections! And so on.

I was prepared for a lot of things when I decided I wanted children. I was prepared to lose a lot of sleep, for starters, although, as an insomniac, I haven't noticed much difference from before baby to after. I was prepared to constantly worry about the child. I even knew there'd be a constant roller coaster of emotions that went with motherhood. (When you work in a field that is dominated by women, you learn stuff just by listening at the lunch table.)

I never thought I'd feel like I have to explain every decision I make for my child to people in my life who are not my child's other parent. No, I should not feel like I have to explain things to others, but in real life, I am incredibly nonconfrontational, and telling people to butt out is still a skill I have not yet developed fully.

As for the future kindergartener? Well, my husband and I have taken into account everything about him, his personality, his skills, and his physical development. The only thing that concerns me is the kids who will be a year or sometimes more older than he will be. My concern is that his behavior, which should be age-appropriate for chronological age five years zero months will look not as good compared to age appropriate behavior displayed by kids who are chronological age six years and zero months.

November 11, 2010

My son refuses to use a blanket to sleep. He'll curl up under one to watch cartoons, or to listen to a story, but he refuses to sue one at night, and doesn't seem to be able to articulate why. Up until this point, I haven't been all that concerned about it; we put him in thick footsie pjs during the winter, as well as a layer underneath on really cold nights, and the kid is way more warm-blooded than I am, anyway, so it wasn't a big deal.

But now he's wearing 5T shirts, and 4T pants. I'm having a hard time finding footsie pjs that fit him AND that feel good and don't have any "lines" (seams) to bother him. So, we've been trying to get him to use a blanket at night.

Epic Fail.

He even freaks out when we try and leave a blanket folded at the foot of his bed...or anywhere else in the room, for that matter. I KNOW it's because of his knee-jerk "anything different is bad" thing, but have no clue, short of forcing him to keep the blanket in there with him, to break him of his aversion to using the blanket at night. We've tried several different blankets, all to no avail.

Meanwhile, the kid HAS to be freezing at night. I know I am, and it's only November. I worry about him freezing his little butt off at 2am, but have no idea what to do to change this.

December 20, 2010

I took Frank to the dentist Tuesday morning. This is only the third time he's gone, and it went no better than the forst two times. Actually, it was somewhat worse this time, because he's getting to be too strong for me to hold down! I laid down on the chair, with him on top of me, both my legs crossed, locking his legs into place, my left arm across his chest, like a straitjacket, and my right hand on his forehead, holding his head back. Even so, he managed to wiggle away from my grip several times, screaming his head off the whole time.

I have to say, none of the people at this practice ever blink an eyelash at his behavior. Either screaming bloody murder during a cleaning is par for the course for his age, or they have so many special needs patients (I know they have a lot of autistic kids and kids who have Down Syndrome in their practice) that Frank is easy in comparison. I do know that, after our first visit, the hygenist told me, "Hey, he didn't bite, kick, or punch me, so he was a pretty good patient. As long as he was screaming, his mouth was wide open, so I could do what I had to do!" Better her than me- I'm really quite glad I did not go into pediatric dentistry!

The good news is, we apparently are doing an excellent job with brushing his teeth- no cavities, no spots even close to needing to worry about. The kid's teeth should be pristine- he doesn't eat anything with sugar in it!

Frank, of course, each time behaves as if he's the conquering hero, showing off the new toothbrush and the prizes he got. He also, of course, spends much of that day reminding me that, "We don't need to go back to the dentist for a long time, right Mommy?"

Oh, and with food? Tonight, he took a bite of carrot, chewed, and swallowed. And he only gagged on it once.

I am starting again.

Some of you may know I got hacked big-time this past winter.  My Facebook and two email accounts were all hacked by someone claiming to be me.  He told people I was stranded with my family in London, had been robbed at gunpoint, and needed $2000 wired to me so I could get home.  Fortunately, my friends are all Internet-savvy, and they all realized fairly quickly it wasn't really me.  For starters, if I were going to London at all, it wouldn't exactly be a secret.  (I was there in 2004 and LOVED it.)  Secondly...over Thanksgiving weekend?  Really?  One of the BIGGEST American holidays of the year?  Smooth move, dude.

Anyway, I am going to move some of my old posts from my other blog, the Jersey Girl, over here, and resume posting about my son's sensory issues and how they affect our every day lives.  I hope you enjoy this, and learn much from it!