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PPL who just don't understand
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IBKerrys Offline
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Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2011
#1
PPL who just don't understand

I'm a bit on the frustrated side and need some more advice.
Yesterday I asked my DS show my mom how well he could read. He sat with the book and read the beginning sounds, but when we got to the paragraphs he started saying, "Its too hard. I can't do it." etc. to which I replied, "Ok... perhaps you can read to her another time." My mom, however, didn't like that reply. She started saying..."Well... I guess you really can't. I guess you're too little to read after all." I'm sure you all know what is coming next. Yep... a major meltdown. He started crying then it got worse and worse to the point of a full blown fit. We put the book away and then he got louder and worse saying that he REALLY wanted to read the book, but by that time it was too late for him. My other two kids were sleeping and we have wood floors and sound travels very well. I know they are used to his 'fits' due to self preservation but my mom insists that they don't get quality sleep and insists that the house it totally silent when she is there. Well... this fit continues and she ends up putting her hand over his mouth (not hurting him at all, but just to muffle the noise while she takes him to the other room) Now...I'm standing right there this whole time, but my MS has been acting up and I haven't been feeling well this season due to the heat and so she was trying to help me out by taking care of him for me. I appreciate that from my mom, but in the same token... I'm his mom. I love my mom dearly and she would do anything for me, but she just doesn't know how to handle my SPD kids very well. She is from the school that says, "You're GOING to do this if I have to make you and you WILL learn you lesson from me RIGHT NOW!" She didn't say those words, and once again, I'm not bashing her, she just doesn't understand that if you continue to antagonize him its just going to get SO much worse before it gets better. ANYWAY... so she takes him to the laundry room, sits him down and sits in front of him. She kept saying that you CAN calm yourself down and you WILL calm yourself down and I don't know who told you you COULDN'T calm yourself down but they lied to you. Well... that went over like a lead balloon as you can imagine and he just got worse and worse. As she was asking him, "Why are you crying?" and he would reply, "I don't know" "Then why don't you just stop?" "I can't". I am not a very assertive person, but as I walked in and tried to tell her that he needed his chewy (that he was begging for) she told me, "No, he doesn't need his chewy, he can calm himself down." Well... eventually he had a lull, and as we all know that just means they take a breather for a few minutes before the storm re energizes and life gets rough. He calmed down long enough for him to give her his chewy and left. After she left he was hungry so I made him a graham cracker and peanut butter, but he wanted a whole (rectangle) one instead of a 'broken' (square) one with a rectangle on top. I only had one left and couldn't fill his request and so... here we go again. He went on with no stopping for a goo 2 hours until something inside him snapped and he started hitting me. Now, he KNOWS that hitting is wrong and after he realized what he was doing, he ran off and hit under my pillows on my bed. I stood there stunned. He had really hurt me and I had already been in tears because this had been going on for so long and I was spent and all I could do it stand there for a few minutes. I chose not to go after him because I wanted to see what he would do. I didn't hear anything from him for about 3 minutes then I hear his feet padding on the floor. He says, "Mom, I need to tell you something." While he crying trying desperately to get control of himself. "What is it Iz" I say, "I'm sorry I hit you" "Why did you hit me?" "I don't know. I am just so upset and can't stop crying." (as he is wailing). My heart broke and I picked him up and we both cried for about 20 minutes until the little kids woke up and then we all go involved in some activity. He was on VERY unstable emotional ground for the rest of the night and had a headache (duh!), went to bed WILLINGLY and right to sleep. He had deep purple circles under his eyes and they were really swollen.
Am I a terrible mom? Any sugestions on what I could have done better? While he was throwing the fit after my mom left, he was SO violent (kicking, hitting, pushing) I just stood back and let him cry. I gave him the tools he needed to start the process of calming down: squeezes, hugs, brushing, vibration, chewy, lovies and still... no luck. I just breaks my heart to see him like this. He is really a sweet boy, but I'm about to pull my hair out. Please... anything you think that could help, I'm game.
Thanks for listening to my rambling and yet another LONG post in advance. There just really isn't anyone else who understands and I have just felt like crying for the past month.
Blessings to you all!
"Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, but today... today is a very special gift. That's why it's called the 'present'. Live like its your last with a smile on your face and a song in your heart."

Until... Sarah
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beck7422 Offline
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Posts: 342
Joined: Jun 2010
#2
RE: PPL who just don't understand

I don't know how to deal with violent behavior. Sorry. That is my greatest weakness. I usually just leave the places where the violence is happening.

You are not a terrible mom. The only thing I could suggest is being as assertive as you wanted to be and stopping the tantrum early when your mom was aggrevating it. You may have had to deal with your mom's tantrum after you calmed down your son, but at least your mom could probably handle having a tantrum better.
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IBKerrys Offline
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Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2011
#3
RE: PPL who just don't understand

Thanks Beck. I needed to hear that and I'm sorry that you're dealing with this too.

"Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, but today... today is a very special gift. That's why it's called the 'present'. Live like its your last with a smile on your face and a song in your heart."

Until... Sarah
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AngelaVA Offline
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Posts: 163
Joined: Nov 2010
#4
RE: PPL who just don't understand

The problem here from my view was your mother. If she is setting him off like that, she needs to be told firmly to stop, if she cannot stop, she needs to leave. You don't need to prove to her how your son will react, she needs to respect you and your parenting decisions. Sometimes when DD is really violent it's all I can do to keep her in a safe place too, but the calming tools are of course better given you have the chance to use them.
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LaneSensorina Offline
Regular

Posts: 75
Joined: Apr 2011
#5
RE: PPL who just don't understand

My oldest son used to have meltdowns that could turn violent. That was always very difficult. I had to distance myself at that point. When ever I got smacked, by anybody, for any reason I could not reliably control my reaction. My instinct is to hit back. The best I could do was walk very quickly into my own room and shut the door and have my own little melt down screaming into my pillow. I do not like this about myself.

The cat accidently clawed me the other day and I smacked her before I could get a hold of myself. I felt really bad. She's a sweet little thing and in no way deserved to be hit. Usually I am patient and kind. Okay, let me be more honest. If I am in control of my environment and nothing is overstimulating me, I am patient and kind. When I smacked the cat I had been listening to a f**&g chainsaw cut down my neighbors tree for half a day. But it was only after I hit the cat that I realized the chainsaw was driving me nuts! I put my earplugs in and my whole day gradually got better.

Hang in there. You are among people who understand.
You are invited to visit my blog www.sensorina.com Heart
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LynnNBoys Offline
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Posts: 277
Joined: Dec 2010
#6
RE: PPL who just don't understand

HUGS! I'm so sorry! That sounds like an awful day! I know it can be easier said than done sometimes but I would try to intercede when your mom is saying/doing things like that. I know it's hard sometimes. I was at a family picnic once and all the kids were playing in the yard and the grown-ups were on the deck talking. My older son who is often slow to warm up in situations (even familiar situations sometimes) was sitting next to me just hanging out. My BIL (my hubby's sister's husband) decided to be a real a$$hole for some reason and really teasing my son in a mean way about why he was just sitting next to me and not playing with the other kids in the yard. I guess I was in such shock over his meanness that I didn't say anything, didn't defend my son and I still kick myself that I didn't tell BIL to just back off!

My mom told me that I was just letting my younger son "push my buttons" (manipulate me) when it comes to his picky eating. Hubby rolled his eyes at me when I bought wiggle seats for the boys to use at dinner time. It drives hubby crazy when they tip their chairs or don't stay in their seats at dinner, so I got the wiggle seats to try to see if it would help. They do help in the fact that they don't tip their chairs and they stay seated--they do wobble around somewhat, but they stay in their chairs! I got an eye roll and a long sigh from hubby. Hubby also yells more when they have meltdowns. I keep telling him that yelling at them will just make the meltdown worse.

HUGS!! I know I feel so alone sometimes in dealing with this. I bring them to all their appointments and therapies, I go to the IEP/PPT meetings, I try to give them a sensory diet at home.
Lynn Shy
mom to 2 boys, one avoider and one seeker
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beck7422 Offline
Regular

Posts: 342
Joined: Jun 2010
#7
RE: PPL who just don't understand

I have been using my exercise ball as a seat recently. I notice my concentration and thinking quality goes up when I use it as a chair.
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Trinitysmom Offline
Newbie

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2011
#8
RE: PPL who just don't understand

Wow I'm new to this site and after reading all these messages I am shocked that everyone deals w/ the horrible melt downs ( that most ppl tell me are behavioral not spd ) I feel so not alone anymore Smile
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beck7422 Offline
Regular

Posts: 342
Joined: Jun 2010
#9
RE: PPL who just don't understand

Most of the meltdowns I have seen in children and adults are due to sensory overwhelmed. Some of the meltdowns may also be due to becoming frustrated on something they can't figure out or mentally deal with.

I have meltdowns when critisized about my laziness. My laziness is usually due to feeling overwhelmed or weak. So I attempt to correct the problem and instead end up shutting down further to the point that I am basically catatonic.

I do better with suggestions on something that needs to be taken care of by me, but recommendations on how the critisizer can help me accomplish that goal. That keeps me from getting emotional. I still might not be able to do the task, but at least I can then respond about what is the problem and why I am useless at the moment.
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LynnNBoys Offline
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Posts: 277
Joined: Dec 2010
#10
RE: PPL who just don't understand

Yep, meltdowns are SPD related. My older son mostly has them now when his routine changes and transitions. New situations and the unknown cause major anxiety for him. When he was younger, his meltdowns were related to sensory overload, especially sounds and light, sometimes light touch. He's better able to handle the input from his senses, but still needs as much of a routine as possible. The more we're able to prepare him for a change to his routine, the better he's able to handle it. He also has meltdowns if he is having a "clumsy" day (I forget the proper SPD terminology--bumping into everything and falling down a lot), crying "Why do I always get hurt?"

I have meltdowns if I'm around a large group of people too much. It just overwhelms me too much and I can't handle it. I need alone time every day to help keep calmer.

I have the same "laziness" too. Some days it feels like everything is a huge huge effort, very overwhelming to do even the most ordinary of tasks. I get very emotional about it as well.
Lynn Shy
mom to 2 boys, one avoider and one seeker
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