Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Central Minnesota
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It sounds like everyone needs a break. Can you, and are you willing to, provide some respite for them? A weekend here or there?
You've been pretty vague about exactly what your sister's challenges are, as SPD can be a very broad range of experiences.
Does your sister get any special education services at school? Does she have an IEP or a 504?
No. She does best in school. In fact, during the school year things are a lot better. She gets all S or S+ grades, and is a lot happier during the school year. She goes to a private school.
It really sounds like the structure and stimulation are good for her then. How structured is the home environment and how much really engaging stimulation is there?
Ok, I was going to copy and paste something, but I think I'll try and wing it. I don't know how much of this is her SPD, and this may not be very PC-these are just the things I see that cause the most stress and difficulty.
M has major problems with touch. No "real" waistbands on pants, prefers very loose clothing, won't wear socks without a battle (they are required for her school uniform), no graphics on t-shirts (screen print), and I know there are a lot more "rules" with clothes. Her bedsheets must be flannel. All year round. She has to be tightly tucked in at night, if her sheets get untucked she can't handle it. Scared of the dark, still sucks her thumb constantly.
There are some really great clothing companies that will help a lot with this- also, a lot of SPD kids prefer clothes from the thrift store as they are softer to begin with. It also sounds like she might benefit from a weighted blanket at night. A nightlight is a pretty easy thing to come by- and some are pretty 'cool' my daughter's is a color-changing LED light in a peace sign so it doesn't look little-kiddish.
With regards to food, she overeats. She eats all the time, mostly junk. And she puts ketchup on everything. She won't try new foods, she won't eat 99% of my mom's cooking.
Food stuff is hard. It's not a good battleground. We make it a point to always have things we know DD will eat accessible, and while we do ask her to try new things- repeatedly- we respect her limits. As for the junk- if no one buys it, it's not in the house to begin with, so that seems pretty simple to solve. The ketchup is something I would let go of as an issue.
She could jump on her trampoline for days. This is the only activity she does, except watch the t.v. which is always turned up way to loud, or listen to her discman, which again, is at full volume.
She is seeking stimulation. She probably needs a rich environment. I would also suggest that she sould do well with a good assortment of 'heavy work' tasks assigned throughout the day. For DD this is, stacking wood, mopping, moving rocks, taking out the garbage, hauling out baskets of wet laundry to hang... you can get creative- it really needs to be 'heavy' though.
Any negative interaction sends her into hysteria. Telling her no results in a huge tantrum.
We used to have this problem, and we still do have challenges with HUGE feelings. The only thing that works here is to remain absolutely resolute, and absolutely calm and quiet. The more she escalates, the quieter we get. She's going on nine and it is a million times better than it was a year ago even.
She obsesses and worries about everything. She's a very anxious child and has many "phobias".
Ah- I understand. We had a complete screaming meltdown because dd had to walk past a grasshopper in the hallway to get to the bath she had been told to take. I physically forced her to move past it, and we took an opportunity at a different time to look at one outside. I won't eliminate scary objects from her environment completely because she needs to learn how to work through it.
She can't play by herself. She hates to be in a room by herself, and constantly hovers over others. She overstimulates my son-is always in his face, being loud, constantly trying to force him to do something or play a certain way. She has a meltdown when he doesn't play with a toy the "right" way.
She needs to have a chance to practice social skills. A lot. In a safe environment. She also will need to be reminded that there are other ways to do things, and her way is not the only way- even when that makes her uncomfortable.
She does well in school, but does not test well. She has a couple of good friendships with girls her age, but fights often with them and is very sensitive if one of them doesn't focus only on her.
There's a lot more, but the big issue for my mom is that if everything isn't just so, there's a tantrum/hysteria.
The hysteria has to be met with empathy. Exhausting as it is, those feelings are very real to these kids. It really is the end of the world! at least, that's how it feels. It also has to be met with calm. Every. Single. Time.
What clothing companies are idea? This would help my mom a lot, as shopping for my sister is a horrid task for her. She has a uniform for school, but for home/vacation/summer she spends hundreds and then my sister will wear two outfits. Also, my sister is plus sized.
Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)