Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
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I think that in order for him to be able to express his needs in words, the sensory stuff first needs to be not so rough on him. The key to getting him to use his words is working with the sensory issues (an occupational therapist) AND then to catch the sensory issues BEFORE they become overwhelming to him. Once his in 'flip out' mode, it's too late. Then you have to deal with the chaos of the meltdown and mop up as best you can.
The other thing about sensory issues is that they're cumulative. So, something that might bother my ds just a little bit at 8 am when he's well fed and well rested becomes a MAJOR issue at 5 pm after a long day at school and before dinner.
Also, kids with sensory issues don't self regulate well - they have a very hard time calming themselves down once they get overwhelmed.
I would definitely do some reading - for you and dh if you can get him to do it. I would read: Sensational Kids - my first choice because it's researched based and it has some pretty concrete things you can do to help out your kids; Raising a Sensory Smart Child also has good suggestions and the Out of Sync Child is also good.
It's a mind shift, but if you (or probably more accurately your dh) can get past thinking that this behavior is willful, and look for the underlying cause, you'll find that your parenting shifts, and your ability to deal with this meltdowns shifts too. So, if you were wearing a shirt that had a pin left over from sewing, and it was poking you hard, what would you first do? You probably wouldn't say anything - you'd struggle to get the shirt off. Well, tags might well have the same 'feeling' to him. It's not just a little discomfort, it's MAJORLY uncomfortable. And if it's the 5th overwhelming thing of the morning?
I still struggle with this with my dh. Dh doesn't need to eat regularly. Ds does. And so, I often come home to find them at loggerheads with ds having a meltdown because he hasn't eaten in 3-4 hours, and dh complaining that he "needs to learn" x, y or z. I try to point out that he can't learn if he's too hungry and/or overstimulated. And then of course, 2 days later, I'm grumpy with ds because he's behaving badly because he's overwhelmed/hungry!
Lynn, academic, wife, WOHM to T (4/01) and M (5/04)