tough time parenting my 3 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-07-2009, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Aloha all!

I have a three year old boy who has a history of severe sensory issues, aka sensory processing/sensory integration disorder.
We have seen an occupational therapist, and have taken her recommendations (brushing, lots of hard play, swimming, swinging, no gluten/dairy, etc). The brushing, etc, may have helped, however, the thing that seemed to help the most was seeing our local gentle touch chiropracter. We have to keep up with regular appointments in order to maintain my son's state of well-being, but it gets expensive. I am looking into taking my son in for a urine analysis to see if he has any chemical imbalances, and if so, may start him on special supplements according to what the outcome might be.

Lately, he has been hitting, pushing, and pulling hair when playing with other children. That is how we were alerted that something wasn't right in the first place approximately a year ago, and proceeded to get him tested. Since the addition of the therapies previously mentioned, he has gone in and out of phases of doing really well, and then not so well at all. Right now, it feels as if we are back at square one. The "regression" has coincided with a stomach bug that my son contracted a little over a week ago. He is still recovering, and still very sensitive, hence the reoccurence of hitting, biting, etc. I was well aware of the fact that when his immune system is struggling, that he regresses as well.

Along with this, my son is EXTREMELY needy of attention, won't let us out of his sight, "bossy" and demanding. Lots of screaming and crying....all the time. He often gets overwhelmed, and sucks his fingers when in this state.

It is heartbreaking to see him go through this, as well as energy draining and overwhelming for us. We are also at a loss because we have spent three years applying gentle discipline principles that we have picked up from various resources such as Connection Parenting classes, a local conscious parenting class offered by a therapist here in the community, etc. I feel like pulling my hair out and screaming "HELP"!

I also should mention that we moved into our new home, just down the road from our rental, three months ago, and had a new baby 7 weeks ago.

He is stressed, we are stressed, don't have each and every moment for him anymore, and he still very much needs and demands it.

We would like to send him to preschool in August when he is three and a half, but are afraid that he may wreak havoc on the other children, etc. Also, it is very stressful, because i cannot take him out to play among other children right now. I spend alot of energy staying on top of him so that he won't hurt others, and when he does, i apologize to the other child for my son's behaviour. Then we sit down and practice identification of feelings, etc, with him, after we talk about the other child's feelings. Any suggestions?
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#2 of 5 Old 03-07-2009, 06:37 PM
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I am sorry you are going through such a tough spot!

I am close to a 13-year-old boy who has similar struggles to your son. It is so frustrating for everyone involved, but he is also the brightest, most wonderful and thoughtful child I know. When your son's behavior is challenging, always try to remember how wonderful he is!

I think you should go ahead and visit some daycare centers and interview the directors. My dd is not particularly aggressive, but I will say that they do a much better job gently redirecting aggressive behaviors than I do! I feel totally great having my daughter there, even though there are children present who are not always nice and gentle with her, the staff to an excellent job of caring for all of the children. I also think it has helped dd to learn more about appropriate boundaries and behavior to have another set of adults giving her consistent feedback. You could give it a try.

I also just want to offer . Be gentle with him and with yourself. It sounds like you have gone through a lot of significant changes recently. Give it some time, do the things that you know help both of you feel better, take a break!
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#3 of 5 Old 03-07-2009, 11:43 PM
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Good golly. We're in the same place. I have an eight week old and a 2.75 year old who has started hitting/pushing/biting at preschool and with us (not the baby so far). Our preschool has been super supportive and is trying to work with him. They are very GD and it's a coop, so I have been there some days with him. I don't know if I'll be able to keep him in the school's too hard to have him with other toddlers at the moment and he seems to do better when he's just home with me (tough on me, but perhaps easier ultimately). Ugh! Hope some people have good advice for us!!
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#4 of 5 Old 03-11-2009, 10:04 PM
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It's so hard. I know. My son had sensory integration problems so bad he wouldn't eat and had failure to thrive involving multiple hospitalizations. The first 5 years were the hardest.

He also had developmental delays/disabilities, speech problems, bipolar disorder, and a genetic immune disorder. I had 2 older sons from a previous marriage. My other 2 sons had medical problems.

Preschool may be a bad idea. It seems like it would be good for him (and you) but it may take more energy than it's worth and he may pick up bad behaviors from the other children. The kinds of things kids might learn at preschool are easy to teach at home. Know anyone that doesn't know their colors or how to count!

Have you heard of respite care? It can be a big help. We had respite care for 4 years with the same care giver. He was a special ed major at a local university.

You might be able to benefit from talking to a local experienced AP mom, someone with special needs kids. You might be able to find someone through LLL. I used to babysit (rich) families with special needs kids and help their families learn how to live with them.

We homeschooled. My son has an IQ of 80 but 'passes' as normal. He has a driver's license and a job making several dollars over minimum wage. We moved to AZ a year ago. Before that we lived in IN and he worked for Subway for 3 years. He did his job so well at Subway they wanted to clone him.

He still has a limited diet because of how foods feel. He has to wear soft clothes. He doesn't like showers. If you want to torture him you spray him with water or drop lotion on him. He is a good writer and would probably be willing to write you if you would like.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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#5 of 5 Old 03-17-2009, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you to all who replied. i guess the sensory thing is a special needs issue, and that there really isn't much that can be done aside from continuing therapy with an o.t. and really consciously staying on top of it as a parent. posting this is more about connection with others who may be rowing down a similar river.

to ainh: i can TOTALLY relate in that sometimes it is too overwhelming to have my child around other toddlers, and that it might be easier to just keep my son at home. i have seriously conteplated this however, i recognize the importance of learning social skills early for we are, as human beings, very social creatures. not to say that hermitage is not possible, but it is not the path that i choose, nor do i picture it to be the path that my son ultimately wants/needs/desires. takes alot of work and loads of energy, but i have to believe that it will pay off in the long run.

to foreverinbluejeans: i have never heard of respite care,but will look into it. we live in hawaii, and ever since our son arrived, we have been increasingly aware of the lack of special needs services in our community. i do hope there is something of this flavor here for us. thank you for the suggestion.
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