Is it age or exhaustion when you pull into the circle drive to drop your four-year-old son off in front of his brothers high school instead of his communications class? Yep, this happened to me on Monday morning. My mind must have wondered off into replaying Sunday nights bedtime routine while I was driving this morning.
I cried my son to sleep last night.
May have to read this last sentence again because it typically would be the other way around. I wish I could say this does not happen that often but I would be not telling the truth because it tends to happen more and more the older he gets. You see, the older he gets, the more he learns, the more he wants and the harder it is for him to tell me his needs when he still is struggling to communicate. As a baby, a mother can anticipate most of their child’s needs but this gets harder the older they get. There are times raising a child with special needs can be very hard.
It was a perfect Sunday and we all in the holiday spirit getting our lights all completed outdoors. Russ and Clark Griswold (what I call Cameron and Brad) even added some lights and decorations to the back yard this year which I just loved seeing the lights reflect off the pool.
Cody’s sensory processing changes all the time. At times he seeks more sensory input. For example, he will start spinning in circles and could truly win the most spins from any kid on the playground. And other times, the sensory input can be very overwhelming causing extreme anxiety that at times will turn into a meltdown. Oddly enough, every child’s sensory input is different and can change frequently (literally daily) and then when you top this with a child that is nonverbal and gets frustrated with not being able to communicate, it just gets to be too much for him and a lot for any parent to be able to handle.
You tend to get very good with your breathing techniques and then pretend to pat yourself on your back realizing the one having the meltdown has taught you such patience you once did not have exists now.
Routine grooming after bath routines for most children can be easy and become a learning opportunity for most parents but for Cody Rivers, he would rather walk 100 miles on his hands in the snow then get his toe nails clipped. You see, Brad and I had the discussion how desperately these needed trimmed over a week ago but it takes that long for us to mentally prepare to take this challenge on simply because it frightens Cody so much and we understand how overwhelming this can be for him. We often times will let things go (like his hair) but when the toe nails start curling in and can cause ingrown issues, you finally have to build the strength up and just do it. I am sure there are others of you reading this that can relate completely.
We were able to get his toe nails trimmed and what felt like 1 hour was only 10 minutes. Yes, he was extremely upset and the tears managed to continue all the way up the stairs to get ready for bedtime. This is when it got worse. A solid hour later expressing every emotion this kid had inside of him, I finally got him to lay in his bed. I laid beside him, pulled his covers and weighted blanket across his lap, took his hand and held it across his chest over his heart and from pure exhaustion, my sweet boy immediately closed his eyes and fell asleep. I laid there looking at his tender face and that is when I could feel tears running from my eye on his pillow we both were sharing. Even while asleep, his breathing was still trying to gasp for air from crying so much. I laid there until he took a deep breath and I knew he was relaxed.
I kept thinking if he could just have shared those emotions he was having with me, I would have been able to help him better calm down. Then I question, did it just escalate to where you just ride the storm and comfort him along the way?
Either way, it’s no way you like to see your child. I am sure every parent with typical children and special needs have all experienced something similar.
I posted this saying I found on Cody’s page this week:
Parents who have children with special needs, also have special needs.
They need to know more than the average parent.
They need to do more than the average parent.
They need more patience than the average parent….& so much more.
I dedicate this entry too all the wonderful special needs parents I have met over the last few years.
Lastly, THANK YOU Rock your Speech for making me a puzzle pin! I have it on my fleece jacket and wear it every day! I love that you inspire children to find their voices through music!