Thursday, June 17, 2010

His way or the highway (or at least a meltdown)

At almost 5 years old, I would've thought he'd be better about dealing with this by now. Brady comes up with a plan, and if it has to be changed or interuppted, he acts like the world is ending.

Ever since he could communicate, he's been very firm in what he wants. It used to be that a certain person had to get his drink for him, or his sandwich had to be cut a certain way. If you didn't meet his expectations (whether he had told you about them or not), he'd have a fit. It wasn't all that surprising when he was a "terrible two-year-old", but now it's getting really old. He has the words to tell us what he wants and he should have to patience to deal with things if they don't go according to plan.

His poor daddy gets the brunt of this because I know most of his little games and plans and the way he likes things done, but Daddy isn't always in the loop. Two recent examples:

First - When we open the garage door and light pours in, Brady pretends it is fire. He freezes on the stairs until the door is completely open and then has to walk around the light patches on the floor because they'll "burn" him. Major meltdown when Daddy tries to make him finish down the stairs before the door is done opening. And by meltdown, I mean pushing Daddy back up the stairs trying to hit and kick, then running back inside crying for 5 minutes before we could coax him to come back outside to the car. Daddy had NO idea what he did wrong.

Second - On the way to dinner last night, Brady decides he wants us to sit on either side of Henry, and Daddy on the other side of the table. I told him Daddy would want to sit with them, but that is not acceptable in his mind. We get to the restaurant where we're meeting Daddy and Daddy picks up Henry, sits him down in the booth and slides in next to him. Brady starts bawling. After a couple minutes, we manage to calm him down so he can tell Daddy his plan and we figure something out that's agreeable to all. He sometimes calms down fairly quickly, but I don't know how to help him not have the emotional outburst in the first place..

I'm just wondering if/when/how Brady will learn that people can't read his mind so he needs to use his words instead of crying/hitting/kicking/running away when someone does something he wasn't planning on and if/when/how he'll be able to handle a change in plans or do what other people want to do instead.

All that and ..... I really wish he'd stop being so rude to people that try to open or hold the door open for us. He's my designated doorman, but other people don't know that and they are just trying to be polite. Even Daddy forgets sometimes and he gets an earful when that happens.


  1. Boy this sounds soooo familiar to me! Our son reacts the same way when his expectations aren't met or there is a change in plan. Believe me, I know the frustration of feeling like "Ughh Come on, he SHOULD be able to_______!?!?" But in reality, SPD kids just may NOT be able to, without extra help learning those skills.

    We are finally seeing more adaptability in our son the past month. I think this is a result of having begun weekly OT and working so hard to help him stay regulated. It could also partly be that he has reached a new level of maturity since turning 6.

    Hang in there Momma! I know it's tough.

  2. Just found your blog through SPD Network! I am so happy I found it. I've been in Meltdown world lately myself. Hope all is well with your family. It looks like some great reading on here!

  3. I just found your blog as well. I have a 3 year old with SPD and he sounds so much like your son. He doesn't have any speech delays, but yet he still does not communicate to us what he wants if he gets upset. Crying/kicking/hitting, etc. is a big part of our day especially if we're on an outing, no matter how much we try to prepare him.
    It's hard to make plans with other people because Eli can melt down at any moment and he has to have his way or he never recovers. He can't control his emotions at all. Many times we never figure out what caused the outburst.
    Hang in there..hopefully both of our kiddos will improve in time. It helps me to know others are out there who know what I'm going through. Feel free to check out my blog!