Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two kids in one?

Most people who know Brady love his sweet personality and love of life, not to mention his hilarious antics and funny quotes. He's very smart and wants to know everything about everything. He's a wonderful big brother, making sure Henry is ok when he cries, wanting him to play in his room with him, and teaching him how to do "big kid things". He tells us he loves us all the time.  He loves his friends and makes them cards and wants them to come over all the time.

And then there's his other side. The side that slaps, kicks, scratches when you touch him to try to get his attention when he's ignoring you. The side that runs to attack you because you did something that he didn't like. The side that kicks you in the gut if you try to brush his skin or help put on his shoes when he's not in the mood. This side of Brady is starting to get scary when it shows up.

Brady has always been an aggressive kid. When he was a toddler, he was usually the first one to hit at playgroups and would run and tackle kids at his gym class. Sometimes, he'd be standing up for himself when someone took his toy and that was pretty normal for that age. But it was the times where it was completely out of the blue that were hard to handle. How do you help a kid "use their words" when you had no idea what he was trying to say? As he started talking better, things got better, at least in public, and when it did happen, I'd at least be able to see why it happened. As we learned about his SPD, I realized that he was doing these things at playgroups and gym class because he wanted to leave (that was usually the consequence) and couldn't tell me in an appropriate way. And then I felt guilty for putting him in those overstimulating situations.

We really persued the SPD diagnosis because he was having problems in 3yr old preschool. Whenever they lined up, he pushed and they dominoed. When another kid got into his personal space, they'd get a toy thrown in their face or pushed down or hit. After several months of OT, he did beautifully in 4 yr old preschool. We still had some problems here and there, it's just in his nature, but it was manageable. Then came the summer and a big increase in the aggression, most of it aimed at me.

We have just finished reading "The Exposive Child" and it has definitely helped with the predictible explosions, when I know that something is coming that might cause one. But usually the aggression comes out when someone does something that he wasn't expecting in his mind, or does it the wrong way. Or, if he doesn't want to do something that needs to be done, he'll either ignore me or talk over me. I used to be successful is getting him to listen if I touched his shoulders. But lately, he runs away from me, and if I'm successful in getting close to him, I get hit or kicked.

I just scheduled a new OT evaluation, but couldn't get in until the end of September! Grrr..... So, for now, I'm banking on a new dedication to his picture schedule, sensory diet, and just hoping that the routine of school in September helps to allow us to see the sweet, caring child that we all know he truly is.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Playgroup Bully?

Well, it happened once again. Not surprising to me at this point. I've been dealing with Brady being the playgroup bully since we started with playgroups. He's such a sweet, loving kid that I hate to think that other kids won't want to play with him because if he doesn't get his way they are likely to get hit, kicked, or pushed.

All the big kids went out to play on the playset and, as usual, it ended with a  little girl coming to tell us that Brady hurt her. Apparently, there was a minor thing earlier where he hit a couple people. Then, later on, one of the girls come in with scrapes on her face. She said Brady kicked the door of the clubhouse in and hit her. Brady told me that they were being mean saying that he wasn't allowed to come in. I'm just getting really worried about him and his social skills. Everytime someone does something he doesn't want, he tries to get his way by kicking/hitting/pushing. I'm at a loss as to how to help him. He knows what he is supposed to do, but just can't do it in the heat of the moment. I'm scared no one is going to want to play with him anymore. He didn't seem to have these problems at preschool this year (but did the year before), so I'm hoping he'll do okay in Kindergarten in the fall. He's also become much more aggressive with me lately, and I don't really know how to handle it.

I don't know if it would help or not, but I'm thinking about calling to see if we can get back into some OT.

If anyone out there has dealt with this, please let me know what, if anything, helped.