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.


  1. This sounds very familiar. I get the brunt of our son's aggression as well, often when I'm trying hardest to HELP him...and the sweetness is there, somewhere, but it's rare that we see it lately. I'm sending big hugs to you, because I know it's hard!

  2. I would love to have your support in raising awareness for SPD by adding our "A Sensational Celebration" Event that we are hosting for The SPD Foundation button to your blog. Please take a moment to see how are event works and enter our very first Entry for the 30 prizes in 30 days giveaway event. I think our efforts are going to make a HUGE impact on getting the word out there about SPD.
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    Debbie @
    Lucas's Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder