I met a young mom at a presentation I gave this past week on Behavior: The Language of Children. All throughout the presentation, I watched her nod and write, and connect with what I was saying about the various roots of seemingly behavior problems in children.
She left at the end of the presentation and then came back a few minutes later and asked if she could talk to me. She told me about how her five year old son’s behavior was driving her crazy. That he never stopped moving, was challenging to re-direct, and that the parts of the presentation regarding sensory issues or possible ADHD were resonating with her. I gave her some resources and places to start. She spoke about how she knows that there is more to his story than the average child, but was struggling with people understanding or believing her. I told her that a mom’s gut is always right.
Flashback to 26 or so years ago, as I sat crying in my pediatrician’s office, saying those same words, “he drives me crazy.” Wondering how it was possible to love your son so much, but have moments when you didn’t like him, not one little bit. Being told by the pediatrician that he was fine. Twenty-six years ago, sensory integration dysfunction was not a known thing. To this day, I try very hard not to get lost in the regret that if I had known and understood what was driving my son’s non-stop engine and the sensitivities that he had (and still has), I would have and could have been a very different mom to him.
I smiled with this young mom and told her that while the sensory-related challenges might still drive her nuts more days than not, and that the sensory piece is related to his temperament and will always be a factor, things should get significantly better with OT and just by her understanding the “why” of it all.
Note: If you suspect sensory challenges in your child, and have not read the Out of Sync Child, it is a wonderful resource. As I went looking for the link to the book for you, I discovered that for us moms of older sensory children, the Out of Sync Child Grows Up will be coming out on May 26th and is available for pre-ordering! Click on the book cover pictures to find the books on Amazon.