Our world has nothing to do with a typical world. Actually on the best days we have our “norm” but it’s unique to our circumstances. This past summer A-man started showing a lot of behaviour issues.
He started throwing tempter tantrums like crazy, squealing on top of his lungs and just became hard to handle.
On top of that as we were going to Lilly’s therapy and both the Speech Therapist & psychologist expressed concern about some of his development.
I was getting a bit worried until we saw his asthma specialist. She pointed out that his asthma and allergies can cause his ears to be off,(He has had a lot of ear problems lately) which can cause issues with sound.
During the same time period I googled social anxiety and children. As I read some things I noticed some similarity between what I was reading and A-man. I also got some great advice from some of Lilly’s professionals.
- Find small play groups to take A-man to. Small group allows me to monitor his interaction with other children to make sure it’s positive.
- Playdates are a must! Invite kids into his environment so he feels comfortable and will grow confidence in himself.
- Take Lilly with us to small play groups at first. She is his biggest safety blanket in unknown environments. He follows her lead in this area of life.
- Get control over his allergies and asthma so his ears are clear.
- Give him his soother in social situations.
It’s been a month since I started making the changes to our life. I started taking Lilly and A-man to a local government-funded playground once a week, At first it was a total disaster. A-man had his soother in his mouth the whole time and squealed like crazy.
I remember sitting talking to some other moms and hearing this uncontrollable squealing. What I found when I investigated shocked me. Our respite worker told me that he was playing happily with some other kids but when they left him he started freaking.
We concluded it was because he did not know how to handle what to do next.
Another thing happened is we started to go to one of Lilly’s play groups geared to Atypical children. What surprised me was he fit in better there than he did at the typical play groups.
Gone was the shrieking child and in its place was a happy confident child.
My typical child is used to atypical communication.
Over the past few weeks A-man has gotten way better in a social situation. He squeals less, and can follow other children in their play better now. The biggest change is me.
I have come to the realization that A-man’s world is very different and I often forgot that. One of the key parts of developing him as a person is he needs both typical and atypical friends his age. That way his world is balanced.
What he experiences at home he needs to be able to see it in the world around him also.
That is the biggest one. The first playgroup I was constantly watching him and he read off it. The more stressed I got the worse he got. The next outing we did I took my crochet to relax me.
He improved so much!
To help him adjust to social situations I know keep busy talking to other parents or I bring activities to keep me occupied. I also have to act like I am not watching as he explores the environment.
Yes, we have a bit more to go but the improvement I have seen in this short bit has been huge! It has given me some confidence that with time and patience this too will change.