Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas a year later--G and his sensory issues

We are 15 days into December 2014, and it is markedly better than last December.

G has been in OT for almost a year.  He has a year's worth of maturity behind him.  He and I did a few months of CBT together last winter and spring.

He isn't crying before school every day, commenting on his coat itching and his sleeves bothering him.  He isn't hitting me.  He isn't a complete wreck of nerves about what gifts may come.

This isn't to say he is "fixed."  We are managing him better.

He knows what gifts he is getting from Mommy & Daddy.  He knows the general category of what he is getting from his Nana/Pa and my brother/sister-in-law (a board game & a video game figure). I had him make a list of 3 items for Santa, and I told him that Santa said he would get all 3 items because they are small.

We've had to take as much of the surprise out of Christmas as we possibly can without ruining it for N and M, who are much, much easier going and happy with whatever they get from anybody.  Who don't get freaked out by the idea of Santa coming into the house.

I have had to let go of whatever I think I am "supposed" to do with him and just modify as I need to.  If peeling the skin off a red pepper means he will eat some red pepper, I will do that.  Eventually, he can peel the skin off himself with a knife.

It hasn't been an easy road, but I like being around my kid more.  I can appreciate all the great things about him better than I could twelve months ago.  He sat this morning for over a half hour putting together a Lego set--completely focused, completely quiet.  He didn't get frustrated, or if he did, he managed and kept at it.  He didn't fall apart.  That is huge.

I am able to accept that he is going to awaken every day at 6:00 and start talking from the instant he gets up.  We started him on melatonin in October, which we give him Sunday through Thursday nights, and that has made a tremendous difference for both him and me.

He is a super, super smart kid.  His IQ test showed him as average or slightly above, but I know from his questions that he is a deep thinker.  On the way to Nana and Pa's house yesterday, he asked about the number infinity (his second go-round on the concept of infinity).  He keeps trying to grasp what it is and how would a person know if they had gotten there.  How many 7-year-old kids know that infinity is a mathematical concept and attempt to grapple with it?

His next question was, "If someone was hanging at the bottom of Earth and let go to float into space, what is the first thing they'd hit?"  He knows that gravity keeps a person on Earth, but he is fascinated by space, by direction, by the lack of direction in space.  He asked whether if someone cut the earth in half at the equator whether the line would be vertical or horizontal.

Driving while being questioned like this seems somewhat more dangerous than being intoxicated.

I am better able to appreciate his sweetness.  He asked if we could buy Santa a special box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and leave it for him on the kitchen table.  When I suggested we just leave him one of the doughnuts that we will eat on Christmas morning (from another bakery), G got teary at the prospect of not being able to do his idea.  "I just want to do something really special for Santa to thank him," he said.  And so Santa will be getting 2 Krispy Kreme doughnuts in a box because I can't crush that instinct to be both sweet and thankful.

G is still maddening.  Persnickety and complex.  The snowfall in November was a nightmare getting him into his winter clothes that first time, but it was better the second time later that day.  He experienced some sensory issues on Halloween, but it wasn't a full-on battle.

Getting a handle on his sensory issues and giving him (and us) tools, with the benefit of time, has made a tremendous and positive difference.

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