Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Not Exactly Typical

I've been struggling.

Struggling with parenting.

Just a little bit.

And it's not with Brian.  It's with my other son.

I know I've mentioned that Corbin isn't exactly "typical".  He's typical to me because I have another son with such major needs.  But I can't ignore Corbin's needs.

Corbin has articulation problems, phonological deficits, and sensory needs among other things.  Corbin has had professionals throwing around terms like sensory-processing disorder and ADHD since he was just a toddler.  Yet we've never got a diagnosis, which I think is starting to do a disservice for him.

Lately in speech therapy Corbin has been shutting down.  He looks at an activity, decides it will be too hard for him, and starts to shut down.  His eyes tear up, he sticks out that lower chin, and just blocks everyone off.  He does not want to try anything unless he knows he will excel at it.  He hates not doing well and the older he gets the harder things are getting for him. It happens at home too.  Especially when we play a new game or homework is too hard.

His speech therapist loves Corbin.  She loves both of my kids.  She has been a part of our family for about six years now.  And she's worried.  Worried about how we are going to get over this hurdle so it's not a habit he holds on to for the rest of his life.

I'm worried too.  Seeing him struggle has always been hard for me but I feel he is starting to see his struggles, where he didn't before.  And this is even harder for me, because I see the pain in his eyes.  I'm worried about his self-esteem and I try my hardest to let him know his strengths.  I also am clear about everyone's weaknesses, particularly my own.  I stress how important it is to at least try and I try to enforce this by showing him how I mess up at times, but I try again.

This parenting stuff is hard and I'm not too proud to ask for help.  Have you had a similar situation with any of your children?  Do you have any suggestions?

8 comments:

Kelly said...

Wow, Mom. This is a tough situation. We find ourselves fighting this battle with Ted all too often. The only thing I can tell you is what has worked for me and Ted. It may not be your parenting style and you may think I am psychotic. Could be you'd be right. I might get some heat for this, so sorry to be controversial on your blog.

I physically MAKE him do the task. If it is working buttons or some other motor/pt/ot issue. I do hand-over-hand or physically force him to do the task.

Regarding mental tasks like speech or whatnot, I have caused/endured many, many meltdowns by not letting him get up or do anything else until he completes the set number of taskings (I usually start with just needing him to do 1 or 2), then I give him a treat. Yes, I know this is like a dog. It isn't for everyone, but this is what I have done and found that it does work for us.

I still have to do the physical over-riding, but the mental tasks have become much easier to "trick" him into doing because he knows there is a small, variable treat intermittently given.

Take this for what it is worth (not much). Good luck. And if you find anything that works, please update us! :)

Brian said...

EC teacher here, and with my students I found that patience is probably the key. Seems like they feed off of negative vibes, and get worse.

Try not to get frustrated.

Positive things: I found that you don't want to get too excited, like jumping and stuff (I don't do that by the way) but acknowledge that it happened.

My son often learns by that hand on hand thing. Hope it helps

http://brianautismblog.blogspot.com

Dani G said...

I wish I had an answer. We're starting to go through some of this with the bird, too. She's shutting down and getting really frustrated when something is too hard in speech.
I think Corbin would respond well to encouraging language and a lot of "you can do it!" kind of stuff. Let him know that it's okay this is hard- that's why it's called "work".
Ugh, I really don't know. I struggle along with you. And I send hugs. Lots of hugs!

Kathy said...

I, too, wish I had some magical suggestion for you, but I don't. I'll be thinking about you.

@jencull said...

I wish I could help. We have recently had confirmed that my eldest is not quite typical either, but his problems are different to Corbins so I don't have any advice or experience to offer you. Big hugs. Jen

Christina said...

((((Hugs)))) I think you are doing the right things. Positive reinforcement. And maybe give him a goal to work towards with a reward at the end? I know you guys can get through this because both of you are amazing!

@jencull said...

I wish I could help. We have recently had confirmed that my eldest is not quite typical either, but his problems are different to Corbins so I don't have any advice or experience to offer you. Big hugs. Jen

Brian said...

EC teacher here, and with my students I found that patience is probably the key. Seems like they feed off of negative vibes, and get worse.

Try not to get frustrated.

Positive things: I found that you don't want to get too excited, like jumping and stuff (I don't do that by the way) but acknowledge that it happened.

My son often learns by that hand on hand thing. Hope it helps

http://brianautismblog.blogspot.com