Tuesday, January 28, 2014

O is for Options

Some days I just feel like I am overwhelmed with options.  Most options though are for easily solved problems.  Such as, do we want chicken or beef tacos.  Do I want to use tylenol or essential oils to help with my headache?  Treadmill or run outside?  Which do I have time to do before I leave for an appointment, wash a couple glasses or wipe out the sinks?  (There's always something to do.)  But then there are other times where options are so much harder.

How do I deal with various sensory issues? There are so many factors to take into account when the overwhelmed feeling starts in the kids.  There's screeching and screaming, stomping and jumping.

Is it blood sugar or is noise levels?  Too much physical movement or not enough movement that day?  There can be so many reasons that a sensory meltdown is starting.  So I start going through the list that could be causing my child's suffering.  I did use the word "suffering".  Children with sensory issues really do suffer.  Imagine someone jumping up and down on your shoulders while you are trying to walk.  Is that going to frustrate you or make you happy?  It's going to anger you until you figure out how to get the offender off your shoulders.

Most kids with sensory issues do not know how or why something is bothering them.  They struggle, and then just like a snow globe they go from clear liquid to all cloudy in just a second.  It's that quick sometimes.  So that is where we need to step in and remind the kids of their options.

Some options we give our kids.....

  • noise reducing headphones
  • tablet game
  • a blanket to cover their head
  • a snack (low blood sugar can cause a sensory meltdown in Joey)
  • leave the room or event attending
  • strong hugs

Some things work better for others, that is why we allow them to choose their own options.  Some days the overload subsides quicker than others.  Some days it really does feel like our lives are hanging in a limbo.  For two people that hated hanging around home, we really are more homebound than we used to be.  As the kids get older, sensory issues have become more apparent.  We spend a lot of time weighing our options for family time or just running errands.  Just to run and get a few groceries and drive-thru take-out is a huge task on some days.

So the next time you see a kid acting up, before you quickly judge that the parent is not doing their job and disciplining the child, go ahead and stick your head in a jar with a bunch of jelly beans and after shaking around for a few minutes, see how your brain is reacting to the loud noise and stimulation.  :)  Your opinion might just change.

Linking up other moms at Blogging through the Alphabet.

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