The parent’s view:
It’s been one of those days! Your child won’t listen to a thing you say and refuses to get dressed screaming like a banshee when you try to put on their socks.
You get up and offer breakfast realising too late you’ve run out of the cereal your child HAS to have, screaming starts your day and your mood goes down from there.
You decide to take your little one out for some fresh air and then a half hour in the soft play area. The socks WILL not go on! You literally end up sobbing in frustration while your child sits next to you chewing on his T-shirt.
Fine you decide.
No socks for today.
Your little one cries when you get his hand firmly and literally have to drag him out of the door to the park.
You wonder why the hell he is crying now?!
You waited till their favourite show was over, there’re no socks so what now?!
You get to the park and run about happily, your little one giggles and you’re feeling like a good parent for the first time today. Then suddenly he begins to chant something between a scream and a shriek repeatedly.
He covers his eyes, rocking.
You are dumbfounded, and the sound of the plane going over doesn’t help.
No soft play area now—you decide—so you coax him back to the car where the shrieking subsides and the babbling starts. You lean your head on the steering wheel.
Getting home he asks for his favourite cakes that are in the cupboard and you say not now, as you are just getting him some lunch. World War II breaks loose and you end up screaming “Why?! What the hell do you want from me?!” Then you run from the room.
You are trying, and you love your child.
The Child’s View:
It’s been one of those days! Those itchy horrible socks with the seams that sting are back and you are NOT putting those on!
You get up and your favourite cereal that you have everyday isn’t there! It’s the only thing you can eat, what will you do? You rely on that cereal to start what’s bound to be a very unpredictable day and you cry bitterly.
Your mom decides you are going out.
You don’t want to and again with the socks?! They hurt why can’t she see that or feel what you feel.
Now your mom is making funny noises with water on her face again, you start to chew your t shirt as this oral stimm calms you after that sensory assault.
Yes!! no socks!! No, no, no…wait!! What? No warning we’re leaving?! Where’s the sand timer for transition they use at play group?! Aarrgghhhh!!
Running now and mom is being silly and happy rolling with you and skipping.
Suddenly there’s a change in the light, a shadow passes over in the sky, it’s a visual change startling in its unannounced arrival so you close your eyes and cover them, rocking to balance your vestibular and doing the screaming stimm that calms you right down.
What? That’s a problem?!
Everything’s been so unpredictable that you decide you want one thing to be your choice, just one.
Cake!! No cake? NO!! That is not right.
Oh your mom is angry and she’s run off.
You sit down confused.
Be a Team:
- Always look at why. Why does your child not want the socks on? What could be solved there? Seamless socks? They make those.
- Bulk buy the cereal.
- Your face when you cry can look very comical if your child does not associate tears and a sad face with a sad emotion. Cards and social stories can help to teach emotions.
- Chewing is an oral need to regulate and chewy sticks or a clean washcloth can help with this.
- Sand timers and a visual schedule will help with transitions.
- Tinted glasses can help with visual processing problems and oral stimms are done to regulate and self soothe and should be allowed.
- Give your child the cake. Lunch will take no less than ten minutes to prepare and they need the cake. Give them the cake.
- Definitely leave the room. Parents need space too and we need to breathe. If that means five minutes in the toilet singing “I want to break free” by Queen, then do it.
- Remember the parent who does not walk away? The one who does something they may regret. You cannot slap hit or throw your child so leave the room immediately if your feelings are out of control. Also leave if you are overly tearful as you will distress your child.
Be happy, work together with your little autie and understand you are not alone. See things from your child’s viewpoint and you’ll have more good days than bad.