Part of Eli’s SPD is his inability to always control his emotions. Sometimes the smallest things can set him off. He was upset last week because I was late picking him up from swim & gym therapy and he had to get himself dressed in the boys locker room. He has to get himself dressed for me when I picked him up but this was out of his routine. And, he’s very easily embarassed by being naked around anyone other than his immediate family. So, he yelled at me and tantrumed for about 15 minutes.
When he gets like this there is no reasoning with him. I cannot talk him down from the ledge. I have to allow him the opportunity to rant until he brings himself to tears. Only then can I hold him as he sobs and wonders why the tears won’t stop.
Today was another one of those days. The ends of weeks are always hard for him. Today I made fajitas for dinner. The veggies were chopped and in the pan. All that was left was to cut the chicken. Eli loves to help cook. He ran over to the counter to help when I had to tell him that I was cutting chicken and then everything was just going to cook. He could help stir if he’d like. That was not the answer he was looking for.
He screamed, cried and yelled. This time for only about 10 minutes until the Black Bean Salsa on the counter caught his eye. He then remembered he was hungry so we got him a plate of avacado slices with salt and pepper. He proceeded to fit again about having to be at the table to eat it. We often don’t require him to sit at the table to eat, only to stay at the table. We got past the avacado incident and watched him spin and sway at or near the table for the entire length of dinner.
During dinner we realized that Eli’s fingernails were exceptionally long. So, I forewarned him that before bed we would do his nails. This used to be an insane struggle. Now he’s good for the fingers, the toes are another story… So, upstairs we went and clipped his fingernails with no issue. Then I started to take his sock off.
He screamed. “YOU DIDN’T TELL ME YOU NEEDED TO DO MY TOES!!!!!” He was right. I forgot to warn him about that. The emotions were starting. I was finally able to talk him into getting the “magic rock” that he holds when we do his nails and my honey sat across from him and tried to get him to focus on math (something he loves!) to distract him. He answered all of her math fact questions. However, with each question he sobbed more and became more upset. As I clipped the very last toenail he let out a large scream. An outsider would have thought I was beating him the pain in his voice was so severe. Then the intense sobbing started. He dropped his magic rock and crawled into my lap. He wrapped his little arms around me and buried his head in my neck. It took us a long time to get to this point. We used to get kicking, hitting, throwing and screaming before the sobbing would ever come. Now we go almost directly from screaming to sobbing. And, now he wants to be consoled when crying.
It breaks my heart to hold him like this. It kills me when he skays that he doesn’t know why he’s crying and why he can’t stop. At least now he realizes that I am there to hold him and that it will get better.