I really do not like when people tell me that “all kids do that”. Yes, some things our son does are reminiscent of all children – playing with pots and pans, saying “No” and doing the behavior we asked him not to do, spinning wheels. Yes, I know kids do like to spin wheels. However, the severity of the problem and the distinction between your “typical” child and my “neurologically diverse” child was displayed today at Safeway.
We had completed food shopping for our Passover meal. The lil man had hurt his lip on the shopping cart handle, so I was holding him trying to soothe him. I saw some toys I thought would interest him between the check-out and the exit. That way, he’d be occupied while my husband waits in line. Lo and behold, the lil man found the most fantastic toy of them all: a dingy wheel of a powerchair shopping cart. And not the large motorized wheels, it was an itty bitty wheel near the motorized wheel in the front of the cart. It was higher than that motorized wheel, so he was able to spin and spin and spin it. I kept trying to distract him with toys, but he would go back and lay face down on the floor and spin the wheel. It was getting a little strange and was very dirty to say the least, so I decided to carry him away from the chair. This created a meltdown that, inevitably, started with a headbang. Since there were no hardwood floors or doors for him to knock his head into, he inadvertently banged it into my jaw/chin. This caused him to yell even more (out of pain) and for my head to jerk back and really affect my neck. I have a bad back/neck with a few herniated discs. The result has been hours of back pain since the meltdown. The lil man did not intend to hurt me, however, I am always hurt as a result.
Early intervention keeps telling me: Occupational Therapy and ignoring the behavior will help. We have a month til OT will start and ignoring this has gotten us nowhere. It is quite a cycle. There are some very good days that I think, “our son is the so-called ‘normal'” and then there are days, like today, that make me so sad and put me back into that dark place of questioning everything.