Do you have a special needs child?
I know what that is like. Oh, my son looks like any other kid. (OK a little bigger, like his daddy) But otherwise Traedyn Michael Gartman, aka “Trae” appears to be just fine. But Trae struggles with Anxiety, and also Sensory Processing challenges. He just started kindergarten, and I was surprised the teacher didn’t call me sooner. She called me his second day. I tried my best to prepare him, but I knew that everything school was about would be challenging for Trae to integrate into. We are all working on a plan, partnering together for Trae’s success.
One definition of Anxiety is: An abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it, a painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind, stress over anticipation of events.
- oversensitivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
- under-reactivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
- tendency to be easily distracted
- social and/or emotional problems
- activity level that is unusually high or unusually low
- physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness
- impulsive, lacking in self-control
- difficulty in making transitions from one situation to another
- inability to unwind or calm self
- poor self concept
- delays in speech, language, or motor skills
- aggressive behavior
According to the book, The Out-of-Sync Child written by Carol Stock Kranowitz M.A., SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) can cause a bewildering variety of symptoms. When their central nervous systems are ineffective in processing sensory information, children have a hard time functioning in daily life. They may look fine and have superior intelligence, but may be awkward and clumsy, fearful and withdrawn, or hostile and aggressive. SPD can affect not only how they move and learn, but also how they behave, how they play and make friends, and especially how they feel about themselves… This describes Trae well.
Sadly, many children with Sensory Processing Disorder are looked upon as the unruly, the Black Sheep, and the undisciplined. Parents are often made to feel their child’s reactions are due to poor parenting skills. The truth is these children with SPD often trapped in the painful, confusing world they live in. They cannot help feeling the fight-or-flight response when their sensory issues become triggered. And parents can not always predict when those triggers will occur.
I will never forget the first time a child care worker at church said to me “What is going on at home? There is a reason he has so much anger.” I thought, and I thought. There was NOTHING crazy going on at home. Nothing out of the normal, or really bad or traumatic to cause Trae’s behavior. We weren’t fighting. There had been no major changes. No major stress, other than what we all deal with as simple humans making life work. I wanted to hear the accusing feedback- if it was OUR fault. But I looked at Teisha, Trae’s older sister, and she was fine.
She is a totally different kid. Not just in personality, and family roles, but she didn’t have that anger, or the behavioral problems. And I watched kids from truly HARD homes…divorce, trauma, poverty etc. Many of them were better behaved. It made no logical sense to me. Steve and I are not perfect, but we sure work hard at healthy parenting. We changed parenting tactics. Worked on behaviors and consequences. We were eating healthy. We tried all that we knew, and it still wasn’t enough.
Thank God for Katie Wade.
Katie is a Behavioral Therapist. There are no accidents she works at my church and noticed Trae’s tough time. But instead of judging us, she took the time to find out what was Trae’s true challenge. She has helped us tremendously so far, and will continue to journey this path with us.
I am so grateful I found Lavender, Frankincense, and Vetiver, to name only a few, to help manage Trae’s anxiety and moods. He may be hyper-sensitive in some challenging ways, but that super-sensitivity also lends itself so well to natural, positive methods like Oil Therapy. It’s not just aromatherapy, it’s total body wellness. They are plant derived, and help the body heal itself. These oils can be taken internally, applied topically, and diffused into the air. I have my kids on the vitamins too. I am a huge FAN of holistic solutions that help parents avoid medications, when possible. Read more about natural remedies to every ailment here:
Perhaps it’s time for testing.
If they are struggling at school, you can request testing there. Or if that doesn’t work out, you can try to contact your local Heath Department for Early Intervention services. Or find a trusted Children’s Behavioral Therapist. Our kids deserve to receive the information, tools and support, and not feel like they are drowning in their disability. Ignorance or denial of disorders or disabilities are a huge killer of success for both kids and adults. But as parents, it’s our job to advocate for our kids. They cannot do it on their own.
And you deserve to know, it’s not your fault. Sure, we make mistakes. And ALL our gene pools are imperfect. American diets are not generally good. (* True Organic diets do help almost all disorders, illnesses and behavioral challenges).
Do the best you can, with what you’ve got. That’s what we get to do. The challenges will arise, and we as parents and teachers can only stare them down, get educated, take proactive steps to help our kids, work hard, and take one day at a time for their ultimate SUCCESS.
CILC | CMC | CEBC
International Speaker, Group Transformationist, Inspirational Comedian, Author
“It’s time to unleash the World Changer in YOU!” ~sheli G
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