Click one of the links below to take you to our new home!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Special Kids, Special Needs, Tools part 2

Howdy, y'all! I hope you're having a great week. It's been a pretty tough couple of weeks for us. With my being gone to the ACFW conference for five days, and my husband learning the ropes I tend to manage with ease LOL, it created some challenges with my sons. Then, we had to travel out of town for a funeral, and now it's Fall Break for the boys. So, the last few days have created quite a few rough spots for the twins, especially Ryan. He's wetting himself and melting down at the drop of a hat. *sigh* I thought we'd gotten over that! Oh, well. These are my two signals that he's not coping well. Not very good signals, but they are loud and obvious. :-D What caused this? Disruption of what he had come to count on: my presence at home, his dad's presence NOT at home (during the day, of course)...basically status quo went down the tube!

How are we pulling this back together? With time. And a few skills I've learned from various sources. For Ryan, the biggest thing is that he needs a place where he can get himself back under control. That's not his bedroom, and it's not a place that is populated. For him, it's a wall near the kitchen that has NOTHING he can throw, destroy, or injure himself with (well, save the gypsum wall itself LOL). Ryan knows that he must sit against the wall and bring his anger back under control. This isn't done immediately. It usually takes him time and a few fist-pounding seconds. LOL But he gets it together.

Another thing is to anticipate the outbursts. This isn't always possible, but it does go a long way. You know what they ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. when I see Ryan's levels of anger and frustartion rising, I'll quickly point out something--ANYTHING--that he is doing right. If it's just that he's angry and not hitting, I praise him for that. I know. It sounds hypocritical. But it's not. You have to think in reverse, of sorts, with our specially wired kids. You want their attention back on good things, not on the negative feeding through his body.

DISCLAIMER: Mention of this book is not an endorsement. I have not read the book all the way through, but in the 3/4 I have read, I have been challenged to think outside of the box.

I bought a book about a month ago that I've been reading at the recommendation of a psychologist who evaluated my twins for school. Granted, I bought it with a wary heart. As a psychology major, I am well aware of the humanistic mentality that is sweeping our schools and nation. So, as with ANYTHING, and as a Christians, I have a responsibility to weigh everthing against the Word of God. While I don't necessarily agree with everyting the "experts" say in this book, it definitely challenged my way of thinking and dealing with my sons. It's called: Transforming the Difficult Child
If you are still using the "more discipline" method for our unique children, you might want to zip on over and read this first chapter. It will challenge you. Go with a prayerful and open heart to receive anything the Lord may enable you to use for your child. For me, I am not convinced that all special children do negative certain things to elicit responses. I do believe, that they can get "stuck" and that's why it's imperative (as I mentioend earlier) that we toss their attention back toward something positive.

I really hesitate to even mention the book, but it did open my mind. I worked as an intern at The Child Study Center in Forth Worth. Truly, an amazing facility, staffed with incredible teachers. What I learned at the CSC is, for a large part, reiterated in the book mentioned above. Some of the methods and advice might sound hokey--it did to me at first--but the y worked (at least, the ones I tried worked!).

I'd like to make a note about the Penny Card post I made before. The thing I really liked about the Penny card, was its mobility. The boys could take it with them anywhere. In the middle of Wal-mart, I could say, "Ryan, I'm proud of you for doing X-Y-Z. Give yourself another penny." We no longer fear to tread the path to Wal-Mart. :-D

So, anyway, onward we plod through the treacherous waters of raising these amazing kids--and surviving! I'd love to hear from y'all. We're often alone in these waters, so let's toss each other a life raft of hope and encouragement. :-D

Blessings in Christ,

Ronie is a mother of four children, ages 13, 10, & 6 year old twins. She homeschools, attends college, and writes. Married to Brian, her husband of 16 years, Ronie yearns to help other mothers struggligng with special needs children and the challenges they present. Visit her blog Craving the Supernatural or to learn more about her.


Heather said...

I know exaclty where you are coming from here. Our oldest two would be, if in a classroom, diagnosed with ADHD (when they eat things they are allergic to, have too much sugar--Candida, or have an allergic response to something--dander or dust they quite literally SPAZ, the rest of the time they are well behaved, sweet girls.) They also both have learning dsabilities that we work around . Praise the Lord that I have training as a Special ed and elementary ed teacher, not to mention my own (and my husband's) learning disabilities.

We experience melt downs often enough for us to know how to see them coming. We have corners where they head to calm down, or, in the case of a major meltdown, my bedroom.

It has taken me a long time to adjust my behavior management training to God's way, but with many prayers for wisdom, He has shown us the right way. We still get meltdowns, but not as consistantly with the eldest they used to be EVERYDAY, now they are when she has eaten too much sugar and she has learned to recognize it.)

:-)Ronie said...

Wow, Heather! I could clearly learn from you--we all could! Thanks for posting and sharing this!

Gina said...

For the most part I've taken my kids off of perservatives and processed foods because I notice they SPAZ out as well and have so little self control and are very impulsive after eating those foods.

Heather, I'd like to know more about the test you did to determine your kids allergies. It might make a good WFMW!