Friday, October 21, 2011

SPD ~ Sammy Progress Derailed

Sammy is  a sensory seeker . He fights for them , finds them, abuses them. He crashes and whirls into everything around him so much like a tornado that it often leaves the rest of us dizzy. He is loud , he hates clothes, he stuffs his mouth full of food at every chance. He picks at his skin until he is one giant scab.   He gets OT in school and home is a sensory lifestyle. Heavy work like lifting back packs with books and moving the table are favorites here. Sammy loves mashing potatoes and vacuuming and he loves water. He wont swim but if the sink is full of water he gravitates towards it. Sammy crashes up and down the stairs , into bed, into the couch and into me. Could I stop him, yes probably but instead we redirect him to crash and bump and bang outside. I have given up the hope of nice furniture until he is much older. Sometimes people don't understand when they visit and will wonder why we don't try to "control him better". Even though he seeks sensory input he can easily become overwhelmed and anxious. It is like a fuse being blown because of overloaded circuits. There is no warning, no flashing red lights, nothing. It's like being caught on the tracks with a train coming. That is when he hits and lashes out or yells and screams or becomes abusive to himself. Those moments are so hard on him... and me.

It took a while for the kids in the neighborhood to understand why he acted the way he did. We had a bumpy road the first year. Thankfully the kids around us are just fantastic. One little girl helped him get his work done. They keep an eye on him when they ride the bus and explain things to him carefully . The other little girl is so very forgiving and sweet to him. They all just love Sammy and they all have fun together. We are lucky. It seems kids often "get it" so much faster than adults do.

Sometimes the neighborhood kids come over while we are having sensory play. Giant bowls of rice or ooblic, finger paints and play dough. They all love it and it's refreshing to see Sammy with his friends having fun.

The bus however has become a sensory nightmare for Sammy. Ideally he should sit by himself and in the front. The bus has become over crowded and Sammy ends up sharing a seat. The noise level, the chaos, moving and having someone touching him all create disaster. Last week he hit a child across the face on the bus. He reacted without thinking and just smashed the poor kid. I am mortified. I feel guilty. If he looses his bus transport I will probably end up fighting for special transport. I hate to do it but there is o way I can possibly get him to school in my van myself when he is combative. The principle understands where I am coming from and we have spoken about this before. Her job is to keep all the kids safe not just my son. My job is to make sure that we find what works for my son. period. I am glad we have such an awesome school system here and I hope it wont get ugly but you really never know...

For now Sensory issues derail him daily and I honestly can't seem to help him most days anymore. I just feel lost.

Tell me about your sensory kid. What do you do to help your sensory kids in tough situations?


  1. I haven't dealt with this in my home but my neighbor does/did. She's now a senior in high school but really struggled with this in the early years. The best thing she did for herself when she was in the sensory zone... go outside and hang upside down on the swing set. She'd go there for as long as it took for her to get back in control. Sometimes a half hour. Every once in a while you can still catch her hanging upside down on the swing.

  2. Breyden has always been on a special education bus. Mostly because he was so young and in pre school and he needed a 5 point harness by law. There was a time when they put him on a regular school bus and it was a disaster. He was in often in trouble. Luckily, the New B school system was fantastic and switched him for me. He is on a regular school bus now and is doing very well. He needs reminders to keep his hands to himself and to speak quietly but he is managing. I cansee the school bus being the most difficult time of the day to Sammy for all the reasons you listed. I woulod have his bus changed. The school shoulod be able to accomdate this with ease.

  3. We don't have school bus here, I did try catching the regular bus to school a few times but it was a nightmare.

    Instead if we can't get in our car and drive to school, we walk - backpacks on and it seems to calm my girls down. I'm trying to work more regular walks to school into our routine.

    I hope you can resolve your bus issues.

  4. My friends kid goes to the bradley school in Rhode Island, n lives in New Bedford. She gets a Treblay's mini van bus and he has a harness that goes on him n then attatches to the seatbelt cuz he has freak outs but is supposedly not autistic. the point i am making is that he prob can get different transportation n possibly by himself with a monitor if needed.


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