Because we have come so far, and Ethan has overcome so many of his sensory behaviors I often think of him as a normal child, one without a disability. This last week was a bitter reminder to me that we are far from a child without disabilities, and something as simple as our daily routine being different in preparation for a garage sale can make me remember how far we still have yet to go.
The last couple weeks we have been very busy with getting things ready for a garage sale, one entailing lots of my time getting things ready. Serena had been helping all the kids except Ethan and staying home with them while I went and got things ready, but because Ethan can be such a handful (especially since him and Gabe are partners in crime lately) I tend to bring him with me to make things as easy on her as possible. That entailed leaving the house frequently and disrupting our daily schedule, which to most kiddos is not to much of a big deal they might be crabby for a couple days and get over it. Well not with Ethan, when he cannot predict what is going to happen next from day to day, and in an environment that is not his usual environment, his brain does not function properly.
What exactly does it mean when I say his brain does not function properly? Well it means he doesn't feel pain very much, from falling and hitting the underside of your jawbone on the side of a hot tub and getting an instant bruise, to picking the small sharp glass pieces out of the decorative stone, with his toes, how he managed to pick the glass out without cutting himself I'm not sure because the glass pieces are extremely sharp. It means we have 2 speeds fast and faster which means trying to keep up with him sure can be fun. It means all the messages in our brain are scrambled and he will hit, bite, kick, or punch anyone who he feels in invading his space, without thinking about it till after someone else is already hurt.
Because so many of Ethan's behaviors had stopped when he started ECSE and we started our school year last year, I have found myself really struggling to remember that he is special needs and not just a child being naughty. I am constantly praying that God helps me be the parent he wants me to be for Ethan, and also that I remember to help me keep my patience when he is misbehaving. Because it can be very hard not to get a little angry when they intentionally hurt someone for what seems like no apparent reason at all to most people.
So the next time you are out and see some child misbehaving and think "boy that mom needs to learn to discipline that child", please rethink your thoughts, not all children misbehave out in public because they are trying to be naughty. Some of them just cannot get over the lights humming, people talking, smells that come from all different areas in the grocery store. Can you imagine if you went into the store and could not drowned out all the sounds and smells, and no matter what you do you cannot stop thinking about them.
Labels: Ethan's Journey, Family, Sensory Processing Disorder