I see you, the parent of a child with special needs

To the parent of a child with special needs

I see you

The parent who wishes they could change the world’s view of their child’s normal, which is not like every other child’s normal.

The parent who dreads every single school run. The school run that ends in the walk of shame. Because your special child, is just being normal.

I see you.

The parent who lives in a shell with their special child because you dread every single outing.

Jacob playing with water

The parent trying to hold it together whilst your special child is having a meltdown; because that’s their normal.

I see you.

The parent who is begging for help. Because you know your child isn’t every other child’s normal, but their special kind of normal.

The parent who is crumbling under the pressure of living with the difficulties your special normal child faces every. single. day.

I see you.

The parent who is sad that their special child is forever excluded from peer events, like birthday parties.

The parent who is sad that this even extends to their siblings.

I see you.

The parent who is reading this.

The parent who feels isolated.

I see you.

I see me.

I see me

I’m the one walking there, standing there, holding back the tears, head held in shame. But why should I be ashamed?

This is my special child. This is his normal.

My child can’t help the way he is. He just needs understanding. He needs me.

I need to be strong. Even if I don’t feel it, I need to show it. I need to fight for him.

He is my strength. He’s made me the mother I am today.

I see you – reading this. You are not alone. I stand with you. We have the fight, the strength, the courage. 

We have the special kind of normal.

Mummy and Jacob with Harry Potter

Parenting Pitstop – trying to deal with J’s challenging behaviour

You may have read my previous posts about J’s challenging behaviour and I have been at my wits end for months, fast running out of ideas on how to deal with it. I’ve spoken with nursery, I’ve spoken with the health visitor, I’ve spoken with one of my friends who worked in a nursery for a long time; I’ve consulted the internet, blogs, my peers, but nothing seems to change. So either this is just instilled into him or I am just a rubbish mother!

Anyway, a few weeks ago I had quite a breakdown with his behaviour. I was already feeling pretty rubbish in general and he just pushed me over the edge. We had been at our usual Tuesday play group (run by the friend mentioned above) and he had been defiant all morning, then he pushed another child who was just minding his own. I just completely lost myself then and we left with me in tears and having to call my brother-in-law for help with the boys as I was breaking down. My friend came round later that afternoon and mentioned a ‘Parenting Pistop’ run by the local Education Preparation Unit. I thought it sounded worth a try so she made a referral for us.

Last week we went to see the ladies who run it and to sign up for it if we were interested. We were told that it will only be a small group – six parents and children – so we can get the most out of it. The way it works is that the session is an hour and half long and us parents spend 20 minutes playing with our children and getting them settled in, in the play room – it’s a Sure Start centre so lots of activities – then we go off (while the children are supervised by one of the ladies) and have a discussion about our difficulties and methods of dealing with behaviour and the such. Both hubby & I can attend but it really depends on whether he can get the time off work, but we signed up anyway as I can make the sessions.

Mine & J’s first session is this afternoon, for a taster session. It will be good to have some time just the two of us too, as I know he needs more of it but it’s difficult when hubby works long hours and I’m home with both of them every day and N rarely naps. I will update you on how we get on – hopefully we will get somewhere this time.

Little man J at 3 years 1 month old

It wasn’t that long ago when I posted J’s last update, but it’s only been just over a week since he turned 3 years 1 month and I’m trying to get these updates posted sooner – maybe I’ll have a bit more consistency now!

He is definitely outgrowing the toddler stage now and turning into a proper little boy – I can’t get my head around the fact he’ll be going to school next year. He is fast becoming the man of the house – he wants to do everything that we do and has an almighty strop if he can’t. His new favourite activity is washing up – I’ve never seen someone get so upset over the fact that they can’t do it! I do usually let him if he asks but if it’s already being done and I’m nearly finished, well, he goes into meltdown. At this stage he likes to tell us repeatedly “I’m crying” even though we can definitely hear him! He is getting better at dressing himself, and he’s also started choosing his own outfits – we have some really random ones!

I mentioned last time that he had done his first wee on the potty. Since then he has done a few more but nothing consistent; I think we really need to knuckle down with it as he’s obviously ready because he asks to go on it, just not all of the time. He has done a wee on the toilet too, when he went with Grandad, but doesn’t really show any other interest in it. Nanna has bought him some Minion pants for when he does a poo on the potty but even that hasn’t encouraged him!

I love that I can now have a proper full blown conversation with him. I do have to correct some of his sentences sometimes though, for example he will still say “Me can do it” instead of “I” but he is getting there. He loves singing at the minute too; nursery rhymes, TV tunes, and he loves bopping along to the Kaiser Chiefs in the car (Mummy adores Ricky Wilson…). Though instead of ‘home’, sometimes he says ‘homo’ – we always correct him, bless him!

We are still having pretty much the same meal time issues. The only meal of the day where he has a variety is breakfast – he will eat almost anything then, pretty much the same thing every day for lunch, and we have major issues at tea time. He eats so well at nursery though, so it’s frustrating. Although he has started eating a lot more fruit; when I make a fruit salad the boys always share it with me and J eats everything that’s in it, where he only used to eat bananas & blueberries before. So I guess we are seeing a change, slowly but surely.

Current favourites
Food – Grapes
Drink – ‘Minion juice’ (orange or blackcurrant squash/happy minion or scary minion!)
TV – Blaze & The Monster Machines
Movies – Hop
Toys – Wooden tea set
Books – The Gruffalo, Bedtime Bear story set