Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ups and Downs

First the good:
I'm happy to report that Jaysen has settled into his ESY schedule, and things are going well. He rides the bus with a bunch of kids, one of them being very vocal. This is a big step for J, since he is usually deterred from people making sounds like that. This year, either he knows the kid from school, or he's becoming more tolerant. Either way, 'tis good.

Now the rest:
The frustration with the video games continues. Coupled with that, is the return of the self-injurious behaviors. Sunday evening, he was playing some game on the computer, and he started punching himself in the head harder than I've ever seen before. It wasn't the familiar thudding sound, but more of a cracking sound. It was violent.

I can usually gauge when these episodes are going to escalate, but this was one of the times it spiked too quickly for me to catch.

I've posted on Jaysen's self-harming before, and it's still just as heartbreaking. To watch your child hit his head, bite his arm, punch himself in the face, leave welted streaks down his cheeks from scratches... in my opinion, will never feel comfortable.

You want so badly to take away their pain- and I'm not just talking about the pain they're inflicting, but the pain that is causing the infliction- but you can't seem to figure out how.
I've been trying for years to teach different coping skills and methods. I've never disallowed him to stim. I've held tightly. I've yelled. I've ignored. I've medicated. I've spoken softly. I haven't spoken. I've protected. I've intervened. I feel like I just don't know what avenue to go down now.

It's difficult with Rylan too- he's become pretty aggressive. I don't know if it's "terrible two's" or whatnot (Jaysen was my first, so I don't really know what "typical terrible two" behavior necessarily is), but his aggression is freaking me out. He'll do something mean, and think it's funny. Not just laugh at your reaction, but look straight at yoou while he's about to do whatever evil deed it is, make eye contact, put on his "cute face", proceed to pummel whatever his intended target is, then crack up about it. The kid will even stand in time out smiling.

Like I said, I don't know if this is typical, if he's reacting to the fire, or if he's observing his brother beat the everlovin' tar out of himself, that is feeding this aggression.

The other night- we're chillin' at home, Jaysen's playing his DS at the table, Rylan's across from him drawing, and I'm in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner. *Crash* And I hear the scream of a wounded child. The big one. I ran into the dining room where Jaysen is holding his head, crying so hard he can't talk. Rylan is smiling, still in his seat where I left him a few minutes prior.

A survey of the area, and I couldn't believe what happened.
The kids were just sitting there, when for no apparent reason, Rylan picked up his glass and chucked it at Jaysen's head. The glass shattered on impact, right above Jaysen's eye. Oh.my.freakin.buddha.biscuits.
Nice goose egg forming, but no cuts or glass shards in eyes. Thank Manischewitz.

I was irate.
Rylan then proceeded to cut his hand on the broken glass as I was trying to pick up the shards and tend to Jaysen, so now there are two kids with injuries and a floor full of broken glass.
What the hell, people? Is this freakin' normal, or is my child the next Ted muthafuckin Bundy?


Shea's Mom said...

Oh man. That does sound like a tough one. I think it is pretty typical for the little one to be just learning what consequences are. But, it has got to be really hard when he doesn't act sorry.

Shea is sort of like that. He thinks it's really funny to be a total little shit.

My heart is with you, darlin. Wish I had an answer for you.

Casdok said...

Really pleased to hear that Jaysen's ESY is going well. But really sorry to hear about his SIB. I know all to well how hard it is.
I wish i had an answer to. Hugs

Joeymom said...

It is not normal.

We had aggressive behavior early from Andy. Now we have severe ADHD as a diagnosis. And I still think stress from being a special needs sibling is thrown into the bargain.

There is nothing wrong with taking a child to a psychiatrist. When Andy was very little, about 2 1/2, and it started getting bad, we were recommended to see a behavioral specialist, which might be another good avenue to research for help. We ended up with 1-2-3 Magic, but I'm sure that was just the first of many tricks up the sleeve. (Well, ok, the third. But there were other methods waiting for us to try if 1-2-3 had not been successful).

Andy still beats on Joey, and Joey is starting to beat back. Also not good. But they also hug and kiss on each other here. Its a sibling thing, but no one should be getting hit by heavy objects in the game. When it gets to the point of real bruises (and in our case, bite marks), its time to get some help, because normal parenting isn't enough to help our guys.

dgibbs said...

younger sibs do tend to think it funny when they are being little shits. My middle child thought she was funny constantly irritating her older sister to the point that she stabbed her in the face with a fork. This was when she hit the 2 1/2 to 3 yr old mark. It slowly got more verbal and less aggressive since then thank God!

Can't imagine the amount of stress you must be feeling right now. All my hugs and best wishes.

Ashley's Mom said...

I wish I had some answers for you, but I don't. While my daughter's self-injurious behaviors have subsided since her communication skills improved, there are still times when she will hit her head or bite the inside of her mouth.

I think it's time for some highly-paid researcher to investigate this issue of SIB and come up with some suggestions.