I acquired custody of my grandson at 5 months of age. My son had a drug issue as did his wife and he could not properly care for an infant who was 3 mos preterm by himself. The mother was totally nonmaternal. The child was blind when I got him, and was totally stimuli starved. He went thru all major therapies for the 3 years that I had him. He regained his sight. He finally walked, talked, etc but still has sensory issues. His dad now has sole custody, is remarried and is a solid citizen of the world besides a great dad. We were unable to slowly transition care back to dad and stepmom as my husband became a fulltime job with newly dx'd alzheimers ds. Problem: He is still in therapy and has no intellectual deficits. Still has sensory deficits. Dad is a firefighter/paramedic with 24-48 hrs on duty. He is well behaved for stepmom but acts out for dad. Is well behaved for "stern" teacher, not for "nice" teacher. Do you think this is still sensory issues or could he be acting out some abandonment issues we neglected to address? And how do you let a little kid know that dad must work as much as possible to support his new family? Also, birth Mom has only seen him once since leaving him at 5 months has started calling. Calls herself "Mom". He acts out then too. So this isn't helping, but we don't think that he really understands whats-what. Doesn't know her at all. Should we let this issue go and hope when he is old enough he will understand, or stop this now until he is old enough to understand. Boy, are we confused but concerned about this precious little boy. Behavior: makes self vomit, soils himself then swears it wherever, voids on the spot, has "meltdowns", spits and just plain ignores Dad's requests for him to obey. HELP
Maybe I am confused but how old is your grandson is he 3 and a half , I am trying to figure it out in your post, it sounds as if there are issues withg his step mom you said he has a stern teacher (stepmom) and nice teacher (Dad)?? The fact he acts out when Dad is there is possibly telling Dad he is not happy, maybe Dad should ask him why ,there seems to be more issues to this and it is possible you are not fully seeing it.
I guess my original enote was confusing. I raised the child for 3 years. His Dad & stepmom have had him for almost 1 year. While he listens to stepmom (and gets afffection from her) he does not listen to his Dad. Nor does he do well with one of the two teachers he has in school. He ignores the gentler teacher. He does not appear afraid of stepmom or teacher. My question was concerning possible abandonment issues as a result of my leaving his life. And since Dad is a firefighter and has odd hours that seems to compound the issue. If that is the problem. I understand that children with sensory issues do have behavior problems and wondered if anyone else had similiar problems with a child with this type of deficit or are we dealing with a little boy who feels abandoned and that is why he is acting out. Confusing I know, but this is not just a simple issue of blending a family. The child is just 4, so as far as he is concerned, everything is "ok".
Dont leave his life is my answer, perhaps others who read your post may have better answers for you ,you say everything is okay with the child ,then thats what matters, amybe take a step back and let them get on with it.perhaps you are overreacting because you care,and they have him now, not easy maybe time to visit and thats it.
hmmm... this is a very complicated situation, and each situation is unique... but here's my observations from working with a child who had sensory issues.
You are correct that children with sensory issues act out and have behavioral problems. To a certain (and much milder) extent, i can understand why. I think i have some auditory sensory processing problems... and being in certain situations can make me insanely irritable. it becomes hard for me to focus, concentrate, and stay calm. i actually get irritated. I can see how a child who is young and not understanding what is going on can take that and act out on it.
last year i had a student (4 yrs old) who very obviously had sensory problems. They went undiagnosed and therefore untreated because his parents refused all evaluations. So things just got worse for this little boy. We did notice that he behaved the best when i was extra strict with him. there was a point where the only thing that would stop him in his tracks when he went on a rage (ex: trying to hit or attack a teacher) was raising my voice. At the same time, he was extremely dependent on me. Due to his aggressiveness, i took on most of the disciplining in the class. as time went by, he became too dependent on me. It was as if he genuinely needed the consistancy of having me with him, as well as the consistancy of the strict rules i laid out for him. To me it seems that when your world is chaotic and confusing (as it is for children with these conditions), you begin to rely on those who are consistant and strict to provide you with some continuity and even security.
I am not trained in this- this is based on my observations working with this child and a few others in the past. they need someone to establish order in their lives, which is what stepmom and strict teacher are doing. He is relying on that for security. If this is true, it makes sense that dad and losing you in his life is a stressor. And is it possible that dad may be a bit lax to compensate for both the past and the current work situation??
my best advice would be to encourage dad to follow the same rules/routines as stepmom when he is home. And please be sure to discuss this with his therapists. It sounds like this little boy has come very far, and with continued support he can go much further!
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