My name is Stephi & I have a 4 year old daughter
who is in the process of being tested for autism but as of
right now they classify her as having "Special Needs" and possible
being on the lower scale of the spectrum. Now I am only 22 and I am a
stay at home Mom but sometimes I feel like im just gonna lose it!
I don't understand why she does the things she does, like asking for a drink the spitting
it out and playing with it (EVERYTIME), smashing food like eggs, peanut butter, applesauce
all over everything! & It drives me crazy because we are already having financial problems and she
is wasting this food for no reason! She also hides in the closet for no reason. Won't potty train, and rips up
chews on paper like bubble gum! I am home alone with her 80% of the time and it's gotten so bad that
I have had to be put on Anti-depressants. I wanna help her I just don't know how! Please someone help me!!
Hi Stephi. I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time. I'm a mother of a special needs child myself (hence my user name, special mom for special needs ) and I know how hard some days can be. It can be frustrating and infuriating.
One thing that really helps me is to remember that my son is not trying to be bad. He has a neurological situation (he has sensory integration disorder) that drives him. A child with a developmental delay or neurological issue has impulses and things going on that are sometimes hard to understand but never the less real.
My son also spits out food and may play with it. He has significant issues with texture and something may be unbearable to him. He's not doing it to bother me, but his nervous system sends out a signal to spit it out. He also craves sensation which would include touching things.
If you keep this in mind, maybe you can look at her for empathy. She is not like every other child. She deals with much much more just to maintain herself. It's hard with kids with issues like your daughter or my son because they look like other kids. You can't see what is going on in their brain or nervous system. So you have to remember not to expect the same things rather than just being reminded when you look at them the way you do with a child with a physical disability.
Ripping paper is something my son does as well and he chews on many things. Do you know why? He's desperately trying to self soothe, calm his system. Your daughter is probably doing the same thing. Give her something like a fidget/squeeze ball instead and a piece of gum.
I have a sad thought about kids with these challenges. The outside world is cruel. If I can't love my child through his differences, he'll not experience it anywhere. Every child is lovable and I want my son to feel that way. Knowing the world may not treat him kindly, I must do so at home. This keeps me in check when I feel so frustrated.
Early intervention is vital and key. My son at 4 had signficant issues. We've worked on them-------- I fully embraced his delay and nervous system issues and spent each day doing activities that would help him to adjunt his therapy. Now he is 8 and doing great. So, get a diagnosis and embrace it. Work hard with her in a LOVING and patient manner. She's learning how the world will perceive her challenges from you.
Take some breaks, call your mom to come over, or a friend. Hire a mother's helper that will play with her while you are home for 2 or 3 dollars an hour. Recharge your batteries.
I feel for you, I really do. But I figured out that my son didn't want to displease me at all. It crushed him that he did. But he couldn't help some of the things he did. Your daughter probably can't either. peace and luck to you and I'm here anytime you need to vent or support.
While you are waiting for a diagnosis I would start therapy. Get her on the waiting list for occupational therapy. Does she have any problems with her speech? If you were to get her started in Preschool you might be able to get help sooner. They will want to do their own evaluations anyway.
I know it's frustrating to be at home all day long with a child with special needs. Once you get a diagnosis I think things will start to get easier. For instance you can hire a PCA (personal care attendant). This is in-home respite care paid for by your insurance. My 5 year old daughter has autism and getting a PCA has made a huge difference in our lives.
I think your daughter may be seeking to satisfy a sensory need by hiding in the closet. My daughter loves to have the lights off or dimmed to calm down. She also likes to be enclosed in small places. People with autism tend to hate being in open places, especially when they are upset. She is just trying to process the world around her. In her own way she is trying to tell you what she needs.
About the food, perhaps it would benefit you to take her through a course at a feeding clinic. Many children with special needs have a lot of trouble eating. She's not deliberately trying to be bad or make a mess, it's just how she processes the act of eating food. Punishment in this case won't do anything but make it worse. I really hope you can get her started in therapy soon as it sounds like it will make everyone's lives easier.
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