We finally had a meeting with an occupational therapist last week. It was exactly what we had needed since our toddler was 2 months old. We finally spoke to someone who Got It. Someone who was familiar with kids like ours, who knew families facing our problems well, and who knew how to help. We’ve already started implementing her suggestions and seeing an immediate result. Our toddler has sensory issues, definitely sensory seeking in some areas but we won’t be able to fully know until he can communicate better what he’s experiencing.
We have so many answers. He pulls down furniture and barrels into things and hits and kicks and body slams people because his nervous system is in a constant quest for input. He’s Johnny 5 in the bookstore. The reason he gets violent while giggling merrily is because he truly doesn’t know it’s hurting, in fact it’s fulfilling a need (which we now have advice on how to meet non-violently). He also has impulse control problems, but that’s mostly age appropriate. The problem is that when you put together the need to push yourself to the limit with poor impulse control- well, it’s not a good combination.
Things were so bad before the appointment, our toddler had been a miserable nightmare and we just had no idea what to do. Everyone was exhausted and miserable, it was so hard to keep on top of housework or cooking or even paying the bills. We’d read every freaking parenting book we could get our hands on, and a lot of the advice is the exact opposite of what our toddler needs. If we didn’t have that appointment with the occupational therapist, I really don’t know what would have happened, to any of us.
No one understood or even believed how difficult things were with our toddler. The Occupational Therapist got it. Not only did she get it, she had answers. Finally.