Tomorrow morning, at 6am, Blake is scheduled for his MRI. He’s going to be sedated, and that’s the bit that tugs at my mommy heart the most. To think of him being drowsy in the big machine without me.
This purpose of the MRI is just to rule out brain abnormalities that could be resulting from the stuttering (which is mostly under control), sensory processing issues, anxiety, and headbanging, to name a few. The neurologist said that with everything coupled together, we need to be sure we’ve covered all the bases.
I can’t imagine they’re going to find anything, but I’m not against ruling anything out. I’d feel like less of a parent if we didn’t do it and it turned out there was something more going on. And it’ll be nice to just check off a box.
Honestly, sometimes I go back and forth on if we are doing “too much” and overthinking all of this, but then, I get the confirmation I need.
One of the things Blake struggles with is regulating his emotions at school, from what I gather from his teachers-meaning he gets sad or upset over things that seem trivial. This happens at home, too, but we are sure to tell him when it’s inappropriate and try to give him strategies to cope. (So grateful for all the lessons Daniel Tiger teaches!)
Today I learned that he smacked himself repeatedly in the face at school, then went over to the fence and slammed his head against the fence, eventually catching his lip on a sharp edge. The teacher said he was playing chalk with another student, then got up to ask if he could play with the basketball. The teacher told him no, for whatever reason, and I guess he got upset. I know the details because I had to fill out an incident report. I asked him what happened in the car and he told me that he did it because he couldn’t play with the ball on the basketball court, and he didn’t understand why he couldn’t play with the ball because they were on the BasketBALL court. (He said it just like that, emphasizing the word “ball”). My kid can be very logical, so I’m wondering if, logically, it just didn’t make any sense for him to not be able to play with the ball.
The teacher said he was happily playing with the other student, so she wasn’t sure why he wanted to switch activities. I think part of it, too, is that he gets bored very quickly with activities and just wants to jump from one thing to another.
I informed his OT at his appointment this afternoon of what happened today and she thinks it’s all anxiety related. That perhaps he can’t verbalize that he’s overstimulated somehow and he gets frustrated and it all manifested into him hurting himself. We’ve kind of picked up on the fact that (after this weekend’s hockey game) not only does he have auditory sensitivities, but visual, too.
I feel like we just keep piling it on.
This is where I ask myself and question, Is he just upset because he didn’t get his way? Is it an anxiety issue, as his OT says, and his inability and difficulty with being flexible? Is he being stubborn or testy?
This behavior of “self harm” is new, though there have been tiny incidences of it here and there in the past of him hitting himself, but, it hasn’t been anything alarming. Don’t all kids do this at some point? Smack themselves when they’re in time out?
Two weeks ago was the first big incident of “self harm”, I’d say. While strapping him into his seat after school I noticed a bite mark on his arm. When I questioned him he told me that he did it himself, though I couldn’t get a straight answer as to why. I’m not sure if he was frustrated, upset, or sad.
I feel that him doing harm to himself is even worse than if someone else did it to him! It’s heartbreaking.
Just when I start to question what we’re doing and if we are overthinking all of this, I’m given these little nudges, like today, to tell me that it’s all for a reason.
When school is out for the summer we are going to start seeing a counselor to give him some better coping mechanisms for his emotions, anxiety, and OCD.
As I write this I can hear him down the hall banging his head against his headrailing. It’s nearly 11:00 and he’s been asleep for almost 3 hours. This is a headbanging instance where he’s completely unaware he’s even doing it. Sometimes he wakes up upset at himself because of the marks/bleeding he’s left on his head and bed sheets.
I don’t want anything to be wrong tomorrow, but I sure would love some answers or for someone to give me something that is going to help my child to stop banging his head. I feel better equipped to handle everything else, but this one gets me.
With all the OT, the banging has definitely improved, but I just wish it would stop. It can’t be good. I have yet to meet anyone else who has had a child who does this for as long as mine has (4 years), and to where they literally make their head bleed night after night, causing scarring (he has 2 distinct ones). So, if you’re out there, fellow handbanging moms, please reach out!
As we continue to walk this journey of Aspergers and SPD, and whatever other label gets slapped on, I just want to know we gave him a fair go and provided him with all he needed.
He is so much more than all of this, and as much as I’d wish it all away, it’s just…..him, and he wouldn’t be Blake without any of it.
For those of you who don’t know Blake and who just know him from social media and my blog posts, I want you to know that he’s more than social awkwardness, sensory processing, anxiety, OCD, and headbanging. He’s so kind and loving. This is the kid who said we were getting too many Amazon packages at our door every day (#truestory) and noticed that our neighbors never got any. So he hopped in his police car, loaded up all of our Amazon packages and delivered them to our neighbors saying, “I want them to have a box when they come home too so that it’s fair.” Of course I went behind him and retrieved them all later. Haha!
He loves to paint, and make cards for other people. He’s still obsessed with cars. Right now he’s really into Power Rangers and Boss Baby. He enjoys picking out his own clothes, and is quite good with matching!
He’s not aggressive toward anyone at all. He’s gentle, loves to cuddle and his heart is bigger than his body.
He’s pretty damn amazing.
Fingers crossed for tomorrow.
It’s one day at a time with one brave little guy.