A Mum's Journey with Dyspraxia

Frustration…

Frustration, I guess that is an obvious word that just “goes” with Oral Dyspraxia or Apraxia… everyone always asks, “does he get frustrated?”.  Up until recently we have happily reply, “No not often”.  Unfortunately for us recently Kaden’s frustration has gone from bearable to uncontrollable.

And of course being he can’t tell us, we are just guessing it is frustration.  He has moved into a zone of having completely no control over his body or emotions when he gets angry.  Violent outbursts with screaming and crying!  Now developmentally that could be his age, being over tired or just trying to assert his independence.  But I can’t help but to think he is angry… but at what?

He can’t talk like all the other kids, there’s a good one.  He also can’t physically do things like other kids.  And we live in Christchurch, so are all dealing with Earthquakes on a regular basis.

So is it anger or frustration?  Or both?

And I guess the big question is, how do we deal with it?

Now that is the hard one, we actually have no idea!  We don’t believe in rewarding the good and punishing the bad.  For many reasons that I won’t go into now (but here is a good article if you are interested) –

http://www.alfiekohn.org/parenting/gj.htm

We try talking to him, calming him and understand him but of course if he is violent he is removed until he can calm his body.

Is it the “right” way, I don’t know?  But I do know that I can’t find any other ways that include respecting your children.  I am hoping that this is just a “stage” and with patience we will get past it.

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Christmas, Santa and “Naughty Children”…

So this Christmas I am thrown deeper into “Christmas spirit”, more than ever before.  I don’t know if it’s the age of Kaden & his little sister or if I am seeking it out, like a Christmas junkie.  I LOVE Christmas time, the fantasy of Santa and the excitement of giving and receiving presents.  So does Kaden though, he loves giving presents (sometimes more than receiving them) and he loves parties!

Our children are tired and grumpy, finally its school holidays and they can just “hang out”, but they are still on edge of course, Christmas is coming.

The one part of Christmas that I just can’t cope with is… NAUGHTY CHILDREN!  And that is, the fact that children are labelled naughty (if they misbehave at all) and then told, “Santa is not coming to your house this year”!  How is good parenting manipulating them into being “good” (by their parents standards) by threatening no visit from Santa!

My children are NEVER NAUGHTY… they are just tired, frustrated or angry, the same as their parents.  Or they are expressing themselves (the only way they know how), for something that is upsetting them.  I am so tired at the moment, being the end of the year, organising Christmas and the excitement of it coming.  So that makes me a little grumpy.  No one has told me that I’ve been naughty and Christmas is cancelled, why?  Because I’m an adult, I am respected for being me…

I wonder why we don’t feel the same about our children?

I don’t know why I parent like I do, it could be because of Kaden’s dyspraxia or it could be that’s just who I am.  But the one thing I am sure of is, my children are my equal, they need my love, respect and guidance to become confident adults.

So if you have naughty children in your house, here is a challenge for you.  Today, try just enjoy your children.  Ignore your “to do” list and just have fun with them.  Make Christmas cards, play cars, go for a walk to the park, just have fun!

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

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Brain drain…

I had an interview last week to review our LifeLinks funding.

http://www.lifelinks.co.nz/WhatWeDo.aspx

LifeLinks support families with a disabled person/child and we are able to get funding for carer support hours, i.e. babysitting money so I can have a break.

While having the review I was explaining a “day with Kaden”, including the little things like him calling out to me every few minutes throughout the day, just to make sure I am still there.  Or asking Umm about just about everything and me having to interpret what he is trying to ask/say.  I explained it by saying, it is just like playing charades with a 5yr old, all day and that I have to be one step a head of him all the time otherwise I won’t be able to understand what he wants to say.

The Needs Assessor said to me, sounds like you have “Brain drain”….  Wow, that explains it perfectly!

Most people would think having a child that doesn’t talk wouldn’t be that big of deal.  Just like having a toddler that is learning to talk, I guess.  Although at 5yrs old, Kaden has more mature thoughts and feelings than a toddler and is expected to be understood as much as anyone else.  It is Brain drain, I spend all my time with him “guessing” what he wants and praying that I am right, just so I don’t hurt his feelings or frustrate him by getting it wrong.

Life for Kaden (and other children like him) must, SUCK!  Imagine being just as smart as those around you but not being able to express yourself in the same way or just tell people how you are feeling.  Thankfully Kaden is generally a positive little boy who is happy with life!

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