I used to rush through moments Liam needed me most without realizing it. This ultimately led to Liam crying and me sweating. It led to legs flying and arms flailing. Screams echoing that felt like the world could hear them in that moment.
I wasn’t hearing Liam’s unspoken requests. I wasn’t seeing his unique needs. I could not feel the stress and anxiety he was feeling.
My advise to the Mom of the newly diagnosed child is this.
It can wait.
When you are standing in line at the grocery store and your child starts to squirm and cry. Stop. Try to listen to those unspoken words. There is something they are trying to communicate to you that they desperately want you to hear. The people behind you might get annoyed, they might be delayed a minute or two. They don’t know this is your moment to grow with your child. Nor do they need to know this. They can wait.
When you are running late for work or getting them to school but your child just can’t seem to pull it together to get out the door. They are stripping back down out of their clothes or refuse to put their shoes on. Pause. There is a part of your routine that might have them stuck. They need your help getting out of it. Take 5 minutes off your lunch instead and trust me the school understands. Work and school can wait.
When you are home trying to get them to brush their teeth, get dressed, go to sleep or anything at all and they are uncontrollable, just stop. Let the moment happen. Keep your cool. Your calm is their calm. Know their is something trying to be communicated with you. Even if you cant see it, hear it or feel it. Look for it. Just wait.
When your in the store shopping and the sensory issues are just too much for your little one. They lasted as long as possible or maybe you didnt even make it in the store. Get that shirt tomorrow. It can wait.
Your child is not spoiled, they are processing the moment differently then you. These moments can be more painful then you realize to them. Yes, you will have to learn the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown. This you WILL learn.
Be prepared for these moments ahead of time. Realize that when you go out in public it is going to go wrong. When you try to keep your routine the same at home it will faulter. It’s not going to be perfect no matter how much you prepare.
Prepare for that.
Prepare for the waiting. This is the one thing you can do to help no matter how uncomfortable it feels in the moment. You can slow it down. You can give them the opportunity to communicate without words. Your connection can grow and blossom. It WILL overtime. It gets better this I promise you.