I love my kiddos. They are my world. I've always accepted their behavior as normal because, well, its normal for us. Sure, there may have been times that they were on the slower or later end of the curve, but thats ok, right? Because they aren't 'bad' kids by definition and really, they have their good moments. They can be 'good' kids....and by good I mean spell a word consistently(that would be nice) or go out in public without having to scream just because(I won't hold my breath!). It wasn't until the start of this past school year when I really started to step back and notice things about my children that I knew in my heart were NOT normal. My happy, well adjusted and popular daughter had gone to the school nurse at least 75% of the days she was in attendance at public school....sometimes more than once a day! I had teacher friends checking up on her, watching her, and making sure that there was no problem with bullying, problems with friends or older kids, etc. She did really well, and was enrolled in the gifted program where she continued to make good grades. However, I noticed problems that, to this day are still a huge issue. Spelling problems, handwriting issues and math. Also, her last teacher called me to tell me she thought my daughter's stomach aches weren't really a problem and that she was just making them up to get out of class. I told her that she should do her job and figure out why my daughter was having such a rough time but managed to get such good grades. That there had to be something else going on because she liked going to school, liked her teachers, friends, etc. Once we started homeschooling, I noticed something: she would have stomach aches when she had to do a lot of copywork or math. Not anxiety, like, almost like motion sickness. Her vision is perfect so we knew it wasn't that. Math problems were often incorrect, even for the most basic of concepts and, although she could get an answer on paper, she never shows her work. that concept doesn't make sense to her. If I do put a time limit on math or copywork or certain other activities, the number of wrong answers increases dramatically. It takes AGES for the proper spelling of a word to sink in...if at all. She will spell it correctly in once sentence and then, later on the same page, she will spell it incorrectly. Trying to get her thoughts out in an effective manner can also prove difficult, sometimes to the point she gets frustrated and just says 'oh, I don't know' and gives up. Its very frustrating for her because she is very academically motivated. I finally decided to start looking for answers. The answer I came up with is dyslexia. I'm going through the avenues to have her evaluated. Is she dyslexic? who knows. I don't at this point. This is just what I suspect. However, it would actually be a relief if that were the case, because then she would be able to get some extra help and I could sort out the best way to teach her.
Now, on to my son. My little dude. He's adorable and sweet and all smooshy blond curls. However, once I saw him interacting with other kids and his behaviors in general, I knew he was far from 'normal'. He was the baby who could NOT be rocked, at all. period. If you rocked him he would scream and throw up. No rocking at all. To this day, if you're sitting and holding him, you better not be rocking because it just pisses him off. He's well over 3 but still has a pacifier. I let him have the pacifier because if he doesn't have it, he puts everything else in his mouth. I mean everything. One day he lost his pacifier in the car and I turned around to notice he had pulled of his shoe and was chewing on that! Sadly, the pacifier is the only thing that prevents him putting inappropriate things in his mouth. No matter how hard I work with him, and go over the rules with him, its about impossible to take him out in public! :( He RUNS.....not jogs ahead, RUNS. EVERYWHERE. Like he's driven by some motor that just can't be turned off. He touches EVERYTHING. seriously. You should buy stock in antibac gel because he touches everything. Not just toys, but trash, plants, and anything else he comes across. However, don't YOU dare try to touch what HE is touching. He understands 'gentle' but can't be gentle. He can demonstrate it with me, but its almost as if he see's it as a line that he has to leap right past and can't play or interact with anyone without a touch turning into a punch, slap or push. Cups of water always have to be tipped over. If its in a sippy he has to turn it upside down and shake it to get the liquid out. Things always have to be thrown when he is done with them. He's caught more spankings over this than anything else, because he has NO regards for people, animals or things in this regard. He's tired of a toy, he's gonna throw it and oh well if it hits anything or anyone in the process. You try to take away a hammer he found? ditto! :/ He doesn't understand speaking or singing at a normal level or 'inside voice'. He screams. all the time. He has to be louder than everything. And God give me strength if I try to have a gathering at my house...its like he starts out overstimulated and it turns the whole get-together into an embarassing hot mess. Sadly, I'm to the point where I try to schedule gatherings for when I know he will be napping so that we won't have to send everyone home. It just becomes too exhausting to try to keep him well-behaved around other people. I always tell people that if he had been my first child, I would NEVER have had more children. He's that difficult. Of course, when we're out in public, no one stops to take into consideration that he may have a behavior issue. Its just assumed that I'm a bad mom. However, hopefully there may be an answer for him as well. Sensory Processing Disorder. I'm looking for someone to evaluate him. This would allow him to have early help if he needs it and this is a disorder that doesn't include drugs as a method of treatment. Its all occupational therapy. Right now I'm still sorting out what exactly I need to do to have them properly evaluated. Its been a long road. It can take some time to come to term with the fact that something isn't quite right with your children. However, its for their best interests that I swallow my pride and my shame and realize that there is no normal. There's just average....and I never set out to be average at anything anyhow! :)