Some Opinions/views Might Be Helpful.....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I've been watching easy child's boys for a year now.

    Connor is obviously a difficult child with autism (can't be too sure at this point how far down on the spectrum he is) alone. But he's lagging in gross/fine motor skills, speech, and maturity. easy child can deny all she wants, but it's there and obvious to anyone who has spent as much time working with children as I have, in addition to special needs children. He is lagging quite a bit behind, but I am starting to see improvements and we're working on what we can work on. Although I'm not quite sure how to aide with maturity.....I just keep working with his skills and hope that catches up. Right now? He's working at Oliver's level maturity wise and even with large/fine motor skills. He's doing a bit better with speech, but we've been working with him on that. Speech really had me worried for a while, but his progress is pretty good, so not so worried about it at the moment. I'm working on large/fine motor skills.

    I've dealt with these things and so with Connor it's just sort of business as usual around here except I'd like to see him working with a licensed Occupational Therapist (OT) and PT so maybe he could catch up faster.....but that's up to easy child not me. (I also worry he won't catch up to the level he might with real therapists) I can out stubborn any child, which my lil man has learned. He has also learned he's expected to follow the same rules with the same punishments and Nana is no nonsense about it. He does well, even does time out for me. Is sharing well with the other boys most of the time.

    I'm determined he's going to be eating with utensils here soon. He tries but gets frustrated and gives up and uses his hands ineffectively. So I'll sit beside him and help with a fork of my own while he's making attempts with his spoon. Last night he was made to practice getting food into his mouth with his spoon with strawberry ice cream. Ice cream was the motivation.....he loves ice cream. Nana refused to allow him to use his hands, which resulted in screaming that got him nowhere fast. Then once his screaming was over, I put the spoon into his hand and helped him scoop up some ice cream and guide it to his mouth. We did this about a million times until the ice cream was all gone. He tried several times alone, because I encourage it, but he kept trying to bring in his other hand to actually scoop and eat the ice cream with......(instead of putting it on the spoon)......and I wouldn't let him, then showed him how by guiding him again. The only other child I've ever seen not able to use a spoon to put food into their mouth at 2 yrs of age is bff's son......and he had CP and was working with therapists to do so, much the same way I'm doing Connor. Now at 2 they're not necessarily going to do a great job of it, will make a mess, and often need the other hand to help put/keep the food onto the spoon depending on what it is, but they should be able to get the food onto the spoon and into their mouth. With Connor it's both getting it onto the spoon (and so far it doesn't matter what the food is) and getting it successfully into his mouth, he just can't seem to get the hang of it. If he gets lucky and manages to get it onto the spoon, he'll lose the bite before it gets to his mouth because he will turn the spoon side ways or upside down. I work with him with his meals too, but he gets frustrated easily. Ice cream, well, he wasn't going to give up on because he really wanted that ice cream. LOL

    Brandon at over 3 1/2 *might* be nearly broke for the potty. I have to put the *might* in there because we'll think he's doing well and then he goes back to old habits, especially here. I have seen improvement, as the last time he pooed his pants (outside) I knew because of the smell (over the top always phew) but I watched to see if he'd come and tell me (figured he'd not wanted to stop playing) and while he didn't come and tell me, it was obvious he was uncomfortable and not liking messed underwear. Before, he could've cared less even if it was running down his leg. ick So I brought him inside, cleaned him up, told him if he pottied outside in his pants because he doesn't want to tell me he has to go then he would not be allowed to play outside. So far, I didn't get an accident maybe that was motivation enough. We'll see. I have never had a kid take this long to break, ever. Aubrey took a while because Nichole's husband (they weren't living together at the time) wouldn't get with the program, but still it didn't take this long. The being uncomfortable with it now I think will help a I'm hoping it won't be much longer when there will be no more accidents.

    The real issue with Brandon now is the deliberately acting like a baby thing. He nearly drove me insane with it yesterday. You correct him, he ignores you. He thinks it's cute. I talked to easy child to see if he's doing it at home too. He is and she thinks it is an attempt for attention. Well, it might be, except there is no real reason for it..........except that he was spoiled with attention....and now Connor is becoming more social and affectionate.......sooo maybe?? Dunno. But he looks ridiculous, it's annoying as all get out to deal with. I've never had a kid want to be younger than they are. It was always the other way around. He got so bad at supper that I told him if he wants to be a baby like Connor (who I'm trying to get through Brandon's head I'm teaching to be a big boy) then he can take naps with Connor. Didn't phase him much.

    It's deliberate as he gets this look across his eyes when he's doing it or about to do it. He also sometimes thinks this "allows" him to get away with unacceptable behavior toward either Connor or Darrin. Which of course it doesn't.

    I'm sure it's not so easy having a little brother not much younger than yourself. (they are 18 months apart) Hmm. Now that I say that it sounds silly. 18 months is sort of close together but not that close. Shoot easy child and Travis are only 22 months apart and I never had such issues. And Travis did demand a lot of my attention and time due to his issues.

    I try to play up the big brother deal and have him help me show Connor how to be big. It doesn't seem to be working in the slightest. I guess we'll be doing time out for un age appropriate behavior because honestly......nothing else has worked. And it's getting out of hand.

    It's frustrating for me because once I got him past the holy terror stage, now I'm dealing with the babyfied stage and well, I love him but it's making it difficult to warm up to him and do things to get closer to him because I don't want to encourage this behavior. And he's doing the baby thing so darn much, that I'm having a hard time catching moments when he's not to either praise him for being a big boy or to spend time doing something special with him alone.

    Today so far has not been so bad. The baby behavior has not surfaced yet, but then Connor is also down for his nap. He wants me to come watch the Choo Choo's with I'm off to do that. :)

    But I have a feeling, if we're not careful, Brandon is going to wind up easy child's real difficult child with the behavior issues. I'd hate to see that happen cuz he's such a sweet lil guy when he wants to be.

    Any ideas on how to deter babyish behavior? (I'd rather not have him sitting in Time Out nearly the whole time Connor is awake either)
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    How about some feedback on Conner instead? Conner, I can relate to. Especially... motor skills issues!!!!!

    And... yes. I know what it's like to have a teenager who is just barely figuring out how to manage a knife and fork at the same time.

    At 2... I fed him. Couldn't stand the mess if he fed himself, because he was closer to a 6-mo-old for aim even eating with fingers. Not joking.

    What did help was... specifically providing hand-feed foods that had to be handled correctly. For example, ice cream... on a cone. He had to learn how to hold the cone with both hands, and lift it neatly to his face - OR lower his face to the cone - to lick it. Took MASSIVE concentration. And six months of effort. But once me mastered that, a spoon became easier.

    Spoon - look for an Occupational Therapist (OT)-type spoon - the one that is a bit deeper bowl, so that "something" stays in even if they don't hold it perfectly. Practice using a spoon when NOT eating. Use a ladle to water plants (a ladle is a very big spoon).

    Look for a less-fine motor-skill that is "close" to what you are trying to teach. Focus on that first. He will not really master the fine stuff until the gross stuff comes together. And... expect the fine stuff to be significantly delayed. But he will get there. Don't give him pencils and crayons like the other kids. This one needs fist-sized chunks of chalk and a huge board (or sidewalk...). Turn fine-motor skills into gross motions. It's an Occupational Therapist (OT) trick, and it helps.

    We didn't have access to Occupational Therapist (OT) etc. until recently - and Occupational Therapist (OT) is still having huge impact, so you are NOT out of time or options for interventions.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    IC, I've been searching for an Occupational Therapist (OT) type spoon for some time now and haven't come across one. I use deep plastic bowls with him because otherwise when he tries to scoop the food will fly out the other side of the bowl. Poor kid LOL

    And no, he doesn't do such a hot job of feeding himself with his hands, depending on the food........and picking only finger type non messy food is not the answer. I don't mind the mess as long as I can keep him trying to get that spoon full of food into his mouth. I have dogs eager to clean anything up off the floor (and they're fast lol ) and he has a huge nice bib that does pretty well protecting his clothes and the rest is washable. (even though he hates it) If there is going to be a mess I'd prefer it be because of using the spoon as opposed to the hands. Know what I mean??

    As for the baby behavior with Brandon, as predicted the moment Connor was up, it started. He managed to hold it together pretty well until he went full blown outside and found himself sitting in time out until he was willing to act like a big boy. (about 10 mins, he's almost as stubborn as his Nana) Then I explained to him Connor is not a baby anymore either and we need him to help us teach Connor how to be a big boy like him and Darrin. Not sure how much sunk in, but he did better the rest of the evening.

    No potty accidents this week, and I'm very proud of him and told him so. :)

    Oh, wait, he did pull the baby thing when running around the yard. So I enlisted Darrin to teach him how to run fast like a big kid, instead of a girl (way he was flapping his arms around).......and it worked. Little buggar can run pretty quick when he tries. lol
  4. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I would suggest making a list of things he can do and a baby, more specifically his little brother, connot do. Show him all the benefits that come with growing up. I could give you some examples, but the key is to find some he can really relate to.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ahhh....something I have experience in! I really think I would go look at those specialty utensils I posted about months ago that Babys R Us have that have a 'pusher' to help the kid get the food on the fork or spoon. I am not even sure it comes with a spoon come to think of it...maybe just a fork or some kind of spork. The boys set look like construction vehicles and the girls are a princess theme. You can also find bowls that are deeper and have lips and suction cup to either a table or the high chair tray.

    Hailie does the baby talk thing. She is going into K this year and the last time we saw her she was going...da da. When Hailie was born, Keyana was only 13 months old but she was so jealous that she rushed from each of us and said to us "No! you Mine!" She didnt want any of us to hold Hailie. She wanted to crawl up into the lap of whoever was holding the

    Now Mikey is still not potty trained and refuses to even do so. He will be 3 in a month. He also cant speak clearly at all. I can barely understand anything he says and he acts like he has some real issues.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Thanks Janet. I'll look them up. I hope they have fat handles or grips to them :)

    I'm trying to take some time with Brandon while Connor is napping. (easy child is doing the same thing) So he can get a little Me time all his own. Today we discussed Chugington, the trains he wanted me to watch with him, and Mickey Mouse ect. Brandon is talking much better now but it's still really hard to understand him much of the time. I'm big on encouraging words and them using their words. I pick things around the house and ask him what the colors are, if he gets one wrong I associate it with something he can remember like green is for grass, yellow for the sun ect. He's doing better with colors too.......I think easy child has been working with him that way and started the alphabet and counting. Connor is better at counting than Brandon because I count with him going up the stairs for nap and then back down the stairs when he gets up......actually he counts any stairs he uses. lol (hey it works) he just doesn't seem to like the number one. lmao Brandon doesn't seem at all interested in counting stairs and just blinks at me when I sing the alphabet song........on the other hand, Connor loves singing and music and loved it when I sang it.

    Maggie adores Connor to the nth degree, almost like a magnet, she does NOT want to leave him alone for a second. She likes Brandon and Darrin just fine, but will seek out Connor no matter where he is. Brandon did surprise me today when he played fetch with her tennis ball and used all the right commands with her. He was very patient and remembered to pet her and tell her she was a good girl too. I was quite impressed. So Brandon does listen to instruction and remember just fine, it's just getting him interested it looks like. So I'll have to think of some ways to get him interested. hmmm

    Janet, I don't even want Brandon to go to preschool doing the baby talk./behavior thing. The other kids will look at him like he's an idiot and I want him to have a good experience when he goes. This one really throws me because every kid I have ever known was always trying hard to be so much bigger than they were. lol Not the other way around. And I know easy child thinks it's just the attention thing......but I've seen him do it when he alone comes with us to help us shop.....and other times when Connor is no where near around him. I'd like to nip it in the bud before it becomes a habit of behavior. Because when he does it he is acting far more babyish than Connor, so that is bad.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Lisa... I'm just trying to think like the OTs we've worked with... and one thing they told us over and over was to NOT focus on the fine motor skills at the "fine" level - all it does is multiply the frustration. It's so "intuitive" to teach the specific skill you want to see, but for a kid with neuro-motor problems, all it does is reinforce the frustration. He needs to learn how to feed himself neatly, without a spoon. If he can't even get his hand to his mouth effectively, he is not ready for a spoon. difficult child used to over-stuff his mouth because... once he "connected" food with mouth, he didn't want to repeat the effort too often... so, HUGE bite. The more I insisted he use knife and fork to cut his meat, the more he persisted in "spearing" the meat and taking bites off. It really WAS a far bigger effort than I realized, until later.

    This is one area where I'd love to be able to sit easy child down and explain what the long-term cost of avoiding Occupational Therapist (OT) is... because we've been there done that. You don't even need a diagnosis to pursue the Occupational Therapist (OT) intervention. You don't even need the Occupational Therapist (OT) to do most of the work - but you need an Occupational Therapist (OT) to lay out the stages for the skill in question, so that the progression steps are small enough and that you don't try to move ahead too quickly.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hope that easy child will get him to an Occupational Therapist (OT) at some point soon. or that school will push the issue. Occupational Therapist (OT) help can do so very very much and can make such HUGE strides and does not include medications that have side effects. I honestly think Occupational Therapist (OT) interventions are vastly underused and should be mandatory for ALL kids simply because we all have some degree of challenges.

    Southpaw enterprises has some eating aids on this page:

    Amazon has these things you might find helpful in there daily living aids:

    You also might look at what they have listed for toddler dishes.

    If you do NOTHING else, go and find a copy of The Out of Sync Child Has Fun by Kranowitz. This is not the book that explains Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), it is the book crammed iwth FUN (honest to gosh, everyone likes it activities - with ideas to make them as cheap as possible!) actvities. We wore a copy of this book out in just over a year because the kids would plan the next scheduled family time and they would want to do some of the things themselves and every one of us spent more time with that book than husband or I used to over the Sears' Wish Book back when they still made those.

    The book will help you find ways to develop the areas he needs to work on, and ways to include the ohter kds in those things when appropriate.

    As far as 2yo eating, Jess was my ONLY child who could feed herself with silverware by age 2. Not WOULD, COULD. the boys just couldn't. With Wiz I didn't know it was off. He used a fork well, but spoons were not successful. Poor kid thought everyone at pudding, ice cream bar, popsicles and jello only in the bathtub at the start of bathtime!! He was SOOO messy that I only gave him those if he was in the tub - but he loved that he had special 'tub food'.

    thank you was having a hard time using silverware in kdg. He STILL has a tough time with it, esp if he cannot just stab it and eat it. He stays relatively neat when we eat in public and I almost never fuss over his utensil using. He is almost 13 and at this point isn't going to listen a whole lot anyway. I don't choose for this to be a fght issue. One things that DID help as to get those Gripz cookies/crackers for special times. They are the ones where the cookie isabout the size of a pencil eraserl Each tiny cookie had to be picked up in whatever grip we were practicing and eaten 1 at a time. I also put them on top of pudding or ice cream so he could practice wth a spoon,

    I hope some of this helps and that you know you are always in my thoughts and prayers!