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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

20 Things

So I'm not gonna share the teacher email we received last week, y'all. Because it just didn't sit well with me to do that. But I think the Tongginator's current behavior might tie into adoption in some ways, so I am gonna share a bit. Bear with me as I ramble incessantly, trying to find my point.

I probably haven't mentioned this before, but I've been attending a once-a-week Christian adoptive parents book club since September. We first read Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew and are currently reading 20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed, both written by reunited adoptee Sherrie Eldridge. At our last meeting, we got to talking about the Tongginator's recent behavior at school and... well... I experienced an epiphany.

It's February, y'all.

Right before Chinese New Year.

And every year, right around this time, my Tongginator struggles with a ton of behavior issues. They haven't always looked like they do this year, but The Issues - whatever they may be - always begin in February. Because my Tongginator is ramping up to deal with the anniversary of her adoption day and finding day, as well as her birthday, which all occur in early March.

In chapter five of Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, Eldridge summarizes specific attachment difficulties of children of various ages. The list for children aged five to fourteen is quite extensive, and most do not apply to our Tongginator, since they deal with Serious Attachment Issues such as destructive behavior, a fascination with blood and gore, cruelty to animals, promiscuity, and on and on. But some of the more "mild" behaviors fit our Tongginator to a tee. And most of them directly reference the school and home issues we've been dealing with these past few weeks. They include:
  • superficially engaging and "charming;" using "cuteness" to get others to do what he or she wants
  • no impulse control; extremely defiant and angry; needs to be in control of events in his or her life; tends to boss others around; responds with prolonged arguing when asked to do something
  • learning lags: often underachieves in school
  • lack of cause-and-effect thinking; surprised when others are upset by his or her actions
  • hoarding or gorging food
  • poor peer relationships; difficulty in making and keeping friends more than a week; bossy in his or her play with others
  • persistent questions and chatter; asks repeated nonsensical questions or chatters non-stop
  • inappropriately demanding and clingy; tries to get attention by demanding things instead of asking for them; affectionate only when wanting something
It's times like these that I feel like A Complete Idiot. Because how could I not have put two-and-two together sooner? Y'all, the Tongginator is acting out-of-control because she feels out-of-control. And just acknowledging this is going to change my parenting decisions tremendously. No, I don't regret her loss-of-electronics-all-weekend consequence (I'd do it again!), but I will be trying to meet my little gal's needs very differently than I have been these past two weeks.

And now I'm curious... how many of these traits do y'all see in your adopted children, ages five to 14? Do you believe they related to adoption? Are they cyclical or ever-present? And how do you parent through them? Inquiring minds want to know.

33 comments:

Corey said...

TM, I think that if we think of attachment as a spectrum or a continuum instead of a yes/no, things make much more sense. On one end of the spectrum is the child that you conceived, carried without stress, birthed without trauma, nurtured from the beginning, that had love & support & stimulation from the beginning: the securely attached child. On the other is the child with RAD. And in the middle is a whole bunch of varying degrees of attachment. Attachment "experts" like Ainsworth, Main & Solomon described 4 "types" of attachment. (I wrote a post about this once, but I'm not here to toot my own blog, so I don't want to link.) I see my (5) adopted kids all along the spectrum.. the more trauma they had, the farther from secure attachment they are.

As for parenting through them, we look for the emotions or triggers behind the behavior and talk through that.. however, having a reason for a behavior is not an excuse for a behavior. Actions still have consequences. But often the consequences (in our house) include "having" to play quietly near mom (no electronics), thus increasing the child's emotional regulation/sense of safety.

Mei Mei Journal said...

We see some of these behaviors some of the time from each of our daughters. The one that had profound attachment difficulties benefitted greatly from and has since been discharged from attachment therapy.

We have noticed that the more difficult times seem to precede a step forward in development and/or attachment and are not sure which is the cause and which is the effect.

lalalorlor said...

I do not want to belitte the books your club is reading because I think that set is AWESOME, but those same points mentioned also apply to children with adhd regardless of if they adopted or bio. My sister and I have 7 kids between us - 2 bios and 5 adopted from China. Out of the 7, only 2 are not ADHD - 1 adopted and 1 bio. The rest run the spectrum of inattentive and hyper to extremely agressive and hyper. We are a family that researches everything before we will accept a diagnosis of any kind especially one that requires medication. All of our kids with ADHD are doing so much better with behavior at school since they were diagnosed and put on medication. I will also say that out of the 5 adopted, we have 1 like the Togginator that has behavioral issues around her birthday even after being home almost 7 years (adopted at 26 months).

Laurie said...

We're still on the young side (age 5) of this, and so far we haven't had any visible issues- meaning there may be some things going on, they just haven't come to the surface YET! The only thing on that list we deal with is persistent chatter- but that's been going on since she could talk and is, in my opinion, just her personality. I have NO idea WHERE she gets it!!! :)

autumnesf said...

We go through this every year starting in the end of December. And every year I wonder what happened to my kid...until the light bulb goes on. You'd think I'd remember by now but I don't. Having the holidays right there throws me I think - I tend to start out blaming it on pre-holiday excitement...until something happens to remind me what month this is in her little life. Then I drag my fav adoption books back out for an refresh. Sure makes a difference in our responses and parenting until we hit January and things settle back down.

Aus said...

Morning TM - be happy to communicate about this with you privately if you'd like as well - but the public version is you are 100% correct. We have 'issues' with our adopted kids around their gotcha day - around their birthdays - and around the infamous US holiday of Mother's day (interestingly not around Father's day tho...hummmm).

And that really shouldn't be a surprise - Think of it from our adult perspective - all of us have some things in our history that were traumatic - things that when something happens to invoke the memory we get that 'sick feeling' all over again. They don't have to be 'major events' like a near death experience, or death in the family or anything like that - they can be simply things that feel huge to us - embarrassment - anger moments - whatever.....they are 'stressors' that provoke a frequently physical response (that sick feeling is a physical response to emotional stress - there are whole medical books devoted to it). The chemicals our body makes when confronted with those stressors make our emotional response difficult to control - for some folks impossible to control. the younger you are - the harder it is to control that response. that's all the stuff that fits into this recipe for T and your family....

And so - I'd respectfully submit - that T is simply trying to find a way to excercise control over anything in her world to help her feel better over her lack of control of her life prior to her adoption. From her perspective: 1) I have had experiences in my life that anyone would consider traumatic, 2) I have things in my history that no one (including myself maybe) will ever really know, 3) I'm smart, 4) I've got skills that I developed to help me survive (cute get's me what I want and other 'coping mechanisms'), 5) I think that they love me, 6) I've thought that before and been wrong 7) If I can get control of them and the others, I'll be safe.

With my bio kids I maybe wasn't the most understanding dad in the world - and if you don't belive me - ask them and they'll tell you. If I have a regret in my life it's that - but I was barely in control of my life when they were young (hence my feeling that we humans would be better off if it were physically impossible for us to procreate until we were in our 30's!!) I'm a better dad now that I'm older - because I understand the 'why' behind what the kids are doing. Chase has been a bear the past couple weeks - but this is his adoption + 1 year the past couple weeks too....I get it.

And so do you - and that's a good thing!

And if I had the secret formula on how to respond at this point I'd share it - but - each one has to be specific to the kid, family, and situation - sorry!

hugs - aus and co.

Aus said...

Clarification - just re-read what I posted - under T's thoughts #6 - "I've thought that before and was wrong" - I AM NOT referring to her current home life! I am referring to the events in her life PRIOR to her being adopted. I wouldn't want that to be misunderstood - I think ya'll are "spot on" and ourstanding parents - and frankly consider myself fortunate to think of ya'll as friends.

Wanted to be sure - there is so much communication that get's lost when reading the written word!

hugs - aus and co.

lmgnyc said...

Thank you for posting this TM. My DD has been wickedly out of sorts for the past couple of weeks as well and --as usual-- I couldn't put my finger on why and -- as usual-- tended to put the blame on myself and thought she was picking up on my nervous energy over the prep for LNY and our (not so secret) discussions of our searching.

Whenever the light bulb goes on (like now) and I figure out the real reason for her behavior, it makes me sad.

Thank you for this reminder. Because you are totally right, the way I need to react to the behavior is completely different than I was.

maryanne said...

I would not put too much stock in lists such as this to self-diagnose your child or yourself, nor in Ms Eldridge's work. I am not an adoptive parent and do not know what behaviors you see in your child or how to deal with them, but in general lists of this sort are not reliable as diagnostic tools, and can lead to harmful wrong assumptions and treatments.

Such lists are sufficiently broad and vague that they fit most children some of the time, and also a variety of problems that might be causing the behavior. This one could fit just as well for ADHD, other problems, as for anything specifically adoption related. Usually the diagnosis fits whatever "cure" the person is selling, in this case, Eldridge's books and seminars.

I'd say consult someone who can actually meet and know your child and you if you feel there are problems that might benefit from professional help, don't get your advice from an internet list.

osolomama said...

Well, I've just seen Maryanne's comment here and I was just finishing up mine so what the heck. Going to step out on a limb here and say these inventories are not really all that helpful and that I think some people may be tempted to attribute feelings and reactions to their children or to their “adoptedness” that might not be due to that at all. Also how do we know at times that it isn't our own parenting style and our own need for control that doesn't make our kids pull back from us. I would not want someone second-guessing me 24/7 or thinking about me as potentially superficially engaging, academically challenged, and a social loser—which is what Eldridge's list basically says if you read it with your eyes peeled. Oh, and that means “adopted”. Okee-dokey then. BTW, the bossy thing is totally related to being an only child.

No, DD did not exhibit many of these behaviours, except that like lots of kids she had her moments. But I don't consider meltdowns and the occasional door-slamming and F-you to be anything remarkable and my basic philosophy is starve the bad stuff and feed the good. She has had specific phonemic awareness and reading problems, all of which have been addressed or worked around, allowing her to achieve academically at the highest level going into highschool. If I were to counsel anyone on what to look for, I would advise they look at that. Because our kids were wired in the first year or years of their life to speak another language and the shift can be much more profound than we may realize. And THAT in turn can cause all sorts of problems—tuning out in class; people thinking they are lazy; achieving poorly in reading and writing and therefore getting less practice with using logical thinking, etc.

Briana's Mom said...

Bri is only four, so I guess I will wait and see what happens. The only one that resonated with me was the questions and chatter. Bri constantly asks questions that she knows the answers to already. Is it adoption related or her just being a 4 year old? Not too sure yet about that one.

Sarah said...

I'm currently reading "The Connected Child" by Purvis, Cross, and Sunshine. http://www.amazon.com/Connected-Child-healing-adoptive-family/dp/0071475001 The book is about retraining parental reactions to behavior, in order to positively influence our children to feel secure and display the good behaviors that we want to encourage. I'm 1/3 the way through... and I'm really getting into this. A friend of mine (parent of two international adoptees ages 4 and 7, and 3 foster children ages 3 weeks to 17) loves the book so much she hands out copies to adoptive and foster families and is going to start teaching a class based off the book's methods. I searched your blog to see if you'd ever talked about this book, and the only entry I found was a Sunday Linkage link to Owlhaven where she went to a conference where the author spoke.

Anonymous said...

Okay, let me start out by saying that I'm sick with a sinus infection that won't go away and 5 out of the 5 in my household are all sick. (6 if you include the dog), so please forgive me if I don't present my opinion in the most coherent way. I am mainly addressing the above posts from osolomama and maryanne and just also putting this out there for people to read and take it for what it is...my opinion and my experience.

I am a KAD. I came home from Korea at 7 1/2 months. I was abandoned at birth and was in an orphanage until I came home. The list that TM just posted above fits me to a tee. I exhibited almost ALL of those behaviors at some point in my childhood. It wasn't like I WANTED to be like that, but I just couldn't help it. I couldn't understand WHY I was like that and neither could my parents. I am 33 and was part of the last wave of 1st generation KAD's. Post-adoption resources were not readily available as they are now. I know that you can't take EVERYTHING you read in a book and apply it to every adopted child or situation, but I do believe there is some truth and merit to what Eldridge is saying, because I have lived it. I still have an extreme dislike of my birthday and as a child I sabotaged EVERY birthday party I ever had.

"potentially superficially engaging, academically challenged, and a social loser"

It might not be the nicest way to describe some of the behaviors, but in all honestly, I was all of the above...to some degree. Nobody could ever understand how I could test so well and have a fairly high I.Q. and yet do so poorly in school. I never knew why I felt the need to push away my friends (before they could leave me) and I always felt I needed to be "someone else or fake" to get people to like me.

Again, I'm rambling and am not sure if I am making much sense. I just wanted to put it out there that I think there is definitely some merit to these "issues" listed, as I have personally experienced and gone through them myself.

-Mandy Park (KAD)

sara said...

My nephew, adopted at 2 from an orphange after abandonment, is 13 now. And at some point or another has gone through all of those things. My niece not so much. But C really struggles with attachment, hoardes food, is deceptive, and so much more. My brother's only saving grace was that they had him in therapy really quickly to try and help the transition. Since Pie is so young, we haven't gone though any of this yet. But I will be checking out those books for sure!

The Drinkwaters said...

My comment/experience with this does not relate to adoption - yet (as my daughters are still quite young and I have not seen this yet).

However, as a teacher, I have seen similar things with some the children I have taught who have had traumatic life experiences. I recognize that with some children there are "trauma-versaries" (word made up that we use at school), where certain months/times of the year can trigger a lot of emotions and as such the student has a hard time processing and behavior goes through the roof.

We (the school/teachers) are able to see this occurring year after year around the same time when going back to review past files, notes and reports on some of the students I have taught. It seems as though even though it is not conscious - there seems to be some sort of "muscle memory" that remains.

So yes, behaviors *can* sky rocket during these times. And yes, there will still be some consequences, but with the understanding of what is going on inside the child. The focus is not on punishment, but rather on building understanding for the child on how they are feeling and how feelings can affect actions ALONGSIDE restitution for behavior.

Sherri said...

In answer to your question, yes, my girls have exhibited some of the behaviors on this list.

I understand what some of the commenters are saying, but you cannot remove "adoptedness" from a child that has been adopted. You can't discount their beginnings, what they've been through. Just like you can't take "mom" out of describing me. It's something I am. I am other things, too, but I am a mom.

And as an adoptive parent, I yearn to know what sorts of things adopted kids want their parents to know. My oldest (bio) daughter is working at a Mouse-y theme park and is living with a girl her age (out of college) who was adopted from China. I am dying to know the sorts of feelings she has.....maybe kind of a glimpse into my little ones' futures? Her freshman year of college she lived with a girl adopted from Korea. We learn from others' experiences.

And I know that you were a teacher, and you are aware of adhd, etc. I'm with Corey on the attachment spectrum description.

Cedar said...

I wasn't going to comment because I just read a long discussion on how annoying it is when people try to dismiss or empathize with what you are seeing with my bio did that too, and I only bio children.

However, I'd like to second/third the mention of "The Connected Child." The discussion of the why of a behavior and how that changes the how the parents handle the behavior was very helpful for me. Realizing my 7 year olds return to fits/disrespect/lacking self-control was tied to his grief over his grandma's death has helped us address both issues--the behavior and the hurt in his heart. "You cannot lash out in anger and I am sorry you are feeling sad."--has made a world of difference in him learning to control his anger.

Also, triggers and anniversaries of certain things do effect people, it only makes sense it would affect children also. I never had a boyfriend last through the month of March except my husband, and that was only because I finally realized the anniversary of my mom's death in March always made me more angry, easily upset, and withdrawn. (I only had a few and I usually dumped them--just want to make that clear.) Now that I recognize the grief I can address that pain instead of behaving in "unlike me" ways to avoid it.

I'm sorry I cannot answer your questions, but I feel confident you will find what works for the Tongginator.

Kim said...

Ours are a pair, so I think we got blessed in that their attachment to each other was a constant that they carried through all the others they've had.

Their attachment insecurity manifests itself in abandonment fear - I guess it's similar to clinginess, although they don't physically cling on. But they worry about me getting "lost."

Just these kinds of issues are one of my huge motivators for home schooling them. We frequently take field trips or meet with other families, so they have plenty of friends, but being with me most of the time has given them more time to find security in their permanence here in our family. It also gives me lots of opportunities to observe how they're doing in different situations, especially those that bring their adoption to the forefront.

Donley Farm said...

We're the adoptive parents of four brothers--ages 18 to 2. The descriptive list of attachment behaviors you shared is SPOT on. Our 6-year-old is having a particularly difficult with his adoption anniversary this year.

I agree with most of the replies you've gotten so far. Yes, attachment (all behavior, really) is best thought of as a spectrum of behaviors. And both yes and no, you can and cannot attribute behavior to the fact that one child is adopted any more than you can attribute his/her behavior to race, size, or religion. Experts can argue both sides all day long.

Living through our sons' behaviors peaks and valleys, unfortunately, has not equipped me to deal with them successfully on a repeated basis. I wish I had an answer for you (and for me!) but the fact of the matter is, each peak and valley is so distinct that there's not a formula response that has worked for us.

If you find a great answer, share it please!

Kerrie (and Jason) said...

Still a waiting mum here but my husband is adopted along with his sister and neither appear to have gone through the same issues. The main difference that I can think of (apart from the fact both were essentially newborns) is that while they both knew they were adopted no big deal was ever made of their 'gotcha days'. It was mentioned in passing perhaps but not constantly referred to.

Could perhaps a very subtle down playing of these days be useful?

Not suggesting these days are NOT important but perhaps the reminder that they are coming up increases the stress.

a Tonggu Momma said...

We don't actually celebrate her adoption day. We DO go out to dinner on that day (her choice of restaurant), but we go out to eat several times a month, so it's not all that different for us. We don't have cake or presents or anything. Well, except for our first year home when the restaurant staff surprised us with a cake.

Many people don't make a large deal out of those days and their children still struggle.

Sharie said...

I always had trouble relating to Amelia not acting like herself around Mother's Day, our adoption day, and her birthday - until I lost my dad...
Now I get it - not entirely, but I understand much better the loss. I am not myself at Father's Day, My Dad's Birthday, The Anniversary of his death, or Valentine's Day (the day he made special for his girls).

As far as the list of behaviors, I have seen some in Amelia. "bossy in his or her play with others" and persistent questions and chatter"

I don't know if these are specific to adoption, or simply her personality. I was similar when I was little:)

Lisa said...

TM, I actually wondered a bit about this when you mentioned the school email/behavior issue. I knew from previous posts that your family, especially TG had a big month approaching.

For us it has never manifested itself around particular days but I have seen glimpses of stress or superficial chattiness when confronted by strangers inquiring about our adoptive family status or as a prelude to school assignments that might involve family lineage.

I have not witnessed the other characteristics described on the list first hand, but other Adoptive Mamas have shared similiar stories with me.

Something else too.....its also possible that as you grow closer to the news of baby sister, her anxiety and nerves are increasing along with her excitement...? Sometimes that can exhibit in many other ways. As joyful as she is and so READY, she might also feel a bit apprehensive (or insecure)about a new fam. member and/or the journey ahead.

I'm rambling but just know that I respect that you are seeking answers and remain open to trying new techniques to help TG cope, whatever the challenges might be!!!

Anonymous said...

@Kerrie (and Jason)-
I don't even know what my "gotcha day" is. We have never celebrated that day in my family and it obviously was never made a big deal because I don't even know when it is. lol. I still had all of these issues growing up. I also think that those that are transracially adopted deal with not only a loss of their biological family, but also the loss of their heritage, country, identity, etc. Just my 2 cents.

-Mandy Park

Anonymous said...

My comment is essentially the same as The Drinkwaters'

I am a teacher and recognize all of the those behaviours from my time in elementary school classrooms... (hoarding or gorging food - not so often). When I see a child consistently display all of those behaviours I start to look really hard and usually there is a traumatic background. The behaviours listed here evoke a yellow warning light "girl in trouble" response from the teacher in me. (I have seen these collected traits in boys, but less often)

I have also OFTEN experienced kids acting up or having the worst behaviour day ever and then finding out after school or the next day that this is an anniversary of a difficult past event.

Being aware of the issues will make everything that much easier for you and your daughter. Take care.

LucisMomma said...

I have seen the behavior issues with our DD around her adoption day and around her birthday--and that was all before turning 5. FIVE. Nothing new was going on with us, it was all in her mind and she somehow knew the dates as significant (she was abandoned shortly after birth).

We've had some odd things happened in regard to schoolwork, too--I posted about it here (http://justmythoughtsexactly.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/sometimes-it-is-an-adoption-issue/ ) and you were kind enough to comment then. Sometimes *it is* an adoption issue! And they occur around milestones, quite frequently. Another good book for you is "Parenting your Internationally Adopted Child"

Just because other posters have not seen it with their children or children they know, does not mean this phenomena does not exist.

bbmomof2boys said...

*seeing red*

Ya - some people don't get it TM and for that I'm sorry! Yes, I know you appreciate their opinions and you take them with a grain of salt but to dismiss this? come on!!

Little T hasn't shown any of these issues yet which honestly surprises me. I'm expecting all heck to break loose when she can finally express verbally! She does get mad but its normal 4 yr old (almost 5! gah! where does the time go??!!) behavior. I've been waiting for some type of reaction from our Chinese friend being pregnant and then having her baby. She was totally amazed by the belly, kept rubbing it, etc. No questions though...

Anyway - your T has some sensory stuff going on too and I think when this cycle begins it just explodes more that what is "normal" for her. She has a lot on her mind! Then...you've got her sister coming soon - which only brings on more questions.

Wow...that comment is like all over the place! Of course, you'd expect nothing less from me!

Hugs,
Carla

RamblingMother said...

G is right there with the list except for not doing well at school and her behaviors are restricted to me or toward me. I guess I need to pull that book back out and give it a re-read.

Debbie said...

I can't speak on the adoption issue but I do want to jump in on one thing. Don't beat yourself up. I constantly struggle with one behavior or issue after another only to later wonder why I couldn't see what was so obvious. We just all do the best we can, one day at a time.

Mahmee said...

Oh yes. As usual, I can totally relate. We hit on the majority of those bullet points. I read that book myself before R came home. Clearly, I need to read it again as a refresher. I agree with MeiMei Journal in that we feel some of this behavior seems to occur right before a step in development. I think some can be attributed to age and some to adoption issues. And if you EVER find out how to determine for sure which is which, please let me in on the secret.
Good luck!
M.

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, TM! Some of the traits that you've been struggling with T are the same ones I have with J --and he's our biological child.

I have noticed, though, that many times these behaviors come about when he's tired or when he's eaten something that sets something off in him (e.g. M&Ms and certain chocolates -- BIG culprit!), sometimes both. Like it or not, he is more sensitive to certain types of food and he gets really hyper, which just sets off a chain reaction... him not listening, me getting frustrated, him tuning off and me getting majorly upset. Sometimes I could pinpoint exactly the reasons for his misbehavior, but sometimes I could only guess ...and second-guess myself. If you only know how hard I pray for guidance in how I deal with this.

The Byrd's Nest said...

I have seen all of these in my girls except for hording food. Lottie is a control freak! If we let her she would control the world;) I didn't get this in her until we began having issues with Emma. Emma doesn't have this issue but the more I read about Emma, the more I discovered about Lottie too. We still have so many issues with Lottie wanting to control her surroundings (although I completely understand why she does this) especially here in Mexico since we have moved around alot....she has become increasingly worse. I often wonder why God would call such a dysfunctional family like us with little ones who cannot deal with change? I'm certain He will provide...I am just certain:)

And even though Tongginator may be really excited about the new baby coming, that is probably adding to her behavior as well. Lottie does this all the time. For example, when James & Elisabeth were coming for Christmas she was absolutely unbearable to live with. Her behavior was off the charts terrible and also while they were here. It wasn't until two weeks after they left that she settled down into "routine". She is a very ritual little creature. It is as if she is so anxious and out of control because something "different" is going to happen and she has no control over it that even when it is something good (like her brother and sister visiting) that she can't relax enough to enjoy herself. She nearly comes out of her skin. God bless her....I hurt for her so badly. She also has very few friends (English speaking) because of her need to be in charge. BUT she plays well with Spanish speaking children because they want to do what she wants because she is "different" he he

Tracy said...

Well I know you are familiar with sensory processing dysfunction. As a preschool teacher who deals with a lot of special needs kids-many sensory- this looks like it could be a list tag list for a sensory kid.
--no impulse control-defiant & angry-NEEDS TO BE IN CONTROL: all because the world seem so annoying and out of control if you have sensory issues
--underachievement in school: hard to attend to the classwork when you are struggling to live confortably in your own body
--surprised when others are upset by actions:because to you they seem normal and helpful to living life
--gorging food: gives sensory input
--poor peer relationships: hard to make and keep friends when you have major control issues (see # 1 above) and have no sense of appropriate touch due to proprioceptive deficiencies
--persistent questions and chatter: also very common in sensory kids. Try this tip from an OT: give her chewing gum. This is like a miracle for one of my little friends in school. And I was THAT mom who never let my kids have gum.Live and learn
--innappropriately demanding: back to control issues again.
Is Tongginator getting OT for sensory integration? I've been away from your blog for a loooonnngg time after a computer crash and subsequent vow to spend less time online. Just thought of you and checked in.The other thing I find with sensory kids is what starts out as self protecting behaviour usually crosses over to just plain bad behaviour so it's always a dance between accomodating differnces and enabling poor behaviour. Anyway if she is NOT getting sensory integration therapy from a sensory specializing OT I would highly recommend that! I can't tell you the improvement I've seen in some of "my" kiddos. And even if it's not her main issue, I'm convinced all kids can benefit from a little sensory integration so nothing lost and she'd have fun. Prayers for all of you!