Something that is really hard to keep at the front-of-mind with special needs kids is their “regular needs” siblings.
We spend a lot of time focused on Nathan. His school. His speech. His clothes (or lack of). His sensory needs. His diet. His refusal or acceptance of supplements. In short, my world revolves around him.
I try, very hard, to keep Eric from feeling left out or neglected. When we read books with Nathan, we let Eric have a turn to read too. I do the same bedtime routine for them both. But, if Eric refuses to come in for the story, I don’t repeat that part. (And he’s been doing that a lot lately)
But, there is no doubt, I am not always (often?) successful. Nathan’s needs are not overwhelming but they do take up more time that I could be spending one-to-one with Eric. And, eventually, he’s had enough & gets angry.
When Eric gets angry, we’re talking all out screaming, fit throwing, lasts for well over an hour temper tantrum. He generally only does it when he’s overtired too, so you simply have to wait it out. I usually sit with him for some of it, giving him the attention he’s craving (becuase that’s half the problem!) and some in another room, so I don’t strangle him.
Last night he went on for about 75 full minutes. He started yelling – Mommy, you have 3 choices – You’re stupid or I’m taking your purse away.
Apparently, taking my purse away counts as either 2 of the 3 choices, or it is such an awful thing that he can’t think of a 3rd thing. He probably screamed that 40 or 60 times. Seriously.
But, eventually, he calmed himself down, had his bedtime & got up bright & cheery this morning. Turns out, he remembers being mad (sometimes he doesn’t) and promised to try his lines & printing his name today. Which, is where the fight started last night. I wanted to help him learn to print, he started screaming.
Hmmm. It’s not always about Nathan.