Well, poor Gabe had another hard day at Occupational Therapy today. Really it was only his second session, but he screamed and cried the entire time, even with me right there with him. It is not going to be easy, but I'm learning alot. At the beginning and end of each session the kids have to change clothes. We had to bring some play clothes, because sometimes they get pretty messy with the sensory stuff, sand, shaving cream, playdoh, and food. He actually helped us get him dressed which is a good thing, even though he cried through it all. I had expected a full-blown tantrum!
I want to just scoop him up and comfort him when he's like that, but the OT said to wait to comfort until the end of the session, otherwise I'm reinforcing his behavior. He wanted to leave, and couldn't and he was mad. Up to this point holding him tight and rubbing his back has been the quickest way to alleviate the screaming and tantruming. It's going to be a long and loud road from here on. I will be going from a 20 minute tantrum to being fully engaged in what could be up to an hour of crying; for each episode mind you. This is going to require a lot of prayer for strength, but keeping in mind this is progress, hopefully I'll stay on the right track.
I thought that I had resigned myself to the fact that people are always going to give me dirty looks because my two year old is having a complete meltdown in Walmart because he is completely over-stimulated. That they don't know though. There is always going to be someone saying, "control your kid" under their breath, or spank that kid, or that kid is a brat, or the lovely your ruining my Walmart time glare. But I always knew okay 10 more minutes and this will pass; but now what? Is Walmart a thing of the past for Gabe? Maybe. Maybe when I'm a little stronger. I'm not sure if I'm ready to handle that just yet. Moms I really encourage you the next time your in the store and see another Mommy with her kiddies having a meltdown to say something supportive to her. I can't tell you how much that has meant to me in some of the hard moments. A smile, a pat on the shoulder, or just a "hang in there mom", has really made all the difference sometimes.
Paul and I also asked our Speech Pathologist and Special Ed teacher if we could bump up his school district therapy to 2 days a week instead of one. They had to of course confer with the supervisors, because that is basically unheard of. Well, win one for us! Thanks to our awesome speech path. Jenny for advocating for Gabe, he will start 2 days a week next week! I'm lovin' the little victories!