Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm Not a Good Parent, But I Play One on the Internet

I think I'm a pretty good mom. You all probably think I'm a pretty good mom too, mostly because I don't tend to write about my really bad days most of the time. I had one of those days yesterday.

Jack has developed this new tic, where he snorts really loudly a lot. And by "a lot," I mean "A LOT." It's like the burping he did a while back, only way more grating.

I've probably mentioned before that I have self-diagnosed myself with SPD. Maybe my biggest trigger is sound. Ask Alex. He does far too much, you know, noisy breathing. And don't even get me started on the chewing.

This snorting though? It is maybe the worst thing I have ever heard. It actually causes me some pretty intense physical discomfort. I feel it all across my shoulders and down through my chest. It is horrible. And this is made worse by the fact that it comes from one of my favorite people in the whole world who also happens to be the most vulnerable person in my inner circle.

I'm totally not proud of myself, but yesterday I freaked out on poor little Jack. The more I asked him to stop, the more he snorted. And the more he snorted, the more I asked him to stop. And I yelled at him. And I made him feel bad. And last night I lay in my bed absolutely hating myself for doing that to him. Because he can't help the snorting. He is aware of it, but I really don't think he can consciously stop it.

And I yelled at him for doing something he couldn't help. Yay, me. Way to make my little autistic kid think that he's bad and weird.

Autism ran right smack dab into sensory processing disorder and it went very poorly.

There are several things that could be causing the snorting. Maybe he's getting something sensory from it. Maybe he has allergies. Maybe he started doing it and it turned into a habit and now he can't stop doing it. Maybe (but I really don't think this is it) he just likes doing it.

No matter which of these things is causing the snorting, my little Jack doesn't deserve to be yelled at about it. I'm kind of beating myself up about it, and rightfully so. I was out of line. I snapped. My poor guy.

Today was better. I didn't yell at him. I mostly ignored it. We're using nasal spray and Claritin and I'm trying to ignore it for the most part with occasional reminders to notice when he's doing it or to offer him a tissue to blow his nose. I am also trying to notice when he hasn't done it for a while and praising him for it.

Mostly though, I've decided to try to ignore it almost completely and hope that it just goes away, like the burping did. I'm sure that's a solid plan, right? No matter how painful it is for me to listen to it, and those of you with SPD will understand that noise can actually be painful, it is far more damaging to Jack for me to harp on him and it.

By the way, does anyone have any good tips for making the snorting stop short of damaging Jack's little psyche or removing his air passages?

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