A Sensory Blip

11 Apr

It started on Monday. M woke up after what appeared to have been a normal night’s sleep for her.

Then it started. She had a problem sitting down for breakfast as “the chair is wrong”. Her pyjamas were “itchy”. The bowl “looks wrong, why have you killed my Weetabix?” And on we went. I finally got her dressed in something that passed the softness test, although she refused to wear a skirt over her tights – what the heck we weren’t going anywhere and the tights were thick so they looked like leggings.

She would not/could not settle to anything. I had banned the TV as B (ds2) had been so badly behaved I decided to get all tough, so M couldn’t chill out with a dvd but honestly I don’t think she would even have settled to that. The things I suggested:-

trampoline, Sylvanian Families, play doh, plasticine, drawing, Happy Land toys, teddies, Barbie-type dolls, Lego, the garden, reading. And more. Every suggestion was either met with a shrug or screaming. She kept crying and wanting a cuddle but the moment she was in my arms she’d be squirming and running off. She fell over and into things so many times I lost count. Then of course it would be someone else’s fault. The rest of the children spent the day trying to keep out of her way, understandably, but then we had more tantrums over no-one wanting to play with her. And so it went on.

On Tuesday we went into the city. I had promised the twins I would take them to the cinema.  I said I would give the little ones a McDonald’s for lunch then we had tentative plans to meet up with a mum and her son that we know from the drama group. Of course it was extremely busy in McDonald’s but M coped with sitting at a table with strangers (by not making any eye contact or talking) and I was very proud of her. I had hoped to be able to pop into Primark on the way back to the car but I could see she was at her limit so we walked back through town to the car park. Yes we walked. I had persuaded her to leave her SN buggy in the car as I knew we would struggle to find seating downstairs and frankly there is no way I could carry it up the stairs. She held very tightly to my hand and just about managed not to freak out.

The meet up went well, the 3 children spent almost an hour in a big play park (we did take the buggy on the walk there as M took one look at the narrow path by the river and voted with her feet), and the happy discovery of 2 small trampolines embedded in the playground’s surface kept her calm. 

We said our goodbyes and collected the twins from the cinema. On the way home M started up again, repeatedly smashing her head against the back of the car seat for no apparent reason. Luckily there wasn’t too much screaming. I wondered if she had had too much to cope with during the day but it didn’t explain Monday. Unfortunately, the Bach Rescue drops we had been using to help her get to sleep decided not to work and it was 11.20 pm before she finally fell asleep.

Yesterday the heightened sensory problems continued. After such an appalling night it wasn’t much of a surprise. We now have a new trick though – toe walking. R, my ds1 and aspie boy, was a toe walker, and even now aged 15 I sometimes still catch him doing it, but M has never really done this after a short spell as a baby. I decided not to say anything and hope it would pass. She spent about 80% of the day on her toes. I hope this doesn’t become a habit.

Today, even after another very late night I appear to have my princess back. All her systems seem to have been “re-set” to whatever normal might be for M, and although she is tired she has been mostly playing nicely. You can almost hear the collective sighs of relief from her siblings. And me. I feel so powerless when this happens as although M is highly verbal (never shuts up!) she can never seem to tell me what is bothering her. I hope in time this will change.

Let’s hope it’s a long time till the next “blip”

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