My son, Daniel, is 2 1/2. He is such a fun kid, he really is. He loves to give hugs and kisses and he loves to play outside. He also loves his cousin whose 3rd birthday party was on Wednesday.
Daniel has Sensory Processing Disorder. He is sensory seeking orally and but generally has a very limited tolerance threshold for most types of sensory input.
Daniel has textural aversions and refuses to eat certain foods like rice, beans, anything roundish or grainy. He also hates to try any type of new food. Once when he was about a year old we tried ketchup for the first time. He cried and cried and scraped his tongue until I saw blood. That was before I knew anything about Sensory Processing Disorder. I just thought my kid was one of those really picky types.
Back to the party.
We made pizza and since Daniel has a history of dairy allergy/sensitivity, he had never had any before. I realize this after I have already finished cutting his pizza.
Oh dear. New food, lots of people, screaming 2-year-olds not getting their way, older kids also whining that they wanted pepperoni, not olives, etc.
“Uh oh,” I said, “Daniel, this is called Pizza. It’s really yummy.”
He stared at the pizza; his foe.
“No teezah,” said Daniel.
Oh great. Now he isn’t going to eat dinner. Okay, that’s fine as long as he doesn’t have a meltdown.
No sooner had I thought it then the screaming ensued.
As Daniel writhed in his stool-height chair screaming and screaming, he began to attract a lot of attention among the other party goers. All this while I was trying to finish cutting my 1-year-old’s pizza and cool it enough so she could eat it.
“Daniel,” I say calmly, “you need to at least try 1 bite, please. You don’t have to eat it all, but try one bite. It’s really yummy, see?” I said, popping a bite into my mouth.
“No,” Daniel said, pouting.
Okay, that’s fine. I was thinking if I could just give him a minute he’d want to try it.
Meantime Daddy had filled up Daniel’s cup with some juice which he of course promptly drained.
“No more juice until you have a bite of pizza, please.”
“NO!! MORE JUICE!!”
At this point he is screaming loud enough to drown out any other sounds in the room. The writhing is getting so bad I’m afraid he’s going to injure himself on the metal chair back or that he’ll dump himself out of the chair and onto the carpet.
Not every day is like this, but Wednesday was and that meant that Thursday was even worse.
Once Daniel has had too much, it’s all over and his lack of tolerance compounds over time. So, while Wednesday’s party only included one five-minute meltdown, Thursday it was basically meltdown central over here.
Daniel’s new calming technique is a blanket over his head. When he starts to “freaky out,” as he says, then we grab a blanket and toss it over his head. The next sound we hear is usually a sigh of relief.
Needless to say, Thursday we spent a lot of the time underneath a blanket.