Sometimes being a mom to a SN needs kid makes me feel like an utter and complete failure. T is in one of many regressions in his SPD and it reminds me that I am probably not meeting all of his needs. It’s not that I’m lazy or anything, I just don’t know how to help him. We do listening therapy, we do heavy work and outside playtime, and breathing exercises, and, and, and… Right now it just doesn’t seem like enough.
Today at OT he had little focus, actually licked his OT therapist, something he hasn’t done in half a year, and cried when he had to throw away some used art supplies. Jennifer (his OT) reminded me that he is still far better than he was a year and a half ago, and that these regressions do happen. Usually when there is a growth spurt, or other developmental milestone coming. But it can also be because of a tiny change in routine, or a perceived change in routine.
I know all of this, but my heart still hurts when I see him struggling so much. I still wonder how I can do more, what I’m not doing right, and how it’s all my fault. I also find myself losing my patience with him much more often, and the raising of my voice sends him into a sensory tailspin that can ruin an entire day’s work. It’s exhausting, and times like this I wonder what it would feel like to have a neurotypical child.
Then comes even more guilt, I would never, ever trade my son. He is a bright, sweet, loving boy. He has eyes that melt your heart, and a smile so contagious that it can make me smile even on my darkest days. But I can’t help but wonder what he would be like if he didn’t have SPD? I am sitting here trying to imagine it, and I can’t even come up with a possibility. It’s just not in the realm of my imagination anymore. I see children who are neurotypical who sit still at a table, who don’t cover their eyes every time the sun is out, who don’t crash into their friends, family and especially not walls. I see them, and I can’t even picture T the same way. Maybe it’s because I’ve come to realize that T will never be that child. He will always have to work harder to keep his body under control, to fight impulses constantly, and he will always have to work harder than his peers to make friends . I have accepted this, but when there are regressions like he’s going through now, it makes me so sad.
What do I wish? I wish I was different. I wish that I could see the progress that he’s made in 1.5 years of OT instead of getting so stuck on the back slides. I wish I could see these times as normal, and know that we will come out the other end further ahead than ever. I wish I was stronger, and that I believed in myself as his mother more. I wish so many things. But I have never wished that T was anyone but who he is, and today, that is my victory.