Sensory Overload

Sensory Overload

It’s Wednesday when I’m writing this and I’m not long home from my son Matthews toddlers class. It’s a special needs group run by his Speech & Language Therapist, some Occupational Therapists and Early Childhood Assistants. He’s been there for over a year now and it’s made such a huge difference in his and our lives.

The only downside I’d say is that it’s exhausting for him.

Now, I know it’s only 60 minutes, but for the entire day after class as well as the following day he is just knackered.

Which made me think… How much effort is his little brain having to make to concentrate on what he’s doing for that hour.

We sing songs, we play with toys, we stretch and we practice basic communication skills. Nothing too strenuous. Yet my boy leaves class yawning and grumpy as if his little brain is bursting at the seams.

I’ve noticed that this has gradually become worse as he’s gotten older and after speaking to a few mummies of kids on the spectrum they agreed with me that it’s simply a case of ‘Sensory Overload’.

He tries so hard to get involved and pay attention to what’s going on in class, that his brain gets over-stimulated and works harder to “fit it all in” so to speak. As much as it pains me that one little hour a week takes so much energy from him, I’m also thankful for the class and all that its given my boy.

I know I’m not speaking for all parents of special needs kids when I say this, but I will be forever grateful for the services available to Matthew. He is lucky enough to have a team of amazing medical/ support staff who are 100% dedicated to helping him and encouraging his development. I’m aware of some parents going through the same thing who have really struggled to get the help they need, and I really do feel awful that their journey has been more of an uphill battle because of this. I wish it was the same across the board for all kids going through this.

Anyway this post has taken me the entire day to write because, well, I’m the mum of a toddler. So… I’m off to get this little boy changed and ready for bed. He’s managed to stay awake until 7.30pm but he’s fading fast so now’s my chance to make it a smooth transition from playtime to bedtime.

Take care lovelies,

D x

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4 Comments

  1. C
    15th March 2018 / 6:49 am

    I’m an autistic adult, so I can chime in about the experience of it. More demands mean more sensory overload. You may come to a time where he’ll be great at school, come home and blow up in a meltdown because he feels safe to do that at home. It won’t be bad behavior, it’s his brain venting all the energy and shouldn’t be shushed or punished.

    I got punished for “throwing tantrums” as a kid, but tantrums are a choice and meltdowns are a loss of control. Punishing an autistic person for meltdowns is like punishing someone for sneezing.

    Good luck raising your boy and I hope his sensory issues stay tolerable for him.

    • 26th March 2018 / 2:21 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience lovely! It’s such a learning curve for me, but I definitely feel like I know the difference between the two which is at least a start. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  2. 15th March 2018 / 8:15 am

    You’re doing really well …. it’s so hard and so exhausting having a toddler. Particularly when they struggle in an area. I spent a lot of time going to and from the hospital with mine because he had various health problems initially, so I can fully understand. But it passes. It passes way, way to fast and suddenly they’re all gone, they’ve flown the nest and you long for those days of toddlers again!!! They’re great aren’t they ❤️❤️

    • 26th March 2018 / 2:22 pm

      Definitely lovely. Time passes all to quickly. 🙁 Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. 🙂

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