Wednesday, June 17, 2009

summer vacation, SPD-style or help, I need some advice!

So far, summer vacation has been going pretty well. I made up a chart to show Danny what we would be doing on any given day and he seems to enjoy helping me put up the pictures that represent our activities for the day. And though our schedule seems to be running smoothly, there have been a few issues that I am unsure how to deal with.

The biggest issue has to do with when we have visitors. We have had a lot of people over in the last few weeks, especially kids, and this tends to overstimulate Danny. For that reason, we have always been pretty careful about how often we have people over. This summer, though, we have not only had his friends over, but we have babysat kids and also had people over to help us with a huge project (we had 5 trees taken down this past weekend and some teenagers from church came to help us out with all the work.) Even though, he rarely gets crazy overstimulated at other people's houses, having people over here consistently messes him up and I can't figure out why or what to do about it.

Danny does a lot better if we spend time outside, but still that doesn't always guarantee the visit will go well. Also, it doesn't seem to matter who is actually visiting. I used to think that he got overstimulated because the kids who were over were very hyper and difficult to deal with, and while I definitely think that contributed to Danny's difficulties, it can't be the only factor, since those particular kids haven't visited our house in almost 2 years. Even when the visitors are adults or teenagers who aren't at all contributing to sensory overload, Danny gets overloaded.

What happens typically is he will play well for a while and then start yelling and getting angry. Typically, his anger is targeted towards Charlotte, whether she is provoking him or not. He will get really frustrated with her, yell at her because she isn't doing something exactly how he wants, or he will refuse to share with her. These behaviors do not occur nearly as much when we have no visitors, and his anger and frustration escalate to levels that are atypical.

Does anyone else have any experience with this type of behavior? Do you have any insight or advice for me? I would really love to hear it!


Anonymous said...

For (my) Charlotte, she doesn't really act when she gets overstimulated, she "checks out." If she isn't able to check out, she will get emotional and kind of clingy with me.

She kind of self-regulates with this. Her cousin has been visiting and C will play with her for awhile, maybe 45 mins and then she wanders off by herself and then she'll re-engage later.

So I'm wondering if for Danny did you need to enforce a little alone time or quiet time. Looong before you see the overstimulation happening. And maybe several of them if it's going to be a long visit.

That's just a thought. If it works, it may teach him to do that on his own.

a Tonggu Momma said...

When the Tongginator gets overstimulated, she checks out. She typically sips a drink, reverting back to a "nursing" kind of mouth action and zones. Or she smells her Doggy. This is how she self-regulates.

When she isn't able to do that, she gets VERY floppy and clumsy, often hurting herself or others on accident.

Shellie said...

My kids do that sometimes, out of the blue and I don't know what triggers it truthfully. On the other hand, we just had cousins over and 3 of them spent part of the time playing with the cousins, the rest off on their own. Luckily, the fourth child is very engaging and kept everyone busy.

Susan said...

Lil' Boy gets hyper with people over but more so because he wants the attention- he gets goofy not angry.
D probably doesn't like people invading his space and wants to have control, maybe? Just a guess? Picking a room that is his and no one can go into? When I am babysitting I allow N to play computer in our room, or to play with his cars. I lock the door so no kids can go in. He likes the privacy and he does come out after awhile to play.

~ April ~ EnchantedDandelions said...

I was going to say what Susan said. Let him help you set up a little area that he's allowed to go to be alone, even if company is present.

((HUGS)). I hope you all settle into a routine and the summer goes well!

Sarah said...

That was Emma all the way and I am going to echo the advice given...create a "place" for Danny. I used to get so concerned when she would suddenly leave and go inside, but I started to realize that it was her way to regulate how she was feeling. For some reason, she likes to have Barney on to help her re-focus. Why? No clue. It is just her thing.

I'm not sure if Danny likes gum or suckers, but this also another tool I utilize. It helps Emma take her mind off the "noise".

Casdok said...

Could you cut down the time the visitors are there and then start biulding it up slowley? A quiet room is a good idea - C will take himself to the loo and sit there till everyone has gone!

Claire said...

Hi! I just found your blog and N has just recently been diagnosed with SPD after years as adhd diagnosed. N get almost the same way as Danny although I think she is older than he is so she gets incredibly verbal and "stompy" and has been known to hit friends.
"Big bear hugs" seem to work quite well with N. I tell her to come talk to me and then I squeeze hug her while I am telling her she needs to control herself (I know now it is sometimes a moot point but it makes the other child feel that you are not overlooking the situation)
MOST times this works but when we have a bad day I send her to have a bath because for some reason the water is her one for sure calming tool.
N is lucky in that she has 2 really good friends that accept her for who she is and I have heard them ask to change activities or environments when they see N starting to get too much.