Wheelbarrow For My Sensory Child

The first two days of getting two kids ready for school has not been without its challenges. Monday was an almost disaster with both kids riding their bikes inside and tempers flaring AFTER school! This experience was enough for me to be proactive and enroll Faith in aftercare.

Thank goodness I did, because when I arrived home yesterday, Kai was in a meltdown state! It was quite clear that my mom could not deal. I could literally feel the frustration and anger radiate from his body as I gave him a pressure hug to help calm him down. The tears streaming down his face as he kept saying “ma, just talks to much, she talks and talks and talks”. I immediately knew that he had a very tiring day at school.

Now, I expected this to happen. He’s not had one of these meltdowns in a while. Unfortunately my mom didn’t pick up on the cues. He was miserable when he got in the school bus, upon his arrival home he immediately got on his bike, then he started “fixing” things that didn’t need fixing; like removing the training wheels from Faith’s bike. He kept getting annoyed every time my mom asked him to do something. These, all signs that he is in a state of sensory overload and is trying to self-regulate.

Now, riding his bike usually calms him down, regulating his body’s response to what’s happening around him. This, however only works, if the adults is able to read him. My mom and son, did not have a good day together.

I arrived home to a child in a meltdown state. Crying, shouting, fighting, angry, emotional and unhappy – imagine experiencing so many emotions at the same time that your body feels like it’s exploding, like the hair on your body has turned into thorns, hurting you everywhere! This is how I can best describe what happens when he is in a state of overload.

All I could do was squeeze him until I could feel his body relax, a bit. Then we did wheelbarrows, lots of wheelbarrows, and soon he was feeling better. Twenty minutes later!

There’s been big changes in our family, and I expect that we may have more of these meltdowns in the next month/so while he adjusts to sharing his space. He also, later, confirmed that he did LOTS of work at school and was very tired.

Fortunately, the school social worker is aware of the changes and I’ve already asked her to work with him again and revisit the coping strategies she taught him earlier in the year. The EQ lessons and play therapy has really worked wonders in how he deals with his emotions, which can be quite intense for the sensory child.

He was in good spirits when we fetched Faith at aftercare. He had a relaxing bath, and was asleep before 7pm, whereas Faith only fell asleep before 8.

All in all not all that bad. Nothing out of the ordinary. Taking things in my stride and looking forward to both kids adjusting to this transition! Also holding all thumbs and toes that insurance will pay-out and I can replace Kai’s FM system that broke a few weeks ago.