Sunday, November 09, 2008

anatoly in phrases

in a paragraph: Anatoly spends about 85% of his day crying. he is crying in anger, frustration, or fear. he is afraid of falling in a ridiculous way, or that i will drop him. anything that makes him feel unstable is frightening to him. water, balancing on my lap. he is swings maniacally from gleeful destruction to desperate begging for me to hug him, then right back to destruction or fighting over and over again. he bites, hits, screams, and though he has had a small language explosion recently, cannot seem to ask for anything he needs especially when he is distraught like this. sometimes he plays happily, or he will for example watch My Neighbor Totoro over and over. in fact if i played it 24/7, he would watch it the entire time. He begs for hugs so many times a day i cannot count them, and i do hug him but it does not fill his need to be squeezed. if i continue to hug him for too long, though, he freaks out and doesn't like it. he holds my hand and rubs it all over his face several times a day. when he hugs me he grinds his teeth, every time, like clockwork. he loves to make long, strong eye contact. if his sleep/ soothe needs are not met, he will stay up all night until they are. he throws and breaks things. the other day after breaking a glass, he refused to let go of the broken glass and was repeatedly trying to squeeze it in his hand, cutting himself. then he was hiding pieces of glass as i cleaned it up. not 10 minutes later, he opened the fridge and purposely busted 4 more jars.

i know there is so much more to add. what makes me feel something is not right? all of it, plus the constance of this his whole life. and the fact that we are at the point we do anything he wants to achieve peace. the kids, even, have learned how to navigate the waters of our home with Anatoly. he isnt 'spoiled'. he is different.even he doesnt know what he needs. and we've got to figure it out.

i went through a whole page of checklists and these are ones i would identify as 'toly'. a huge majority come from 'hyposensitive' checklists. we have always joked that Anatoly 'doesnt feel pain' like you or me. some of these may repeat, too...

__ resists friendly or affectionate touch from anyone besides parents or siblings (and sometimes them too!)

__ prefers hugs

__ is a picky eater, only eating certain tastes and textures; mixed textures tend to be avoided as well as hot or cold foods; resists trying new foods

__ may crave touch, needs to touch everything and everyone

__ is not aware of being touched/bumped unless done with extreme force or intensity

__ is not bothered by injuries, like cuts and bruises
__ may not be aware that hands or face are dirty or feel his/her nose running

__ may be self-abusive; pinching, biting, or banging his own head

__ mouths objects excessively

__ frequently hurts other children or pets while playing

__ repeatedly touches surfaces or objects that are soothing (i.e., blanket)

__ seeks out surfaces and textures that provide strong tactile feedback

__ thoroughly enjoys and seeks out messy play

__ craves vibrating or strong sensory input

__ has a preference and craving for excessively spicy, sweet, sour, or salty foods

__ avoids/dislikes playground equipment; i.e., swings, ladders, slides, or merry-go-rounds

__ may physically cling to an adult they trust

__ may appear terrified of falling even when there is no real risk of it
__ afraid of being tipped upside down, sideways or backwards; will strongly resist getting hair washed over the sink

__ startles if someone else moves them; i.e., pushing his/her chair closer to the table

__ as an infant, may never have liked baby swings or jumpers

__ in constant motion, can't seem to sit still

__ is a "thrill-seeker"; dangerous at times

__ rocks body, shakes leg, or head while sitting

__ seeks out jumping, bumping, and crashing activities

__ stomps feet when walking

__ bites or sucks on fingers

__ prefers clothes (and belts, hoods, shoelaces) to be as tight as possible

__ loves/seeks out "squishing" activities

__ enjoys bear hugs

__ excessive banging on/with toys and objects

__ frequently falls on floor intentionally

_ grinds his/her teeth throughout the day

__ loves pushing/pulling/dragging objects

__ frequently hits, bumps or pushes other children

__ chews on pens, straws, shirt sleeves etc.

__ misjudges how much to flex and extend muscles during tasks/activities (i.e., putting arms into sleeves or climbing)
__ always seems to be breaking objects and toys

__ seems to do everything with too much force; i.e., walking, slamming doors, pressing things too hard, slamming objects down

__ plays with animals with too much force, often hurting them

__ difficulty appropriately making needs known

__ excessive irritability, fussiness or colic as an infant

__ can't calm or soothe self through pacifier, comfort object, or caregiver

__ can't go from sleeping to awake without distress

__ requires excessive help from caregiver to fall asleep; i.e., rubbing back or head, rocking, long walks, or car rides

__ severe/several mood swings throughout the day (angry to happy in short periods of time, perhaps without visible cause)

__ unable to regulate thirst; always thirsty, never thirsty, or oscillates back and forth

__ unable to regulate hunger; eats all the time, won't eat at all, unable to feel full/hungry
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