Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rough couple of days

We're not sure what's been up with Payton the past couple of days but she's really been having a tough time. Biting, hitting, throwing things (we've always called her our little tornado), etc. but we can't seem to pinpoint what's causing the meltdowns. In all honesty, I feel sorry for her. She just can't control herself. Everything will be seemingly just fine and she will walk up out of nowhere and either just bite you or slap you across the face - and once it starts, she doesn't stop. She knows she's not supposed to do it, because many times after she's done it she starts crying. Oddly enough, after sitting in time out or getting a swat she immediately comes back in the room and 'attacks' again. It was at the point yesterday we felt we really needed to get Koen out of the situation because the top of his head seemed to be the target for hits, thrown trains, books, etc. I sat up most of the night last night thinking how awful it is for her not to be able to communicate her feelings. At times, we've noticed she'll lash out with this behavior when she's hungry. It's frustrating that she won't just tell us she's hungry or go to the pantry and get a snack - her way of telling us is by hitting, biting, or destroying things. Unfortunately, hunger wasn't the cause the past few days and I can't put my finger on what it is (although I still feel confident it's anxiety related - just not sure what is causing the anxiety). I've never heard back from the geneticist or her pediatrician, so I'm assuming the geneticist never got with the pediatrician on a psychologist. Thankfully, Noel gave me the name of Abi's developmental pediatrician and we are scheduled to see him in July (the nurse said they would move her up as they could....but it's worth the wait - I'm just thankful we could get into him). I've also emailed Dr. Mervis to discuss it with her. It's really tough to see her like this and not be able to 'shake' her out of it. The past two nights when trying to get her to go to sleep I've practically laid on top of her to give her that deep-pressure sensory input. She seems to need a lot of that (and I try giving her big hugs when she's on a rampage but usually I end up with teeth in my arms or shoulder...and I still wonder if that's what is causing her to bite - needing the sensory input). For now, we're just trying to do what we can to bring her out of the meltdowns (discipline for some reason is not working with these - and I'm guessing it's because it's anxiety related). Once we've tried different forms of discipline and it feels like she's really going to hurt someone (which sounds strange because she's only four!! but the look in her eyes change and gets almost frightening) we try baths, sitting her in the high chair to watch a home video (this way she can't get out and go back to the hitting, etc), or trying to take her outside if it's not too cold. Tonight I'm working on getting picture schedules together to see if that will help her as well. I feel like she's understanding things when I tell them to her, but maybe she's really not. Hopefully the picture schedules will help with this some. I'm hoping and praying Payton has a better day/evening today-I'm ready to see that big, beautiful grin back on her face!


Every minute counts.... said...

I really hope that you can get some answers. I will try to call you and see if I can think of anything else that would help!!
Swinging is the one thing that will calm Abi no matter how upset she is. We had a blanket that was material like spandex and would get a person on each end and swing until she could calm down( or we just couldn't do it anymore.)The only hope I can give you is that she did get better and has been able to control her emotions/anxiety better with age and understanding. Whether she just gets it now, or we just understand what she needs better...not sure but it really is better than it was a year ago.

Sending you many higs,

Penny said...

Swinging or rocking help Keith and also music. You mentioned that you pratically lay on top of her to give her that sensory inout. Have you tried weighted blankets for her? I don't know a lot about them, but if she needs that sensory input, that may help. Try this website:

Tyler's mom, Kelly uses ones for Tyler and I believe there is a picture of him wrapped up in one somewhere on her blogg. I hear they really help.

Good luck. I am thinking of you.


Julie said...

I don't have much experience in this department. Noah is just now occasionally showing some frustration but nothing I can't handle. I will keep you guys in my prayers though.

Nancy said...

I am beginning to feel your pain. This week has been a bad one with Erik's blossoming tantrums...slapping and stomping and slamming doors and just being ANGRY. PISSED OFF. For an hour. For the entire day sometimes on and off. I can tell by looking at him that is going to be a problem. I like your comment about the hungry thing...I think that may be part of our deal, too. I'll keep an eye on that. I read Understanding Williams this week and they mention distraction. Sounds like we are both doing that already. Anything to make it stop!

Hang in there.

Michelle, Tim, Aidan & Ari said...

I'm not sure if you've ever noticed this with Payton but when Ari has had times like these I have realized it is usually followed by a blossoming of skills. I never seem to remember when I am in the middle of one of these times but usually I realize later on. Sometimes I feel like her brain/body is just so busy assimilating information it just can't handle outside "stuff". I hope this is the case for Payton too. It's trying to say the least...when you get a chance take some time for a little escapism...even a quiet car-ride alone with a cup of coffee to re-charge your batteries. I'll be thinking of you.

Heather said...

Okay, I like what Michelle said. I actually can relate to her comment. I just never put it together before. Caleb gets this way too. I always say he is short circuting. His braing can'not handle a bunch of input, and sort it all out. He had a rough couple of weeks, now that he snapped out of it, I've noticed that he is reading so much better than before. Coincidence? Do you have a web site for picture schedules?
I just printed some out for caleb at

camille said...

Hi Tara,
We haven't really entered this ground yet...he only gets really angry with me if i keep him from spinning.
i'm hoping some of the other suggestions help Payton. Will be thinking of and praying for you guys.

Amy said...

Lots of sensory input sounds like the solution when it is in progress. Is there anything else she can do that involves kicking or hitting something that is meant to be wolloped? I am sorry for all you are going through, it sounds very difficult.

Katie said...

Actually what Michelle and Heather are saying makes sense - i hadnt put 2 &2 together before, but Jai has these really bad weeks and thinking about it they often do seem to be right before a 'learning burst'...
--- buy a punching bag??---