Ben is also my most challenging child. His was my most difficult birth, most difficult postpartum period (complete with postpartum depression), most difficult nursing relationship, etc., so it makes sense that he is my most difficult child. There is some trauma in his history and I am certain that many of his behaviors stem from that.
He has mild speech apraxia, some sensory issues, some vague learning issues, and who knows what else. We have an appointment with a psychologist in July to try to identify his issues and get the help we need. In the meantime, he has outbursts...moments of rage in which he seems to lose all control. He screams, kicks, throws things, bites, pinches, etc. It is exhausting for both of us and I am at a loss as to how to help him. Some days, I parent him with love, grace, and understanding; some days, with impatience, frustration, and anger. Typical parenting doesn't work for him.
I find it so ironic that mothers are devastated to get the diagnosis of Down syndrome for their baby, when I've found that typically chromosomed kids can be so much more challenging. It makes me so much more aware of the benefits of a Down syndrome diagnosis:
- At least with Down syndrome, we have an entire community to ask questions of. Someone in my network somewhere will have advice for me when a new situation with Eon pops up.
- At least with Down syndrome, we get an inkling of some of the challenges we may face at or before birth.
- At least with Down syndrome, people visually recognize that this is a child with special needs. When your typical looking child has a meltdown in the store, people blame you and your poor parenting. (If you happen to have a lot of children, they may blame that, too.)
- At least with Down syndrome, there is the knowledge that this child is this way by design and not some failure on your part.