There is nothing like the excitement of becoming a first time parent. There is also nothing like the concern and worry of a first time mom. If you are little bit like me, who is a perfectionist, type-A, overly concerned person, it’s easy to wonder about each and everything for your baby. I was the kind of mom who sought out the best for our baby, read every book I could get my hands and was constantly wondering about concerns I had with our daughter.
I must first tell you that we have the honor of being parents via adoption, from what we know our daughter grew heathy in someone else’s tummy and had a normal pregnancy and delivery. For 2 and half years after she was born, my concerns got met with every medical professional telling me our life was normal until I finally begged someone to get us help. I am not a medical professional, so if you have any of these concerns, all I can tell you is trust your mother’s intuition and keep asking for help.
Today I am sharing some of these can’t miss signs that we saw in our daughter during the baby to toddler years that may clue you in that your child might have some challenges. These symptoms may be something more than a “typical” child would have.
Lack of eye contact. I was hyper-concerned about this as an adoptive mom because it can be one of the first symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder. It was always hard to get Miss S’s attention. It was hard to get her to look at us and generally babies and young children are fascinated with people’s faces. There can be a lot of other reasons why a child may have difficulty with this.
Constant movement. From the very first few days after Miss S was born her feet never stopped moving, they were constantly kicking. She kicked so much she would end up rolling over. She also preferred that I would also be in constant motion when holding her. She had a constant need for motion. We did a lot of rocking and a lot walking and bouncing.
Aggression. I have written an entire post on aggression and our experiences with it. At various ages we have seen aggression towards self (head banging), aggression towards objects (throwing, ripping, destroying) and aggression towards others (ourselves as parents and our dog). I cannot tell you the number of medical professionals that told me this was normal. Once we got to the right kind of medical professionals, occupational therapists and psychologists, thankfully they agreed that this is not typical behavior.
Inability to sit still. Our daughter from a very early age had a really hard time sitting still. It was pretty much non-existent. There are just busy kids and then there are kids who really cannot sit still. There is a very big difference between those two.
Tantrums, meltdowns, whatever you choose to call it…that last longer than you would expect. Our daughter would have a meltdown for hours, for days, it was constant. She wouldn’t be able to calm down and most of the time she would be completely out of control. It never ended.
Sensory specific changes would make her lose it. By losing it, I mean that it would send her into a meltdown and she would get aggressive. Giving her a kiss (tactile). Turn a light on or off (visual). Putting clothes on (tactile). Changing her diaper (tactile). Having to take a bath (tactile).
Obviously, the signs for every child can be different. These were our 6 most concerning signs that something was different about our daughter. She was first diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at 3 years old and that remained her only diagnosis until she turned 6 years old. She is currently diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and Anxiety.
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