Our latest and biggest battle seems to be our youngest guy. He is 18 months old now and a roaring handful of joy. This kid never stops. I can’t even get him to sit long enough to eat a meal without a fight. I know all kids this age are full of energy and I totally expect him to be. Things have been progressively getting worse with his behavior lately or maybe it’s just the fact that he is getting older, so things are becoming less acceptable. Like him screaming in the grocery store, restaurants, large crowds of people and strange environments. I have never really thought much into it other than becoming a little more consistent with rules and redirecting him to positive behavior.
Then, things started to dig at me. About a month ago, we went to an indoor play place with bouncy houses. He was PETRIFIED of them. Other kids his age were running around having a blast. Not mine, he was hanging on to me for dear life. Then about two weeks ago, we went to the park. He screamed and physically shook with fear over the playground equipment. I picked him up, walked up the steps and he clung to me like he was terrified, while screaming. The people in the park probably thought I was kidnapping him. This is the same behavior I see when we go into the grocery store lately too. He is afraid of enclosed spaces, like a netted trampoline or a small room when you shut the door. He screams and literally shakes with fear of any animals like dogs, cats, etc.
After a few other parents and even talking with is physical therapist about some issues that were being observed, sensory issues were brought up. Could he really have sensory processing disorder. My initial thought was, “There is no way, he is only 18 months old. This stuff must be normal for most kids”
Several times I’ve heard “Most kids his age like to swing or slide, play in the ball pit, kick a ball, etc”. I still brushed it off and tried not to feed into it too much.
The more I sat and thought about it, it really began to get me. Could this explain why he hates the grocery store or restaurants and he screams like he is injured? Could this be why he fears SO much in life, the playground equipment, the animals, ball pits, jump houses, trampolines, slides, swings, etc. Is it all just too overstimulating for him? He holds his ears every time I vacuum. He throws a fit to steal his brothers weighted blanket to sleep with. He wraps himself up and covers his head to sleep, if you uncover it he will wake up. He HATES clothes. When we are home he runs around in a diaper because when I dress him he throws a fit to take it off and when we are in public he frequently tries to strip. There are days that he just SCREAMS and I have no idea how to intervene. I try everything and nothing soothes him.
Two kids with SPD? I don’t know if I am ready to accept that yet. I know that sounds horrible but am I wrong for feeling this way? I mean just like my other extra special boys, if he has a problem then let’s address it aggressively. At this age though it is so hard to try and figure out what is going on in their little body and mind, especially when they can’t communicate.
I just cant decide how much of these behaviors are sensory related verses typical 18 month old stuff. I keep telling myself it is probably just a phase but it doesn’t seem to be going away. I cant really compare him to the other two, especially since Monkey is delayed. I don’t remember Bub ever acting this challenging at 18 months.
I would love to hear from you!
What is your opinion? Are these behaviors typical for an 18 month old or not so much?