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Pervasive

Pervasive, adjective meaning “spread throughout.”  How apt. E-man has Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified. Pervasive….spread throughout, as in, if affects everything. It affects everyone in our household, everyone in his classroom, all his friends. It is spread throughout his every action, word, reaction, interaction. Right now, at this moment, it is more than I can take.

It was another rough morning.  He didn’t want to wake up. He didn’t want to take a bath. The water was not the right temperature. The soap wasn’t coming out of his hair. I was rushing him. The cat wouldn’t let him pet him. We didn’t have anything he wanted for breakfast. He didn’t want to take his medicine. He didn’t want to drink any milk (I caved on that one). He wanted to wear the shoes for which we only could find one of the pair. He wanted to be driven to school rather than walk. The strap on his school bag was too long, and then it hurt his shoulder. He complained about the sidewalk going up the driveway into school. He didn’t want to go to school. I was defeated before we ever even got out the door.

Managing him and his quirks affects our lives every single day.  There are times I wonder if I’m catering to him by making sure we have certain clothes, food, snacks, and drinks available for him, that his bed has the sheets on he prefers, that he has clean sweatpants to wear (because he prefers them to any other pants or shorts), that it isn’t too loud in the house, etc, etc, etc. Sometimes I feel I should push him to get out of his comfort zone, try new things. Maybe he will take steps forward if we don’t enable. But then when I think of the battles involved in changing even one of those things, I become exhausted. What is the right thing to do for him?

Every meal is a challenge. Every outing requires planning and thinking ahead. Every event is an event. Simple changes are not simple. Forgetting to buy one thing at the store can mean a meltdown of epic proportions. I feel I must be on my game 100% of the time. If I’m not perfect, I will fail him somehow. Pervasive…..whoever came up with that diagnosis definitely knew what they were talking about.

There are days I feel I am a dog at his table, impatiently waiting for crumbs of affection, a smile, his laughter. It is so much work. I just want him to be happy. I crave some sign of his contentedness. We encourage, we reward, we praise. We discipline, we admonish, we enforce. We love, so deeply. That is what makes it so heartbreaking some days.

6 thoughts on “Pervasive

  1. Much sympathy. John’s grown out of some of that, but when he was in elementary school he’d have meltdowns that were staggering. They were usually about transitions. Either he didn’t want to stop what he was doing or he did not want to do whatever came next. We still have the food issues, but I think that’s a texture aversion. Virtual hug!

    • Thanks! Yes, transitions are difficult as well. ODD adds a whole new level to the PDD. Glad to hear from someone who’s a bit ahead of where we are.

  2. “There are days I feel I am a dog at his table”. This is exactly how I feel almost every day. This post chilled me to the bone- this is my life – our life. I feel guilty for the way I feel, I feel angry at myself. I doubt myself every day. I try to keep a stiff upper lip- the tears still flow. Everything is work and the work is soo soo hard. Keeping it together is so hard. The not knowing is so hard. My son has never kissed me. How rewarding a simple kiss would be.

  3. Wow. Pervasive has a new meaning for me now. I was a special ed teacher for a time, and I was exhausted at the end of each school day. When I think of the rest of the hours in the day, I know you must be exhausted.
    Here is a little Sunshine Award to give you a smile. I know your day is hard already, so don’t feel you need to pass this on….but maybe some of your friends need this sunshine, too. http://janiceheck.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/double-sunshine-an-award-times-two/

  4. Donna- I’d written the following after this post on your blog, but ‘the super blog police’ wouldn’t let me post it until I joined something. (Am I now on a committee or something?)
    Anyway, here’s what I’d written after this post: For the past 2 years, as I go out to greet my class line, I look for that one expression…that ear to ear grin that means it’s going to be a great day in Room 44. Sometimes I see it, others, I see a mop of sandy brown hair looking down at shuffling feet. It will be a magnet/deal day, but that’s okay, because I can handle magnet/deal days. It will be a day of bargaining and walking over to the discipline magnet, but then I stop to think…95% of the time, E man is back on track by recess. His “aha” moments don’t come every day, but when they do, I swell with pride and can’t get mad at him for calling out. You know, pervasive is not synonymous with eternity. The light at the end of the tunnel for most parents may seem like a pinpoint light years away to you, and yes, most of them have a smooth cement highway, when you were given a gravelly road. But all the dings and bumps along the way will make you a better person on this earth. E will be successful because of his supportive family and sponge of a mind. It’s going to be hard to let go, but he needs to soak in another teacher’s bucket of knowledge, and he will! It’s been a privilege.

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