Yesterday was horrible in the war of raising a child with special needs.  It started in the morning. I knew the moment my son woke up and I heard the low growl “Don’t touch me!” when his brother tried giving him a hug, it wasn’t going to be a good day.

In terms of the offside scale 1 to 10, the day pretty much sucked ass ranking a neat 100. Some days I have to remind myself that my son isn’t purposely trying my patience, or trying to fight with all of us. He’s not purposely trying to be defiant.

Your child isn’t purposely trying your patience. Take a deep breath to calm yourself before engaging in a battle of words or wits.

Trace was out of sorts all day long. He was overtired. He was overly-emotional about everything. He was doing everything in his power to push my buttons.

Or at least it felt like it.

He came inside every twenty minutes to tell me the kids were being mean to him. At one point one of the kids came to the door and he freaked out running away. The kid was attempting to apologize. Me, I wanted to pull out my hair.

Wrapping your arms around your child having a severe tantrum and holding them firmly while allowing them to vent and act out can help keep them from harming you, themselves and others. It is not a form of child abuse. Remember that you are their safe place.

The meltdown lasted forty-five minutes. I had to do a sit-down time-out with my son. That’s where we sit on the floor and I wrap my arms and legs around him, holding him close and tight but not hurting him in any way, shape or form. This allowed him to vent and thrash without hurting himself or me.

He banged his head on the floor and tried to claw on his arms. Angry tears spilled down his face and my heart broke open. Sometimes I wish I knew what he was thinking or feeling. It would make helping him so much easier. 

Being silly taking selfie

Sometimes a child acting out simply needs some added rest or sleep. Not enough sleep for children leads to crankiness. Who wants a cranky child?

After his meltdown, I finally got Trace to fall asleep. He only slept for an hour but that’s better than nothing. He was so tired. 

Watching Trace get so frustrated. Watching him cry and cry, tugged on my heartstrings. I asked him why he was feeling upset. The answer was always the same. He had no idea what was wrong.

Keep a journal of your child’s emotions, actions, foods they are eating, anything you think is a contributing factor to their behavior. It helps for when you have your next doctor’s appointment.

Kids have good days and bad days. It can hurt as a parent watching your child suffer. You want to help. You want to be able to reach them. You want to be able to take away their sadness.

No matter what anyone says, trust your instincts. Doctors can be wrong. Pediatricians don’t have all the answers. Only you know your child, so listen to your voice and what it says. That’s the best way you can help.

I knew my son had cerebral palsy before he was diagnosed. I can’t explain how I knew, I just did, and despite the hard times and the pain, he goes through dealing with both his legs and his mood swings. I know the truth. I’m his mother. 

Remember to reach out when you need to because you are never alone.


  1. Shairbearg March 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I really have nothing useful to say, but I wanted to say Hugs and you are doing great Mom.

  2. Multi-Testing Mommy March 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Oh dear – sorry you had such a bad day 🙁 I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be some times. We had quite a day here too yesterday, I wonder if it was partly the weather??? Here's to hoping you have a better day today my dear.

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author March 27, 2012 at 4:46 am

      I think the weather plays a huge part in it. It's never nice when they can't go outside and it's raining all the time 🙂

  3. mamawee (ashley picc March 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    that sounds like a very trying day – I hope that everyone got a good nights sleep and today is better for all of you…..

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author March 27, 2012 at 4:47 am

      Today was definitely better – thank you 🙂

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