In a kind attempt to make Cameron feel better about being brushed, my well-meaning mother-in-law said to him, “That looks so great! I wish I could be brushed.” Cameron responded, “You have to have sensory issues to get brushed.” I was impressed.
Jon and I believe that the only way to help Cameron is to promote his own understanding of what his issues are, why they are what they are, and how to cope with them. This can work for us and against us at times. Part of Cameron’s SID is that he is very sensitive to sounds. When he listens to music, he likes it super loud. When people chew with their mouths open, especially his sister, he becomes physically agitated (which could be a genetic trait, because I’m the same way). He also can’t handle her singing with the radio—which may be more of a sibling issue than an SID issue. I told him that this sensitivity to sounds could be part of his SID, so when he was yelling at Amelia to stop singing and I told him to be patient with her, he replied, “Remember, I can’t help it. It’s part of me being brushed. I’m more sensitive to sounds.” Touché, Cameron. Touché.
Since he just finished a break from school, I was prepared for a tough transition. While brushing Cameron last night, we talked about the fact that change is tough for him, and he often loses control. I tried to give him examples, but he is the forever excuse maker, so he was trying to convince me that he was upset because the Wii actually belongs to him and to whomever bought it, so it’s really his, so he was upset because… that’s where I cut him off. I’m not sure if non-stop talking, negotiating, and excuse-making is part of SID, but I kind of doubt it. However, when Cameron in defense-mode those are some of Cameron’s most prominent attributes.
My point in all of this is that unless Cameron knows what sets him off and what makes him feel better, he won’t be able to help himself. Our goal for him is to be independent, productive, and happy. He can’t be any of these things if we pretend he’s “fine” and we don’t take advantage of this golden opportunity we have to educate him about himself while he still listens to and looks up to us. So while it backfires at times, when he tells me that he can’t write neatly because he was just born that way, it works wonders when he asks to be brushed and comes up with his own brushing routine. Now to wean him off of brushing before his college roommate needs to do it for him…