Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Tantrums: Mine & Jack's

Today was one of those Sundays when Jack went ballistic just as the bishop began giving a talk on....something. I don't know the topic, as everything became all shrieky and loud and we were all "abort!"

The things to know about Jack and his church tantrums:

1. They come on fast. One minute he is quietly eating smarties and pulling on Jeff's arm hairs, the next he is bellowing and drowning out the speaker for all the other folks in the overflow section of the chapel/cultural hall.

2. They are unpredictable. Giggling on the way to church does not mean happily giggling through sacrament meeting. The kid can turn on a dime.

3. He usually cannot recover from them. This means he becomes so wildly upset that dropping him off in the nursery with the two-year-olds (his cognitive compatriots) is out of the question.

4. Jeff and I take turns spending lots of Sundays removing an angry, frustrated, mostly nonverbal child from church and taking him home to decompress.

Here's the scoop on what it is like to leave church practically every week with your kid who can't handle it: It sounds dreamy, at first. You know, leaving church early to put on sweatpants and eat lunch is the sort of thing you (meaning me) yearn for while you are at church. It is actually not dreamy when it happens with great regularity. Turns out, when you aren't at church when you wish you were, it's kind of disappointing. I'm starting to feel like Lloyd Newell and MoTab are my best chance at a reliable spiritually uplifting moment of a Sunday morning. And that's just because I can watch them while wearing my jammies and making everybody pancakes.

It's simply the Sunday truth.

I'm finished whining now.


  1. Megan, darling, I just got caught up on all of your blogging awesomeness! And I mean AWESOMEness!!!! I hope you know how extremely talented you are at writing...and especially writing about a topic (parenting special needs kiddos) that can be overwhelming (to say the least) and doing it with humor, creativity, and honesty!!! Love it, love it, love it! And I love you (Jeff, don't get jealous) and I miss you dearly. I'm so sad that Tuesday didn't work out, so I hope we can find a way to get together again soon. Pretty please?

  2. I finally figured out it was the auditory over stimulation for my autistic son. The microphone combined with the cavernous chapel, combined with certain voices was just too much for him. Have you tried noise cancelling headphones? Or just starting out in the foyer with the sound turned lower? Our nursery also has the chapel sound piped in, I don't know if that's an option for you.

  3. Thank you for your honest and thoughtful KSL article. You described perfectly my life with special needs children. I thought I knew what I was doing as a mom until my last two little ones came along with special needs. Now I know that there is so much that I don't know. The challenges of raising special needs kids are real and hard. Especially when you have experienced raising a "normal" child and you know the differences, the "could have beens". I have found though that there is a sweetness to not having my act together all the time, to not having the answers. It means I need to rely on my Heavenly Father for the answers, after all, they were His before they were mine. I hope you don't mind if I begin following your blog. I would love the opportunity to learn from another mom who is living in my world.

  4. In the KSL article you said:

    High-functioning simply means you have a different kind of hard.

    In some ways, high-functioning is actually harder because people expect more from a kid who appears pretty much "normal." When people see my obviously mentally impaired son, they don't expect the same things of him as they would from a typically developing kid.

    You have nailed it! I've tried to explain that to people before, but they think that high functioning is lucky, as in "wow, it could have been worse." They have no clue how I mourn for my two Aspies, both because there are things they will never be able to do that I always dreamed of my kids doing and because they are amazingly wonderful in ways that other people just don't understand. Beautiful words!