Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Life...with a special needs teenager

Max has been such a delight to have in my life these last sixteen years. He has taught me so many valuable lessons about how to cope, stay strong and never give up. When Max was little he loved to pull clothes off hangers, sit inside the dryer, bang his head on the floor and dart out the front door running towards a busy street.
Now that Max is a teenager I see different trials for him, not as physically challenging, but more of an emotional. He no longer desires to sit inside the dryer ( I don’t think he would fit) or bang his head on the floor (he stopped that when he was about six). The struggles he faces are more with social interactions and understanding reasoning behind why people act in ways he doesn’t understand. Max has more anxiety than he did years ago. And this summer proved that point when he had his first panic attack.
Right before I left for an adult church activity, I asked Max if he had his cell phone and reminded him to make sure the ringer volume was turned on so he could hear my call. I told him I would call to check on him. He was fine with that. Right after I was seated at the activity I looked out into the hallway and who did I see standing barefoot, red faced and sweating? Max. He had tried to chase the car all the way to the church building to let us know he couldn’t find his phone.
The horrible thing about all this is, I had his phone in my purse, I felt so terrible knowing I had asked him to keep his phone on and nearby and it was with me.
This was Max’s first panic attack and I hope he never has one again. Poor guy got a huge blister on his foot from running on the hot cement. 
He said, “Mom, one good thing that came out of this experience is, I learned how to cross the road.”

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