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Thread: extreme anxiety of cuts and scrapes

  1. #1

    Default extreme anxiety of cuts and scrapes

    On Thursday, DS1 (4 years old) fell and skinned both knees on a concrete sidewalk. It was freezing out, so we rushed in to the library before I checked him out. Pants were not ripped, so I thought he was fine. We were going to a music program, and by the time we go there, it started, and DS completely forgot about falling (and so did I).

    On the way home, he looked at his knees and cried the whole way because he was so upset. I put bandaids on as soon as we got home and explained that the bandaids will help him feel better, etc. He would not stop talking about his cuts. He gets really upset over them. He does not want to look at them (even covered with the bandaid). When he sits on the potty, I have to help him so that his pants don't go below his knees. Yesterday, he tried it on his own, and one of his bandaids fell off. He had a complete melt-down. I was nursing my other son, so it took me a couple minutes to get to him, and by the time I did, he was drenched with sweat. Now, every time he moves his pants, I have to make sure the bandaids are on.

    When we took a bath on Thursday night, I took the bandaids off, and he closed and eyes, looked up at the ceiling, and cried/screamed then entire bath (which was only a minute..just time for me to scrub him down real fast). His body was starting to get red splotches just from getting so worked up.

    Today, he slipped and fell on his bottom (like kids do all the time and just get up) but he cried like he was really getting seriously hurt. He asked if he got a cut.

    I don't know what to do. I try to assure him that everyone gets cuts and scrapes, and that it usually only hurts when you first get it, but then it just takes time to get better. But now he is so afraid of getting hurt, and I don't want him to fear trying things because he might get hurt. He has always been very cautious, and just recently started being more adventurous. I would like to be able to encourage him to take risks. Any tips or advice?

  2. #2
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    Hmmm... does he respond well to more silly ways of working things out? Like Yo Gabba Gabba has a song about shaking the hurt off, which is cute. Or maybe doing more like praise? "Wow, you are so brave! Great job getting back up again!" Or maybe get a boo-boo bunny or something of the like? A special buddy that holds ice in it that will be there for him when he gets hurt?

    My DD doesn't have anxiety to that extreme, so I don't know if that would help at all. But I do notice that for little bumps and scrapes, if I react in a more nurturing sympathetic way, she focuses on it longer. If I do something more light-hearted, she forgets faster and gets on with whatever she was doing before.

  3. #3

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    It may be something he will just have to learn with time. Savana is like that. It seems to me like her pain tolerance is so high. Like she will fall and bash her elbow and just shake it off but if she sees blood she totally panics. Unfortuanately she also has an aversion to bandaids so that makes the whole thing quite the ordeal. And if she gets a sliver it's the same and she won't let me take it out. All that said, as she's gotten older, and started to learn that blood is not always cause for panic and that the pain is temporary she has gotten much much better about them. She still gets a little worked up but is able to calm herself quickly.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the replies. I don't know if it's a blood thing. He likes to see our cuts, and he is curious about them. He does not even want to see them with bandaids on, and they aren't bleeding. I want to figure out how to balance nurturing him and coddling him.

  5. #5
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    Cody if he gets one little cut or scrape he wants a band-aid on for like a week. I reassure him over and over that after a while he doesn't need a band-aid. He will tell everyone about any scrape. Here recently it was a bit from a Pre-K kid. He told even strangers that this boy bit him. He doesn't seem scared he seems more annoyed and obsessed with it. He is also 4. I am at lost too sometimes on what to do other than reassure him he is fine.



  6. #6

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    DS1 is like that. He has SPD and it is part of it. It has to do with textures and visuals that gross him out. It just takes time, endless patience, repeat to no end, teach him how to calm down on his own, and very importantly not to act frustrated in front of him (not that you are) but more matter of fact "oh that's a cut. i understand you don't like but we all get it" sort of thing. time will help accept it but if he is like my DS1 he will continue freaking out for a while.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  7. #7

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    [QUOTE=i.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    DS1 is like that. He has SPD and it is part of it. It has to do with textures and visuals that gross him out. It just takes time, endless patience, repeat to no end, teach him how to calm down on his own, and very importantly not to act frustrated in front of him (not that you are) but more matter of fact "oh that's a cut. i understand you don't like but we all get it" sort of thing. time will help accept it but if he is like my DS1 he will continue freaking out for a while.
    Thank you for sharing that. I had suspicions that DS has SPD but he never received a diagnosis when he had him evaluated. Glad to know that some of the things I am doing is what you suggested. My patience wears thin at times, but I will try to remember not to get frustrated. I try to state many, many times how we all get cuts. The time in the bath where he was so worked up, I tried to get him to calm down, and we tried taking some deep breaths, but it was tough!

  9. #9

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    My daughter is only 2, and a pretty tough cookie ( sometimes), so I don't know how this would work for your situation, but it works great for us!

    My policy is to follow her cue, but to take the emotion outof it. If she is upset, I say something like " Oh, that must hurt", but in a calm, matter of fact way. If she's crying, I ask her if she needs a hug ( well, if it was really bad, I pick her up and give her a hug without asking) or kiss, and if she does, I hug her until " all the tears are out". The key point, though, is that I remain calm. Eventually, she's done crying, and I still hold her until she pulls away from me.

    Contrarily, if she seems fine, I don't say anything unless she does. I don't tell her she's ok, or to shake it off, unless she gets up and says " I'm ok“, which she often does.

    Anyway, I just try to respect her feelings, but without much emotion on my part, just let her set the pace.

    She does get fascinated with her owies, so I've taught her that with time, they will heal, and have made a big deal over owies that have healed and are gone.



  10. #10

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    Ah! I typed out a long reply and it disappeared. Regarding the coddling vs comforting. For a long time I felt like I needed to convince Savana that it wasn't too loud at the ymca, that is was no big deal if her brother touched her doorknob after eating cheesy puffs, that the regular socks were fine and she'd get used to the seams, that she didn't need to be so upset about a cut finger...But then I realized that just because I think these things does not mean it's true for her and basically what I was doing is telling her that all the things she felt were wrong. That she was wrong. I wasn't mean about it and I tried to stay very patient but the result was the same. She was starting to think that something was wrong with her. Now I talk to her about how she is very sensitive and pays close attention to detail and that these are actually really positive qualities to have. She notices things that other people don't notice. Then I can let her be her while we talk about ways to cope with situations where she is uncomfortable. Either by politely excusing herself or finding the courage to push through. Everything she feels is real to her even if I (and other adults in her life) are totally baffled by it. I read Raising Your Sprited Child (even read some parts to her so she could understand and see that she's not alone and I apologized to her for some mistakes I have made in handling her "quirks".) and it helped her and I understand better and come up with solutions so that she can function in society. She is doing awesome and I am so proud of her.

  11. #11

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    Who evaluated him? If it was the school district, they don't diagnose. You will need OT to diagnose SPD or neurologist if you have doubts for other conditions. DS1 was evaluated several times by teams but nobody diagnosed him - the first 2 times he was too young, the third time was by the school district. Your boy does sound like possibly having SPD in which case I would seek OT evaluation. Your insurance will likely cover it. You need it because he should start OT services and a good therapist will give you good advice on how to teach him coping mechanisms. This is a neurological condition and will NEVER go away so the sooner you know and the sooner you teach him, the better off he is. My son has SPD and dyspraxia and I received so much knowledge on how to handle different problems, what his triggers are, strengths and weaknesses. I handle things so much efficiently and so much better; he is calmer and better already because I teach him the right coping strategies. You can come here and listen to us but talking to a professional who evaluated and/or is treating him is 100 times better. My son had 16 pages of raw score data and the OT spent over an hour explaining things to us although her report was detailed and very self explanatory. In addition she referred us to literature and solutions. I used to barely contain myself from frustration but now I am more empowered and very calm. Obviously if you have had independent professional evaluation, you may not be interested in another but since he sounds very rigid at things and a sensory child, if I were you I might seek another opinion. However, I have read so much about sensory sh%t I might sound annoying. I mean everything in the best of ways. Please do not hesitate to PM if you have questions and if you need to vent coz God is my witnesses I have had days when I needed to vent so bad since I had to deal with tantrums and impossible behavior since the morning.
    Last edited by tanyachap; 02-23-2013 at 09:18 PM.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  12. #12

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    I apologize if my response is chopped up - the kids are still up although my Dh is playing with them. I get interrupted
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    Who evaluated him? If it was the school district, they don't diagnose. You will need OT to diagnose SPD or neurologist if you have doubts for other conditions. DS1 was evaluated several times by teams but nobody diagnosed him - the first 2 times he was too young, the third time was by the school district. Your boy does sound like possibly having SPD in which case I would seek OT evaluation. Your insurance will likely cover it. You need it because he should start OT services and a good therapist will give you good advice on how to teach him coping mechanisms. This is a neurological condition and will NEVER go away so the sooner you know and the sooner you teach him, the better off he is. My son has SPD and dyspraxia and I received so much knowledge on how to handle different problems, what his triggers are, strengths and weaknesses. I handle things so much efficiently and so much better; he is calmer and better already because I teach him the right coping strategies. You can come here and listen to us but talking to a professional who evaluated and/or is treating him is 100 times better. My son had 16 pages of raw score data and the OT spent over an hour explaining things to us although her report was detailed and very self explanatory. In addition she referred us to literature and solutions. I used to barely contain myself from frustration but now I am more empowered and very calm. Obviously if you have had independent professional evaluation, you may not be interested in another but since he sounds very rigid at things and a sensory child, if I were you I might seek another opinion. However, I have read so much about sensory sh%t I might sound annoying. I mean everything in the best of ways. Please do not hesitate to PM if you have questions and if you need to vent coz God is my witnesses I have had days when I needed to vent so bad since I had to deal with tantrums and impossible behavior since the morning.
    Thank you! It was through the school district. No one, except my mom, believes me when I bring up my concerns. I actually kinda forgot that we (or I) had those concerns because he seemed to do better. But, I am the sole car provider, so I know exactly what sets him off and we do things to avoid any meldtown for him. It just reminded me of a scenario when we stayed with my mom for an extended period of time. She had him wash his hands after using the bathroom right before nap, and he had a total meltdown. I've learned that he cannot wash his hands then because he tells me his hands are too wet and can't sleep (even after toweling off). That's just one thing that I have learned to manage (or avoid) and he's ok. There are so many little things like that, and it becomes apparent when another adult is in charge and doesn't know about his little quirks. I guess I felt like maybe he outgrew some of the stuff I had been concerned about...but at the same time, I am his caretaker 99.9% of the time now as opposed when I shared his care with DH more. (DH has a new job, and the hours are so lousy he rarely sees the kids now, so it's all me). I am the one who knows exactly what will set him off and I plan everything around it, so his meltdowns have been less frequent. But, I can't control something like falling and getting a minor scrape. And now I am thinking to the future when he eventually goes to school and is one of many in a classroom where a teacher cannot control everything in the environment. We have a well-visit coming up. I'll probably keep a record of everything I notice again and bring it up.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    Ah! I typed out a long reply and it disappeared. Regarding the coddling vs comforting. For a long time I felt like I needed to convince Savana that it wasn't too loud at the ymca, that is was no big deal if her brother touched her doorknob after eating cheesy puffs, that the regular socks were fine and she'd get used to the seams, that she didn't need to be so upset about a cut finger...But then I realized that just because I think these things does not mean it's true for her and basically what I was doing is telling her that all the things she felt were wrong. That she was wrong. I wasn't mean about it and I tried to stay very patient but the result was the same. She was starting to think that something was wrong with her. Now I talk to her about how she is very sensitive and pays close attention to detail and that these are actually really positive qualities to have. She notices things that other people don't notice. Then I can let her be her while we talk about ways to cope with situations where she is uncomfortable. Either by politely excusing herself or finding the courage to push through. Everything she feels is real to her even if I (and other adults in her life) are totally baffled by it. I read Raising Your Sprited Child (even read some parts to her so she could understand and see that she's not alone and I apologized to her for some mistakes I have made in handling her "quirks".) and it helped her and I understand better and come up with solutions so that she can function in society. She is doing awesome and I am so proud of her.
    Thank you for sharing. It helped me to realize that DS probably does experience things in a different way than most. I mean, it's not like he's having a near panic attack over seeing his cut just to be a pain. Like you said, what he is experiencing is real. I guess I was concerned about encouraging his extreme reaction to the scrape if kinda "gave in", but if he is really bothered by it, then his feelings should be validated, . You gave me a good perspective on all this, and it definitely helped me stay a little calmer when we had to do the bath routine tonight.

  15. #15
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    Just my perspective from being on the other end of school district evaluations. What we are all looking for is whether or not something affects access to his education, and in the preschool years it is of course access to the preschool education. Because your son is smart and learning easily and you are accommodating these issues, there is nothing for the school district to address because he isn't harmed. I can see from your comments that looking into the future with him being in a class of 25-30 kids with a teacher who doesn't know him, though, that those issues might come to the surface at that time. So even though they didn't identify a problem during the evaluation doesn't mean there isn't an underlying SPD that a private OT might identify and treat now. Does that make sense? Frequently our preschoolers don't qualify for OT even though we can see the issues at hand - because they are preschoolers and they are doing just fine at home.

    Also, there is another issue of qualifying a child for OT because of sensory needs in the school setting - in my state, that can be tricky and OTs will more easily provide consult services for sensory stuff where a kid with a significant fine motor delay would much more easily be picked up for direct OT services. OT in the schools is different than OT in a clinical setting and I have found that the different OTs I work with would do something totally different with two kids with very similar sensory concerns. OT is also only provided as a related service for children who have other areas of need. It can never be a stand-alone service in a school setting. So for example, if a child has speech they can get OT as a related service. But if they make progress and need to be dismissed from speech, they also lose their OT services even though they might not have made enough progress in that area. Since there is no primary service you can't provide the related service. It's really, really complicated. I agree with Tanya that I would seek an opinion from an OT in private practice, or from a neurologist, depending on whichever is easier for your insurance, just because they don't need to deal with the "educationally necessary" aspect of identifying a problem.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 02-23-2013 at 10:37 PM.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    Just my perspective from being on the other end of school district evaluations. What we are all looking for is whether or not something affects access to his education, and in the preschool years it is of course access to the preschool education. Because your son is smart and learning easily and you are accommodating these issues, there is nothing for the school district to address because he isn't harmed. I can see from your comments that looking into the future with him being in a class of 25-30 kids with a teacher who doesn't know him, though, that those issues might come to the surface at that time. So even though they didn't identify a problem during the evaluation doesn't mean there isn't an underlying SPD that a private OT might identify and treat now. Does that make sense? Frequently our preschoolers don't qualify for OT even though we can see the issues at hand - because they are preschoolers and they are doing just fine at home.

    Also, there is another issue of qualifying a child for OT because of sensory needs in the school setting - in my state, that can be tricky and OTs will more easily provide consult services for sensory stuff where a kid with a significant fine motor delay would much more easily be picked up for direct OT services. OT in the schools is different than OT in a clinical setting and I have found that the different OTs I work with would do something totally different with two kids with very similar sensory concerns. OT is also only provided as a related service for children who have other areas of need. It can never be a stand-alone service in a school setting. So for example, if a child has speech they can get OT as a related service. But if they make progress and need to be dismissed from speech, they also lose their OT services even though they might not have made enough progress in that area. Since there is no primary service you can't provide the related service. It's really, really complicated. I agree with Tanya that I would seek an opinion from an OT in private practice, or from a neurologist, depending on whichever is easier for your insurance, just because they don't need to deal with the "educationally necessary" aspect of identifying a problem.
    Thank you for the explanation. The team that did the evaluation did explain that to me. The psychologist just lept saying how she wished he was already in school to really observe everything as opposed to a parental report since they did not observe any of the sensory stuff, and he is learning just fine. Right now, I am not concerned with his academics as he is still home with me, and I make accomodations for him all day long.

    It was really a battle with DH to even get the eval with Early Interventionn (he believes that there is absolutely nothing wrong), and when we got the results that he did not qualify for services, I dropped it. I gotta find and review the results and maybe revisit it. Good to know that a neuro may be an option, too.

  17. #17
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    I really would be tempted to start with the neuro and see what they say and go from there. Then the neuro can write a referral for OT. If you start with the OT, they might have a harder time referring you to a neuro if they feel that is needed.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    I really would be tempted to start with the neuro and see what they say and go from there. Then the neuro can write a referral for OT. If you start with the OT, they might have a harder time referring you to a neuro if they feel that is needed.
    Thanks! That makes sense.

  19. #19

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    I feel for you so much, mama. I think you need to get him evaluated because he is likely to have difficulties at school without you. You don't have a ticker but I wanna say he is a little younger than DS1's and will start kinder 2014 (mine will too - we are holding him back). So I would wanna know if he has something and what it is IF there is something. The more therapy he has (if he needs it) the better off he is and therapy is not a medication, it needs time to kick in especially if he is going to do it on his own. I KNOW that your MIL is on the bottom of your DH's disposition. Your MIL is so much trouble. My MIL is very controlling and opinionated but luckily my DH sees it and listens to me. She lives in OH and we live in CA so we simply do our own thing and tell her after the fact. Our united passive aggressive approach has beat her into submission. But I can ONLY imagine what it would have been if she lived close and my Dh listened to her. I really feel for you. I wish I could help somehow but I know I can't do much other than offering support and advice.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    I feel for you so much, mama. I think you need to get him evaluated because he is likely to have difficulties at school without you. You don't have a ticker but I wanna say he is a little younger than DS1's and will start kinder 2014 (mine will too - we are holding him back). So I would wanna know if he has something and what it is IF there is something. The more therapy he has (if he needs it) the better off he is and therapy is not a medication, it needs time to kick in especially if he is going to do it on his own. I KNOW that your MIL is on the bottom of your DH's disposition. Your MIL is so much trouble. My MIL is very controlling and opinionated but luckily my DH sees it and listens to me. She lives in OH and we live in CA so we simply do our own thing and tell her after the fact. Our united passive aggressive approach has beat her into submission. But I can ONLY imagine what it would have been if she lived close and my Dh listened to her. I really feel for you. I wish I could help somehow but I know I can't do much other than offering support and advice.
    Thank you so much. You are right, that he will be starting kinder in 2014. He is really a sweet boy and he is shy, but he has certain things that really bother him. And I do wonder if he will struggle with a teacher who doesn't know what he likes since I have seen glimpses of it the few times others watch him. You are also right that my MIL butts in when it's none of her business and tells us nothing is wrong with him for 2 reasons....one, he is "just like" her other son (which I don't completely agree with, but if he is, I am not going to enable his behaviors, but rather help him learn to cope with them so that he can function without me as an adult) and two, because she is a preschool music teacher, and says that he is completely normal compared to all the kids she sees. But she only sees her students for 30 minutes at a time...and I will tell you, DS1 takes music classes, and there is no way his music teacher, who sees him for 45 minutes every week would know there could be anything wrong as music really calms him down. You can't compare. She even did the same thing with a friend at DS2's birthday whose son is slightly delayed with his speech...she said he is fine, just like her students who don't say anything. Well, in my music class, most kids don't say much either. I don't get why you would tell someone that everything is fine. If it's not, then it's not a big deal to get help. I'd rather do that than pretend everything is just fine.

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