Okay, so one of my greatest fears about moving to China (that is IF I get hired) is Big Diva's special needs. I also worry about school, since I won't be able to afford for her to go to an International School and I think the local Chinese school might be AWFUL (just a guess) for her cause she doesn't speak the language, is brown and has sensory processing disorder. China is loud, crowded and rich with extraordinary stimuli. I feel that my child will probably crumble into a corner and chew her hand off. (yes, just a fear) Usually Big Diva is game for Big Adventure, but this might just be too big.
So in my perusing the web, I have found a Shanghai Home Schooling Mommy's group or SHARE as they call it. While I don't see how I am going to be able to home school, write and hold a full time job, I will have to let that piece of the puzzle fit later (if there is any need of it at all), but what I FOUND ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!!!! Is that this same Shanghai Expat Community Center that provides the Homeschoolers a place to hang out and well...homeschool, also have....are you ready for this...
A SUPPORT GROUP FOR FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS....and get this, they have a special division for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder!!!!! Including a Mom/Mom buddy system pairing a new mom (either to Shanghai or diagnosis) with a more seasoned Mom (or Dad). Can you believe that???? I can't, I thought that if I get this job, one of my biggest concerns is what would I do if I had a tantrumming, crying, hand chewing disaster on my hands and no help in sight. I love Big Diva, in fact I absolutely adore her, but sometimes her special needs are beyond my skills. That's why we see Nice Therapist, she helps give me regulating techniques that allows Big Diva the opportunity to become Beautiful Big Diva without the stress of sensory stuff.
Say like when we went to Disneyland on Friday and she wanted a spectacular Sleeping Beauty Night Gown. Now I will give her this, she has not only out grown, but worn out her other spectacular Sleeping Beauty Night Gown, shown here in its original state...
She was 19 months old when she bought her last one and now she is 5. So, I can see her logic as to why she thought she needed another. She has a scad of amazing, glamorous princess nightwear, but this one was special. I know. Problem simply is, I can't really afford it right now AND more importantly, I don't want her to think that she gets a gift every time we go to Disney. We are very blessed to be able to go to Disney so often because we have passes. So, this brought on the mother of all tantrums, really the Camping Rapture...NOTHING!!! compared to the The Big Diva Tantrum. And she decided to do it in front of a billion little princesses standing in line with their wanna-be-but-are-now-too-old-fat-or-haggard-Princess mothers, to see the Disney Princesses. Did I say it was huge...I mean COLOSSAL!!!
She was hitting me with both hands AND feet, screaming AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS and wailing like someone had just run over her cat. Now this mind you, was just after, I had to chase Little Diva down and put her in her stroller, which she kicked over while I was trying to place her in it. Then Big Diva brings out the big guns and I'm about to get Disney's Mother of the Year award. So, Nice Therapist showed me a lovely sensory
I issued a consequence when Big Diva was calm enough to simply plead, long, high pitched cadences of abject desire and move towards the exit as WE WERE LEAVING...oh did I mention that my children are brown???? And I am not brown???? Yep..."those poor kids" is what I heard from the sidelines...
Big Diva did switch up her pleading when her distance from the night gown continued to grow, now it was "Please Mommy I DON'T WANT TO GO, PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME LEAVE!!!!"
Then I heard "aahhhh, poor thing doesn't want to leave". AAAAGGGHHHHHHH
Okay. So did I HATE doing that? Yes. Did I want to buy her the dress. YESSSS!!!!!! Did I think that she would look amazing in it and love it! YES! (she is so good at really cherishing things she loves) but I stood by my resolve not to continue to "spoil" her and help her learn a little about impulse control, by also hopefully teaching her to work for your desires. But, boy that is a really hard lesson. So when I got them to the car and broke down into tears, Big Diva apologized and fell asleep the minute the car got on the freeway.
The next day Big Diva stopped me and really apologized again for hitting me and losing control in front of the princesses. She did tell me how much she wanted the dress and I agreed with her that it is something she should have. We have a deal on the table now, where if she can try and use her anger techniques (that she is learning) to cope with her anger and not lash out at her sister or myself, then, we will see about getting her the dress. She's got a time frame in place and she is on task. So hopefully the great Disney Apocalypse of 2011 has helped us learn something...but she's 5, so we have wiggle room.
What happened when she lost it at Disney? Well, we had been at Disney a long time, Disney is really stimulating, it was almost 3pm and we had been there since 9am, she is processing the loss of Baby Mo Mo, which ALWAYS makes her process the loss of her mother and in turn her sister, who we need to see soon, and then her God mom and God Father who have moved...etc. And she was tired...and simply wanted an elegant dress....and stuff.
So, one of my biggest fears about moving to China, if we get the chance, is this. What will I do in a crowded street, WITH NO CAR to escape to, but rather a crowded subway or bus, with more public scrutiny, only we are the ONLY Brown/white family in whole country (unless Diva Mom and children come) where I don't speak the language (which might not be a bad thing), IT IS SCARY!!!! SO to read that Shanghai has a special needs support group for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder???? HELL YA that's amazing.
So, if we go..I'm SO GLAD they have something like that, cause trust me, I'll be there, with cookies and punch ready to make mommy friends...or tea and dumplings...whatever, I'mma need their help.