Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory to Supernatural

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About a month ago, I went to see Cubby’s teacher for his report.  Now, Cubby is 4 and only in preschool, and I’m not really sure we should be doing reports, but this is the way of the school, so we do.  Actually, it is a good time to catch up with the teacher and address any concerns.  Cubby gets speech and OT during school hours, and the therapists send me weekly reports, and on the whole he is doing well.

On the whole he is doing well at school too.  He has a couple of areas of brilliance, and a couple of areas of all-too-familiar struggles.  For the most part, there was nothing new.  This teacher likes Cubby and handles his eccentricities and active imagination very well.  Only one thing she said actually surprised me: he wasn’t participating in music class.

Cubby loves music.  He is musical.  Even in his sleep he makes harmonic noises.  He loves to sing, and he can identify all the popular songs that come on the radio.  When I told him my friend had written the music for one of the songs we heard on the radio, he became convinced that all music was made by our family and friends.  He doesn’t always let me sing, but he certainly enjoys to do so himself.  My dad plays guitar in a band, and Cubby tells me he will be a rock star too.  He struts and dances like a Jagger-Mercury hybrid, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

But telling me he won’t participate in music class?  That surprises me.  Cubby being quiet?  Surprises me even more.

I wondered if he just didn’t like the choice of rhymes.  If the teacher played Maroon 5, Fun or (eek) Bon Jovi, she’d surely see another side to him.

Or would she?

Cubby was singing at the dinner table some South African song I wasn’t familiar with, and I guessed he’d heard it at school.  I asked him why he didn’t sing in music class, and his response shouldn’t have come as a surprise to a seasoned spectrummy mummy.  He loves hearing himself sing, but the other kids sing “different.”  I guess some of his classmates-like me- sing different notes (okay, off-key), and he just can’t stand it.  He told me he really didn’t like music class, and didn’t want to go any more.

We had a little chat about how problems have solutions, and if something is hard for him, he can always tell us so we can look for ways to make it better.

I suggested he wear his blue head ‘cones’ to protect his ears, and he was so enthused with this idea that he was wearing them the next morning before even setting off for school.  I emailed the OT for her suggestions (that would be another round of Therapeutic Listening) and pulled them from his head to tuck in his backpack.

And then came the next problem: without the protection he could hear ghosts, vampires and zombies.  But problems have solutions, I just need to shift the battle from sensory to supernatural.

 

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Wordless Wednesday 04 Apr 12

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Blowing out candles is harder than you think with low muscle tone.

Good job he only had three this year!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm

SPD Awareness

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Today is the last day of October, which means Halloween the last day of Sensory Awareness Month.  Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the month of posts by The SPD Blogger Network to celebrate.

I’m rounding off the month, with a brand new post listing everything I’m aware of, thanks to Sensory Processing Dysfunction, our constant companion in this household.

To celebrate SPD Awareness Month, here are a few things that I’m now aware of, thanks to my children and their sensory issues.

My entire education was a complete waste of time.  Because if the teachers taught me that there were only five senses, who knows what other lies they slipped in there?

A mess is to me is tactile heaven to my girl.  Sometimes the carpet just has to be a casualty of war in the battle of the senses.  And be assured- it is a battle- I have the scars to prove it.

The bed has a different bounce to the trampoline and the bouncy castle, and that is why the kids just won’t stop bouncing on it. Ever.

I speak an entirely different language these days.  Sometimes I’m fluent, but most of the time I’m gesturing wildly and gibbering nonsense.  Nobody seems to mind.

The reason I don’t like being hugged by strangers is not because “I’m English”, though voicing that together with an outstretched hand wards off the huggy bears.

Cereal is okay, and yoghurt is okay.  Cereal and yoghurt together is really, really NOT OKAY.

Being able to button up their clothes or tie their shoelaces does not make your kids better than mine.  But you bet I’m going to brag about it the day they can do it too!

Blowing your nose is not an instinctive action.  Playing with what comes out of the nose kind of is.

Because I don’t punish sensory-driven behavior, I’m often taken for a permissive parent.  Anyone who wants to try their hand at disciplining The Determinators is more than welcome.  Just give me a whimper when you’re done exhausting yourself, myah?

Those same ears that can’t detect me calling her name, are the very same ones tortured by any kind of mechanical device, even at very low volume.  On the same note, just because you’ve worked at tolerating the vacuum cleaner to the point where she can operate it herself, doesn’t mean you won’t be back at square one if you get a new one.  Living with dirt is easier.

I have parent friends, and I have SPD parent friends.  And they get completely different responses when they ask how we’re doing.

There are some days when you can spin, climb, and hang upside down all you want, and it will never be enough.  There are also days when slightly tipping to the side will be overwhelming.  There is no way to detect which of these days it is going to be until your living it.  Finding the balance is as tough for us as it is our kids.  I prescribe chocolate and wine in large quantities until the world seems to right itself again.

Waiting is really, really, really hard.  Even for Especially for parents.

I celebrate the milestones like every other mother.  But I have different ones, like “first time she smelled something” or “walked around her baby brother instead of straight over him.”

My children don’t know what an object is until they’ve put it in their mouths.  Even if they do know what it is, they’d better keep mouthing it to make sure it doesn’t change.  Or in the hope that it will change.  Either way, they are going to reject any product that was actually intended for oral motor purposes.

The kids will beg and plead to go to the park, and then for you to push them on the swings for upwards of 30 minutes.  When you finally buy an indoor swing, they will only want to use it if the other sibling has expressed an interest.  At this point I hand them each a pillow and consider it part of the sensory diet.

I spend so much time living and breathing SPD, and seeing it in everyone and everything.  On the odd occasion I encounter a kid without quirks, I’m a little freaked out, and want to prod them with a large stick to see if they’re actually breathing.

Expensive make-up makes far prettier wall murals than washable paint.

There are people on this planet who don’t have a special interest.  They’re actually kind of boring, our way is better.

Fine motor delays are somehow miraculously overcome in the presence of child-proof medicines.  For that matter, there are no motor-planning issues involved when a certain someone moves a chair to a different room to climb up to out-of-reach cupboards.  With locks.  I’m on first name terms with the Poison Control ladies.

The more I crave sleep, the less she needs.

That raindrop running down the window really is the most magical and absorbing thing in the world, and well worth staring at for a considerable amount of time.  Shame my kid only notices it when I’m running late.

Finally, I’m aware that while You Can’t Always Get What You Want, With A Little Help From My Friends- We Can Work It Out.  I’d have more up-to-date music references, but only Pudding-sanctioned music is tolerated in our house.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 31, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Short and Curlies

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Yesterday afternoon the area we live in was on Tornado Watch.  I thought that was very dramatic, having never lived in a tornado-prone area before, so I canceled Pudding’s speech therapy session and called her school to find out what would happen.  It turns out that a watch is really nothing at all, unlike a Tornado Warning.  Still, it was nice not to have to drive on the highway in the pouring rain.  The downside, of course, was that both kids were stuck inside all afternoon.

I have a cold (who says my kids are bad at sharing?) so my good humour soon evaporated.  The kids took advantage of my weakened state in the way that only a preschooler and toddler can.  By the time my husband returned from work, our home did indeed look like an indoor tornado had hit.  I met him at the door, grim-faced.  I let him know that had he not already taken measures to ensure no more children, I’d have done the job there and then.

Now I wonder if Pudding heard me.

For Christmas, my parents bought the kids an indoor swing and trapeze bar that mounts in the doorway.  It is a great way to get some extra vestibular input, and we’ve used it every day.  The trapeze bar actually takes both parents to assist at the moment, she just isn’t strong or secure enough to do it alone.  Daddy lifts her up over the bar, and I hold her legs as she swings.  That is the theory, anyway.  What usually happens, is that Pudding continues holding onto Daddy until she feels secure.

Last night, she grabbed onto Daddy in a very wrong place, and wouldn’t let go.  I was already holding her legs, and couldn’t let go without her dropping to the ground, taking whatever was in her hands with her.  He tried to get her to release, but this only caused her to hold on tighter.  In falsetto, he begged her to let go.  I did the most helpful thing I could in the situation- giggle mercilessly.  Eventually he managed to extract himself from her grasp, some time later I stopped laughing.

I love my family, they’ll go to any lengths to put a smile on my face after a trying day.

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Today my post “Discord and Harmony” will be featured at The SPD Blogger Network.  Please head over there to check out this amazing site.  If you or a loved one are living with Sensory Processing Disorder, read about others similarly affected, or share your own story.  You don’t need to be a blogger to be part of this supportive community.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 1, 2011 at 7:04 am