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Monday, August 22, 2011

And A Lightbulb Went On!

For anyone that has followed our blog for a while, you are well aware of the many issues we have struggled with on a daily basis...first with Bruiser and then with Sassy.  They both started out with Early Intervention through an amazing facility in our local area.  Meeting Street School has provided us with endless resources, guided us through numerous evaluations and transitions, and provided support to each and every member of our family.  Our service coordinator, who has since switched positions within the school, has kept our family on her service list because she is so amazing!  This fall will be be the end of our third year with Meeting Street...and i honestly have no idea how we would have survived without them!  Sassy will age out of EI at the end of October but Bruiser will continue with out-patient therapy so we'll still be able to enjoy all our amazing friends!

But, I digress...

Back to those issues...while both children had a speech/language delay that qualified them for EI, other issues emerged as they continued to develop.  Just as Bruiser was turning 3, and aging out of EI, we discovered some concerns with sensory related problems.  Even with 10 years of teaching early childhood, I had never heard of "sensory processing" and immediately began to panic.  Luckily I had such amazing people to guide me through the next steps!  Through an out-patient evaluation, Bruiser was diagnosed with mild Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)...and I immediately began searching for anything and everything about this disorder.  I have been keeping Amazon and Google very busy for the past two years!  I ordered many books.  I read numerous blogs and websites.  I talked with endless therapists.

But here's the problem - SPD is fairly new in the educational and medical worlds.  It's also a huge area of development with very broad borders.  Each child with SPD can look so different.  This became even clearer to us when Sassy earned a similar diagnosis this past year...and she's nothing like Bruiser!  Oh, and then try to explain it all to someone else - whether it is the grandparents, the babysitter, the neighbor, or the sweet older lady at church.  Trust me, we've heard it all!  Bottom line is that much of what Bruiser presents with looks an awful lot like a behavior problem.  So you can imagine how this has affected my self-esteem as a mother!  It's been hard, really hard...and it seems to be getting harder as Bruiser grows and develops more issues.

So during one of my down moments, I revisited my bookshelf to see what I needed to reread.  That's when I found this book:

Parenting a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder: A Family Guide to Understanding and Supporting Your Sensory-Sensitive Child

I had ordered it back when he was diagnosed and never opened it...other books (and life!) took precedent.  Well, I sat down and read it in an afternoon on Saturday.  It was a great read...easy with lots of personal accounts of other families living the same life we are.  But the best part was the first chapter that explained and defined SPD.  It was the best explanation I have ever read of the disorder.  AND there was a chart that explained the differences that Sassy and Bruiser have within the same disorder.  AMAZING!  I am looking forward to sharing it with family and close friends...if a light bulb went on for me (and I'm living it everyday!), then I can't wait to help others that love my kids understand them better too!

1 comment:

  1. Hi~
    I have three kids with sensory issues, developmental/speech/language issues and Autism. I know exactly what you mean...very similar dx, but each kid is so different! Sensory-seeking, hyper-sensitive, a little bit of both. lol It can get pretty crazy!

    (visiting from Kate's blog party)
    Lisa @All That and a Box of Rocks