Tag Archives: Sensory Processing Disorder

What a Plus Year!

9 Aug

20170809_084436

Christian with Ms. Christa & Ms. Paige

Today I sit overjoyed.
Overwhelmed. Truly Thankful.
Christian completed his first year with Pediatrics Plus and we couldn’t be happier!
Our story started with Pediatrics Plus not too long ago, yet the place already feels like “home”.

When Christian turned 1, we started noticing things were a little different, but we couldn’t put our finger on it. We went through the Autism screenings and more to only find out we have quite the “Sensational Little Boy”.
You can read about that here.

When someone tells you there is something “different” about your child, you start questioning what you could have possibly done wrong, your “ideal view” (which is stupid by the way) is shattered, and you feel lost. All you wanna do is “fix it” because at the time all you know is that your perfect child seems “broken” because when you have a child with special needs, you initially focus on “what’s wrong” when really there’s nothing to be fixed at all. You, “the parent”, realize that you’re the one that needs fixing, along with the world that has a long way to go in accepting these beautiful extrodinary children for who they are. That’s where I am today and that’s where the team at Pediatrics Plus has been SINCE DAY ONE.

Christian & Jen

Christian & Jen

Christian started at Peds Plus with therapy after he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). He was given some of the best rockstar therapists from the start. It was determined early on that he needed a speech therapist since his vocabulary was almost non-existent. Jen took him in and made him work from the beginning. She worked through the meltdowns, the sensory issues, and layed the ground work. Shortly after came Anna. Christian accepted Anna from the beginning and I always told them, “I think he has a thing for Blondes.” Anna and Jen made a

12898134_10100520048091990_7747683803501489952_o

Christian and Anna!

dynamic team and they did everything in their power to get him to where he needed to be. They both assured me, if I could get him in the preschool, I would see a world of difference, and, boy, were they right! They continued with therapy and we were making great strides, and then after being on the waiting list, Christian was set to start preschool in 2016.

I was nervous. He had been in Soulie (Grandma) school once we realized that traditional daycare wasn’t cutting it anymore. He would be entering a new world, and they were going to teach him, work through the sensory issues, the delays, yet I still didn’t know what to expect. I was told Jen would no longer be his therapist, I was even more nervous. Who was going to keep my son on track, help him with speech, and who would be teaching this superhero 3 year old of mine? Here comes Ms. Christa, Ms. Paige, Becca, and later Mr. Jordan.

All of a sudden we had a team on our side. We had teachers and a new therapist who knew how to work through the kinks (that’s all they are), who knew how to build those skills, push the limits, and push my child to be the incredible little boy that he is. They cheered through his triumphs, encouraged him through his difficulties, and sat with him when leaving mommy in the morning was just a bit too hard.

They kept food diaries, to assist during the time when food textures became too much and he refused to eat. When words became hard and Christian was having a rough day, he had a speech therapist there who was willing to be creative and teach through play, who celebrated when he could say the “ink” in pink, and so much more. (Becca I could go on and on about how awesome you have been) All of a sudden my husband and I weren’t in it by ourselves. We had a team who celebrated victories, who were there at his birthday party, and became a true part of our family.

18623383_10100838561438690_4992405349046809355_o

Christian with BECCA!

Christian was no longer by himself either. My son, who only had the close family friends who saw past everything, now had friends. He even had his special friends Molly Kate and Emma (love those girls). Christian loves Emma so he tries to take care of her and Molly Kate, well that sweet feisty little girl just loves on my son and I’m so grateful that she’s a part of his life (she has the best family too).

Christian has an increased vocabulary, isn’t as afraid as he was in public environments, works through his sensory issues, loves to read books, and seems to be a happier, full of life, he has the sweetest friends, and super loving little boy.

Emma and Christian

Emma and Christian

So today, My heart is full. I’m thankful for each and everyone of you. You have made such a dynamic team for my son and you’ve forever changed his life.

16707317_10100756174762250_7690576752901588989_o

Ms. Christa, Molly Kate, Becca, Christian & Ms. Paige

Ms. Christa- Thanks for loving on him when he was having those hard mornings, and assuring me that he was having incredible days just rough minutes ( not even mornings) because they would never last longer than 4 minutes). Thanks for  teaching him so much! I swear he has asked for every book that you ever shared during Circle Time! Thanks for being such an amazing teacher and always reminding me that Christian is extremely smart and he will go far!

Ms. Paige- I swear you were Cj’s First Crush. How many stories have I heard with Ms. Paige’s name in it? How many times did I hear, I’m going to hang with Ms. Page (I guess he doesn’t just like Blondes!, ha ha) Thanks for always being so sweet and soft with him. For always being willing to provide that extra little love in the morning. It made a WORLD of difference for him, and I want you to know it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thanks for being an awesome babysitter too!

Mr. Jordan- Thanks for being Cj’s friend. He would always talk about playing with Mr. Jordan and cool things that Mr. Jordan showed him in class. Every kid needs a guy like you in his corner.

Anna- Thanks for sticking with us from the beginning. Thanks for never giving up on my son, for your INCREDIBLE communication and for always willing to come up with solutions. You never stop, no matter what time it is, and you’ve always been so accessible to me. I’m so grateful for you.

Jen-Thanks for being the beginning of our journey. Thanks for laying the foundation and being so incredible.Thanks for pushing, encouraging, and just being you!

Becca- MAN! Thanks for just being you. For your heart. Your Spirit. Your soul. Your love for my son. For pushing him. For never settling for mediocrity. For never giving up. You are a light my friend like no other, and I’m glad to know you.

To my fellow pediatric mommas I’ve become so close with- Whitney-Nikki-Janaye-Thanks for being rockstars. Thanks for being supportive, shedding tears with me, laughing with me, and being in my corner. I can’t forget Mary Lu and Paula either!

To all of Pediatrics Plus Faculty & Staff in Little Rock, thanks for being so awesome and for showing everyone that these children aren’t different, they are “special”. Unique. One of a Kind. Thank you for showing the world, that the kids who go here are dynamic, little superheroes who will change the world one day.

Thank you for being a champion for my kid and being behind me 100%.
I’m in awe of each and everyone of you, and how far Christian has come.
Thank you for being a part of our extended family. We love you all very much.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.SPJ 🙂

 

Dear Perfect Parent,

25 Apr

Or shall I say, to the parents I see out and about staring at me, sometimes pointing,  and piercing me with their eyes while my child is having a moment.

I see your eye rolls.  I see your glares.

I see you mouth the variety of statements from the following choices of:

“she has no control over her child”
“my child never acted like that”
or my favorite
“she needs to give him a good spanking”

Yep. I see it all right along with my fellow parents of children  deemed “different” “special” or “misbehaved”.

We see everything. But what is sad is, that you don’t.

You don’t see how desperately we want our children to be on their best behavior.
You don’t see how we want them to enjoy the same activities that your children do.
You don’t see the constant appointments that turn into disappointments, the desire to do what’s best for your child but at times not knowing what that is or even means, and you don’t see the pain that YOU cause, by  your actions.

I can’t tell you how many times YOUR actions have caused me to second guess mine.
How I have sat at a table holding my child with severe anxiety in my hands and tears rolling down my face because at times I don’t know what to do or  how to keep the world from spinning around me in slow motion, to only look at you staring across the way, judging me.

I try to be strong, I need to be strong, for my child, but your judgement, your ridicule, your disgusting lack of respect for my child and situation, make a difficult situation even worse at times. When you have a child that is already labeled “different” and reacts to life on edge at times, you simply want to crawl in a hole somewhere, and there you are, ready to throw dirt on top and bury me.

Perfect parents, I’m sorry my child is keeping you from enjoying your perfect little world. Perfect teachers, I’m sorry my child doesn’t learn the way you teach. Perfect family members & friends, I’m sorry the way I’m raising my child doesn’t line up with what you all did “back in the day”.

I’m raising my child, I’m loving him, and I’m fighting for him along with a large majority of parents out there still learning how to find the right resources for their children and fight for their needs. At times, all I can do is pray because I’m trying so hard to “love like Jesus” when your actions make me want to go off on you in public and say things which Jesus would definitely not approve of. But I leave you with this-

When you see a child having a moment in public, think long and hard about how you respond. Before judging them, before putting them in categories, and deeming  my parenting “unfit” in your eyes, just stop and think- there’s a chance it couldn’t be what you think. The child having a moment could be struggling with a disorder, disability, etc.
Everything can’t be seen with the naked eye.

To those people who are supportive- I’m not talking to you. I love you. I thank you. You give the “high fives” when moments are rough.

To my fellow mamas and papas of these special children God has blessed you with, don’t lose hope. I get it. I know it’s tough and people are mean. But we can do this. God gave us these awesome children for a reason.

Until Next Time, Much Love

SPD MOM- Steph

12828568_10100501004500500_1809526170478535654_o

 

 

My Sensational Little Boy

12 Oct

DSC_0896Welp (takes deep breath in), here we go.

Recently, I know many people have wondered about some of my posts on social media and just because I believe in being open and educating others, I’ve decided to write this post.

You know, I always knew there was something a little different about my Christian. One day I came into his  classroom at daycare and asked, “Where is CJ?” They pointed over to a corner, where he played quietly and ran around in circles and the teacher said, “Oh, he’s over there….You know Cj”, she said, “Always away from everyone else in his own little world.”

After that day I started really noticing things a little more  than what people call typical toddler behavior. We would go on play dates and he wouldn’t interact with and almost seemed to fear other children.There was a significant decline in his speech. My greedy child, began refusing several foods. He would obsess over bright lights,movement, the TV .
I’d watch him run back and forth for an extended amount of time then crash into the walls, or stairs, etc.
Bedtime which use to be a breeze, turned into my child getting up hysterical MULTIPLE times at night, sometimes wandering in the dark in tears. My child seemed to not only be super sensitive but completely devastated when he couldn’t communicate, or when he didn’t understand, which would cause him to bang his head on the wall, the floors, etc.
I remember becoming the google freak and trying to figure out what was going on with him, and yet I found nothing. It wasn’t until Christian’s 2 year appointment where the doctor started asking me those key milestone questions. I found myself saying, “Well yes he does that, well wait, no, well wait…” And I remember eventually saying, “Doc, I’m not sure what’s going on but I have some concerns”, only to find out he had similar ones.

I was given this ridiculous test (yes I find it ridiculous, that’s another whole rant), where my son’s scores showed some red flags, and the “A” word was brought up which left me as a flustered mom,  but still with no answers.

Then I was referred to a Pediatric Therapy Center (What a Godsend!), and they gave me the answers I was looking for. They were so sweet with him, so patient, and after several evaluations, etc…, all the therapists had the same diagnosis.

You see, my boy is Sensational (of course!) but to put it more blatantly, My son has Sensory Processing Disorder.

So what does that mean?

Well, kids with SPD have trouble organizing and interpreting information received by their senses, which means they have extreme reactions to various sensations. Sometimes his reaction, although it makes no sense, is the reaction his brain is telling him to make. We are all constantly processing sensory everyday, but that’s just a little different for my little one. Christian, is what they call, a “seeker” which means he craves sensory interactions, and it is through those interactions he may be able to calm down and focus. I find the scary thing about having a seeker is that they will sometimes push the limit and do things that often seem dangerous to other children.

“Just as we need a foundation to build a house we need effective sensory processing for the development of our skills. If we are unable to process information on this foundation level we are required to pull in higher cognitive functions to help make sense of our world…(Sensational Kids

Let me tell you this right here: You don’t realize the role and how your brain interprets your senses  in everyday living, until you have a child with SPD. You don’t realize how much your life is affected by simple things, things like lighting, when your child freaks out because the lights are too low or not high enough at a restaurant or when your child refuses to eat certain foods because the feeling of them is causing problems. You also  don’t realize how sweet the word “Mommy” is, until your child can’t say it even if they know that’s who you are.

As his mother, I love him for who he is. I love him even if he freaks out over little things.
I love him even when he refuses a new food and takes his socks and shoes off within seconds of having them on.
I celebrate him for who he is as well as every accomplishment!

Which means, I urge you strongly not to question my parenting skills when it comes to my child because I’m doing the very best that I can. I will let him run wild in a field where he feels free if that’s what he needs. If we walk in a room and there are too many people and he feels the need to lay on the floor, I will not only allow it, but I may even get on the floor with him. His father and I have decided to embrace the situation, and we will expose him to things so he can learn and grow.
I’m sorry if that means sometimes his outbursts or ways of coping, disturb you. Actually no, I’m not sorry. This is MY child, and while it may be difficult in knowing what his triggers are, I’m not going to not expose him, just so you can be comfortable. (Sorry, I’m not sorry)

October is Sensory Awareness Month so I want to not only celebrate my precious little one, but all the other children out there dealing with SPD! Cj is currently in speech Therapy, and will be starting Occupational Therapy soon to help him learn how to self regulate. We are also looking to get him into a program where he will really get even more of the help he needs which has this mama super excited!!! I’m just trying to read and learn all I can about SPD and Christian’s father and I are doing everything we can to help our son!

So that’s what we’ve been dealing with for the last few months.My heart goes out to the other parents of SPD kids. I know sometimes it gets hard, and you don’t know what to do, or you wonder if you are strong enough to do this, but guess what? You can do this. And you will. We are all in this together.

I’m thankful for my loving friends and family who have been so supportive and caring during all of this! You know who you are! I’m also grateful for the support of a Private SPD Facebook Group and the other organizations out there working to find out more information on SPD!!!

For more information, check this book out: Out of Sync Child

DSC_0254

                                                                   My Sensational 2 year old, Christian                                            

Note: Christian is wearing a shirt from Imperishable Clothing Co; Jeans: AllDukedUp Beanie: N.A.E. Creations
(because someone always ask me where his clothes came from! )

P.S.- If you see someone out with a child who seems to be what you call “bad”  or “hyperactive” THINK before you give evil looks, etc.. This child may have SPD.

Until Next Time, Much Love, Mrs. SPJ

%d bloggers like this: