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Tag: sensory processing disorder

Answers Only Lead To More Questions

Tuesday morning was our first meeting with Zach’s Occupational Therapist. I don’t know why I felt so nervous about this appointment, but I was. I was so anxious that even with a stop at McDonald’s for breakfast, we ended up being there 30 minutes early. I should note that I’m rarely ever early for anything, especially on a weekday morning.

Thankfully, Zach brought his DSi to keep him busy while we waited. The waiting room was very nice, decorated to entertain the kids. We didn’t end up waiting very long before they called us back. The OT had Zach start on an activity where he searched for small items stuck in a blob of putty. While he worked on that, she asked me questions. We went through all the basic questions, with her stopping for more details when necessary. As we talked, she went through some more activities with Zach. He got a little antsy at a couple of points, though he didn’t get too out of hand.

When she finished her questions, we finally got to the part I wanted to hear. Everything that I have been stressing about over the last several months was confirmed. Zachary definitely has some sensory integration/sensory processing problems. Most of his issues stem from the auditory and proprioceptive areas. She explained what this all means. Some of it I understand, some I don’t. I suppose that will come with time.

We left with a bunch of handouts to read, including some more book suggestions, activities to try at home and at school, and information specifically on proprioception. We have an appointment to go back on the 15th of February, where she will do some more specific activities (heavy work, etc.) with Zach to see what works the best for him. She said that the benefits of certain activities can last up to 8 hours after the activity. Again, I’m anxious to go back and see how this all works.

I still have mixed feelings about all of this.  In a way, it feels good to be validated, to know that I’m on the right track and that we’re finally getting somewhere. Yet, I also feel very overwhelmed. There is so much to learn still. We’ll need to make changes to our routine. We’ll need to incorporate more activities and breaks for Zach into our already busy schedule. There will be a lot of trying and failing before we figure out what really works for him and what doesn’t.

We’ll get there, this I’m sure of. There is just a long winding road to make our way through first.

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Just Keep Swimming

I’m not sure why I always seem to think that things will calm down in the Fall, because the opposite seems to happen instead. Between school activities, soccer practice and games, church activities, the usual errand running, and visiting with family we just keep going and going and going. Weekends are packed so full that we have very little down time. By Sunday night I end up cranky and exhausted. Add that to the fact that my allergies are insane right now and I’m stressed and not sleeping well at night. So yeah, I’m really pleasant to be around. Just ask my husband and kids.

I’m still wading through this book and trying to figure out what an SPD diagnosis might mean for Zach.  I’ve made an appointment to get started with the evaluation process, but the first available appointment isn’t until December 9th, so we still have a wait on that.  Parent/teacher conferences are this week at school, and I plan to discuss this more with his teacher during that time.  The director of his before/after school program is making some accommodations for him as well and I’m really hoping that this will make the school day easier for him.  Right now the unknown is the hard part.  His behaviors have gotten worse instead of better lately, but I question everything.  Is that behavior because of a sensory thing or just a 5-year-old boy reacting to emotions he doesn’t know how to handle?  It all leaves me frustrated because I don’t know how to handle his behavior.  I certainly don’t want to punish him for something that he really has no control over; yet, if it is something he can control, I don’t want to just let it go.  I wish I just had someone to tell me – when he does this, you do this.  Guess that’s not going to happen though.

In the meantime, I’m just trying to keep my head above water.  My body is feeling the stress for sure.  I’ve been eating like crap, let my running schedule slip into once a week, if that.  I know that it is the exact opposite of what I need right now, but I think if I could sit around eating chocolate and sipping Diet Coke all day long I would.  I just kind of need a break from everything, but that break is nowhere in sight right now.

At least while we’re going, going,  going on the weekends we are having fun.  I really need to learn to slow down and think more when I’m taking photos because a lot of these didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to, but at least there were a few keepers from the weekend.










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Sometimes, that beautifully planned out life that you dreamed about and worked so hard to create just isn’t what you thought it would be or what you planned for it to be.

Sometimes, even when there is so much good in your life, it is hard to not let the bad stuff leak in and take over.

Sometimes, your fears become your reality.

Sometimes, the weight of it all is just too much.

It is just so heavy – that weight pushing down on you.

That’s where I am right now.  The weight of this life, so heavy that I no longer know what to do with it.  There’s no shrugging it off.  There’s no running away.  There’s no sleeping through it until it eventually goes away.  It is just there, waiting to be picked apart, piece by piece.

My mind is scattered, always going in a million different directions.  There is no focus.  Everything I do seems to take an enormous amount of effort.  I forget things constantly, important things.  I lose things that were in my hands only moments before.

I try to pretend like things are okay, when really I feel like I’m drowning.  I can’t drown though, I have to keep going.  There is no stopping when you are the one who takes care of everybody else.

It is good to be needed, until you are needed so much that there is no more of you to give.

Life is hard right now.  The last couple of months have been hard.  The last week, even harder.

Last week I was involved in a fender bender on my way home from work.  I got rear-ended in stop and go traffic on the highway.  It was really pretty mild, just some scrapes on the bumper from what I can tell.  I still need to get the car in for some estimates and make sure there isn’t any more damage than what I can see.  It shook me up, but I was lucky it wasn’t worse.  All I could think was, “Thank God my kids weren’t in the car.”

On Monday, Hubby got rear-ended in a much worse way.  He was on his way to work when the driver in the car behind him fell asleep at the wheel.  He slammed into Hubby’s car going 65+ miles per hour.  Hubby was very lucky and ended up with a sprained shoulder (from the seat belt) and a partially sprained neck.  He’s hurting, but he’s alive.  I couldn’t even function on Monday until I knew he was at the hospital getting checked out.  I guess I just needed to know that he was okay, even though he complained about my constant texts and phone calls checking on him.

School is still difficult for Zach.  Although the bullying situation seems to have gotten better, there are still other issues.  He told me this week that he “hates” school and doesn’t want to go anymore.  Yesterday I couldn’t get him to go into his before school program (which is necessary because I have to be at work before school starts).  He cried and clung onto me long enough that I ended up just staying and walking him to his class.  I know he doesn’t hate school.  He comes home excited every day telling me all about the things they learned that day.  He just doesn’t like the before/after school program.  It is too much for him.

Last week I somehow came across a link to a blog about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), this post in particular.  As I started reading, I got this huge sinking feeling in my stomach.  While I’ve detected some signs and suspected some sensory issues with Zach for a while now, I suddenly knew, without a doubt, that THIS is what we’re dealing with.  I immediately downloaded a book about SPD, which I’ve been reading every chance I get, and the more I read, the more I know this is it.  So many of the unexplained behaviors that we’ve seen from Zach over the last year or two finally have an explanation.  And, while having answers should lessen the weight I carry, instead it has made it heavier.

I know now that there need to be evaluations, I just don’t know exactly where to start.  I do believe that he has a mild form of SPD, and that, with help, we can make things better for him.  I know it is going to take a LOT of work to get him where he needs to be.  I am so very thankful that he has a teacher that is more than willing to do what it takes to make him successful in his class at school.  She has already taken steps with him that have made things better, like making sure that he always gets to sit at the end of the table at lunch instead of being smashed in the middle of the group.

My biggest struggle with this right now, is that I want to know everything there is to know about SPD and I want to know it NOW.  I want all of the answers so that I can help him and make life less difficult.  I know there are simple things we can implement at home, I just don’t know what they are or how to do them yet.  All the while, his behaviors have been escalating and I don’t know how to handle them.

It also doesn’t help that Zach has a two-year-old little sister who loves nothing more than to egg him on when he does have problems at home.  She is most definitely in the “terrible two’s” stage and entirely too smart for her own good.  She knows how to set him off.  She is also quickly learning how to get the attention turned to her when mom and dad are focused on Zach.  I can’t say that I blame her, but it leads to some very unpleasant times at home and an enormous amount of guilt on my part.  I wonder if she isn’t getting the attention she needs because, out of necessity, our attention always seems to be on Zach.

Last night Zach had to go sleep in the guest bedroom.  He was throwing a huge fit because he didn’t like the cd that Evie picked out to listen to at bed time.  Removing him from the situation seemed to be the best thing to do at the time.  They have shared a bedroom for 2 1/2 years now, but I can see that that needs to change, sooner rather than later.  I question whether it was simply a fit and he was trying to get his way or if the music simply was too much for him all of a sudden, music that he has listened to over and over again.  I question everything these days.  Is he just being a kid throwing a tantrum, or is there more to it?

While we have one little piece of the answer now, all it has done is bring more questions.  While I know I shouldn’t, I feel guilty for not picking up on all of this sooner.  I’ve seen some of the signs since he was tiny, yet blew it off as just being one of his little “quirks” because I didn’t know what else it might be.  It blows my mind to go through the list of signs or symptoms of SPD and realize most of the behaviors that we’ve been trying to correct all these years were completely out of his control.  I wish I could take back all the times I have yelled and screamed at him out of frustration.

I keep reminding myself how lucky I truly am.  I have so much richness in my life.  I have two amazing, smart, and kind kids.  I have a husband who would do anything for me and the kids.  I have so much, yet this weight, this heaviness sitting right there on my chest, it isn’t going to go away.  It’s here to stay. I guess I just have to figure out how to carry it.

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