Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Left is Right and Right is Left

My daughter goes to Occupational Therapy once a week. For the last few weeks V's therapist has had a master's degree student working/shadowing with her (so she can finish her degree I assume). Today this very nice lady put my daughter's shoes on the wrong feet (they take off her shoes so she can use the toys on the play mat). I did not even notice until we got to the grocery store. Made me chuckle. The young lady has much to learn.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sensory Processing.....What???

I find it extremely hard to believe but my daughter is now two years old! She has changed so much in the last 6 months that she is almost like a different little person. At 18 months old she had next to no words and did not use the few she said right so I was beginning to feel concerned. So with the doctor's referral she got an early intervention evaluation. In the evaluation she did beautifully and all the evaluators loved her. (In the month between the referral and the actual appointment her word base had really grown). What they did notice was her inability to play even for 10 seconds by herself and after talking with me they discovered that she did not even come close to sleeping through the night, had some eating issues and was unable to be strapped down (car seat, high chair) for even 5 minutes without screaming. That along with several other small issues and she qualified for Occupational Therapy. They told me she was very bright and personable but that she displayed many Sensory Processing Issues. No actual label was attached to her but she did begin immediately with OT twice a week. They asked me if I knew about SPD or that therapy could help her function better day to day and I basically broke down and cried because I had no idea. I had always knew something was different with her than other babies but since she was my only child and I was not around other children I just figured that I had an extremely high needs baby.

Well after that appointment I immediately began reading every website and book about SPD that I could. Instantly I discovered that she was a sensory seeker and the most surprising thing I learned was that all my problems from my childhood could be explained by the fact I had SPD and I had it severe and I was a sensory avoider. There were many a tears about tags in my clothes, seems in my socks, crying with a change of schedule (even by something small), my inability to focus on homework and numerous others that would need their own dedicated post. When I talked to my mom about all this she was literally shocked that there was an actual disorder for what I had and that we had no idea. I could only imagine how therapy could have helped me.

After 4 months of twice a week we saw drastic improvement in her eating as well as being able to ride in the car or sit at a restaurant and actually finish a meal without taking a screaming toddler outside (we still choose very quick restaurants that are family friendly). Sometimes she is able to play by herself for 5 minutes but she is still all over me all day and has problems playing and most her toys go untouched unless someone is playing right next to her. She now has a bedtime that works most times but she still wakes up with uncontrollable screaming in the night but not every night. She has recently been dropped to once a week which is a little disappointing but Violet just loves to go to OT and we are still seeing improvements which is what matters.

Life has only changed for the better since that evaluation. She speaks in sentences (I think is unrelated to OT just a huge change from 6 months ago) and is generally a much happier child. People that say the 2s are a terrible age obviously do not have children with sensory processing issues because so far toddler life is way way way better than a baby that literally has to be held 24/7. We still have a long road and a majority of her toys go untouched but at least now I understand a little more of what is gong on in her head. Thankfully her situation is mild but I feel like things are looking up for us.