Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

Sensory Processing Disorder and me-friend or foes

I’ve shared a lot about what it’s like being a parent to children with SPD. One is an avoider of sensory input and one is a seeker and can’t get enough input in his bucket. He keeps emptying his bucket over and over throughout the course of the day. Whereas his brother after a long day of school has a bucket that’s overflowing and can’t take one more cup of input. This is when Mom becomes the referee and I need to separate my sons before World War 3 happens! I do my best to keep them emotionally regulated but it becomes a full time job and I wind up exhausted and depleted. Like my oldest son I also have SPD Sensory Defensiveness in particular. Loud, sudden high pitched noises bother me, more than one person talking to me at a time is like chaos for my brain and body. My central nervous system processes sensory input most of the time effectively. Then there are those days when the world is too busy, loud, bright, and overwhelming. Sometimes I feel so hypersensitive to the world around me I can hear the energy crackling like a campfire. 

Those are the days I put up my hood and read a good book with a cup of herb tea or escape to my bed with my soft, fuzzy blanket and put on my headphones and listen to my meditation music. I need comfort in those moments when my ears feel like they’re bleeding from listening to my children squabbling over the iPad while three different TV’s are playing in the background. I have to resist the urge to bite my fingernails with the anxiety I feel inside. All I want is to chew on something soft and rubbery like an eraser but I don’t because my kids have gnawed on all the pencils like a couple of beavers. In those moments when I feel like the world is closing in on me and I can’t breathe I rock myself gently and I sing. Whenever I was a little girl my Mom would hold me on her knee and rock and sing with me. She’d rub my back and give me deep pressure Mama bear hugs. I’d give anything to go back to those memories and pluck her out them so I could have her in my comfort zone. But unfortunately that’s not possible as she travels a heavenly path while I’m earth bound. My Mom never made me feel like I was wrong or different. She told me I was a special child of God and my “quirky” nature made me uniquely me. When I was a child I spent a lot of my time reading the Classics like Shakespeare, Dickens, Louisa L. Maycott, and Lucy Maude Montgomery. 

I related so much to those characters who thought out of the box and wrote stories and climbed trees like I did. The poetry and beautiful descriptive writing of William and Charles made me want to write like them and capture the worlds interest with my words. So I wrote getting lost in fantasy worlds, epic battles, and fascinating history. This is when the world was a quiet place as I scribbled away in my notebooks filling pages with my prose and poetry. I’m still like this as an adult where I require quiet time daily and my sons are forthright about asking for their private bubble to decompress in. The stress chemicals can build up throughout the day and we need to release them or end up sending our central nervous systems into sensory overload. No one wants that to happen so we give each other the space that we require. Now you add in a few more letters of the alphabet like ASD, ADHD, ODD, and OCD you’ve got a melting pot of hot soup that no one can handle. Those are the times where I ask my children what they need to make their bodies feel better. Or how fast is your engine using the zones of regulation, of which my youngest son has a thorough understanding of this concept. 

Since facial expressions can sometimes confuse him and his recessive language with conversational verbal fluency is severe. He will then tell me what colour he is or ask me what colour I am. It’s an excellent way for him to communicate and be receptive to others feelings.  A breakdown of the colours and their meanings:

Blue- feeling tired or sad

Yellow-feeling nervous or scared 

Red-feeling mad and angry

Green-feeling happy and smiling

With my oldest son who has a better grasp on receptivity I have a diagram of a thermometer and I will ask him how fast his engine in his car is, and he can tell me or show me using the zone regulation colours. Sometimes are tempers are short, our explanations are long winded, and our bodies not regulated  and we react to the stress and pressure of the hot soup and we blow up. That’s when it’s important to remember forgiveness and our brains are just wired a little differently. It’s amazing what love, a deep pressure hug,  and a cup of hot chocolate will accomplish when words fail to save the day. That’s when I feel that even when SPD appears to be a foe when dealing with the chaos and it’s just too much ; I take that moment to breathe letting myself inhale the positive and exhale the negative and realize that it’s my friend after all guiding my family and I to better days ahead filled with love and patience.
Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!

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Friday’s Feats and Fails

Wahoo it’s the weekend! It’s my favorite day of the week as it’s also my Captain’s best day as he’s much more relaxed when he comes home from school. It’s been a long week that’s felt like more than a month! So I’ll do my best to give you hi-lights and the low lights.

FEAT

As a family we start every Friday out with a movie, popcorn and cuddles. Can you see why it’s my favorite day? I love to hear my kids chatting, making each other laugh, and the things that they come up with to entertain me and each other. I managed to get through a movie without falling asleep and getting both kids to bed. And we were all organized because the Captain had his hockey bag packed and ready to go at the front door. I love that he’s so excited to go play instead of fighting me just to leave the house. 😊

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FAIL

Hockey was a smooth day minus one hiccup. My Mad dog doesn’t want to sit still and with his sensory condition he just can’t unless there’s a IPad game, or something vibrating and flashing to keep his interest. We were sitting in the arena and he was getting antsy and didn’t want anything to do with the bag of toys I brought him. So he was bored and stimming (seeking sensory input). This is when he gets mouthing and biting so as to get instant input. Well he started licking the hand rail and a young girl walked by. I went to grab his hands and lead him away, but that’s no possible when he’s screaming. This girl came up to me and said “he’s licking the pole, I replied yes I know. ” Her response was what’s wrong with your kid?” This stung me right to the core, so I replied “he has a sensory condition, no big deal.” She began to laugh and I told her keep on walking. I didn’t handle it calmly, I tried but it just hit me in the heart.

FEAT

We had a successful hockey weekend, but traveling together always seems to make my kids even more sensory. So I have the laptop charged playing movies, iPad and the V-tab when sharing the laptop isn’t feasible. Mad dog was very successful with his potty training and I’m so proud of his accomplishment. The Captain won both his games and we ended up running into my brother in-law and sister in-law before left a hockey game. It was such an amazing reunion as we hadn’t seen them in seventeen years. Living at the other ends of each province will do that. As well as being hockey parents that will bring you together for the sport, or keep you on the road every weekend away from everyone.

FAIL

Monday was a difficult day I had Dr’s appointments for my kids with a new Pediatrician. Since it was an assessment the visits were lengthy while I answered questionnaires. My husband came with the Captain while I went in with the Mad dog. He was very agitated and didn’t want to have anything to do with the Dr. I had prepared him with a social story and did his OT exercises beforehand. But when he’s uncomfortable it doesn’t matter what I do to accommodate him. He started to get antsy and my husband and I tag teamed off and he took him home, and I took the Captain. This is where it got difficult as the Pediatrician was very thorough and wants Maddox assessed for ASD and OCD. Hearing those letters made my head swim as she read out her report. It was hard to hear and even harder to talk about my Captain and his anger and anxiety issues. He was bored, angry, and disrespectful. And I understood why, it was difficult for both of us. He will be assessed for ADHD and ODD. My heart breaks for my sons having to struggle, but labels and letters equal help for them so I’m accepting that one day at a time. ❤️

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*Image used with permission from http://www.sharingwithshari.com*

FEAT

I heard a brilliant guest speaker at my support group and he talked about the risk factors of addiction. And also how they correlate to an an ADHD diagnosis. This psychologist was so amazing, thorough, and interesting with his approach I was able to see everything I had encountered in my life in the past six years more clearly. My Captain was also able to articulate how he was feeling when I talked to him about getting help for his anger and anxiety. He doesn’t want to be bullied anymore so he won’t wear headphones in the classroom. But he said he’d try them at home, and he wishes he could stop his brain from saying stupid things. I reassured him it’s never his fault, and we all need to be kinder in our family. 💖

FAIL

With all the changes with Dr’s appointments and my stress levels my Mad dog has slipped in his potty training. I blame myself as I’ve been preoccupied with scheduling more appointments, applying for funding, and researching. Life has been topsy turvy with Mercury in retrograde so there’s always a few more curveballs to dodge. I found out I didn’t have health insurance from either province and I was just sick when I was told my Ped Dr visits were $300!!! Of course I had a few family Dr’s visits as well so color me embarrassed. 😳 I also had to apologize for getting frustrated and letting my feelings get the best of me. Luckily the receptionist could see a tired, overwhelmed Mom and they didn’t charge me a cancellation fee. I really appreciated that and assured them I’d be back with my Health insurance.

FEAT

After applying for health insurance for the third time our claim was processed and we got our Heath care numbers to use immediately. And our coverage will be retroactive from October 1 st. All it took was a trip into the city, an understanding insurance agent, and ID and boom problem solved. 😃
So now here we are going into the weekend and it’s hockey time again. I’m way ahead of the game as laundry is all caught up with one load in the dryer to be folded tomorrow. Ha take that laundry you’re my bitch this week. 😉 The Captain’s hockey bag is organized and ready, dishes are washed and floors are vacuumed. Tomorrow I tackle the bathrooms and mopping and fold and put away laundry. It’s amazing what happens when I get an hour or two of extra sleep. I’ve also been taking am electrolyte supplement and drinking two liters of water daily. As well as taking my vitamins, walking, and doing cardio on the treadmill.

So here we are heading into the weekend so we’ll see what adventures are in store for my family and I then. Until next weekend, blessings to you with whatever you’re doing and wherever you’re doing it. 💓

This has been my submission to Ash’s Friday’s Feats and Fails at http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com Please check out how her week went and all the other talent who link up. Smooches to you for being here on my journey. 😘

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