I’m so glad you’re here.
I understand that you’ve been struggling. Please, sit down. It’s a lot to ask, I know, when things are out of control around you, but you’ll feel better if you sit for a moment.
Take a deep breath.
Again, I’m happy you’re here. It doesn’t matter how you got here. Maybe you Googled “my son has meltdowns not tantrums” and that’s how you found us. Or maybe your friend suggested a web search for “sensory processing disorder” because she saw something in your daughter’s behaviors that looked familiar, like her own son’s. Or maybe…
Maybe you’re here because you just know something is different about your child. And you feel so alone.
That was me three years ago. I knew in my heart that my son wasn’t like the other kids. He was not like his older brother at all. I actually knew it from birth, but it wasn’t until he was almost two years old that I really grasped that something about him was just…different.
Everyone told me not to compare my two boys. “Your oldest was SO advanced”, they’d say, “and so easy going.” “My second boy was much wilder than my first.” “You wouldn’t want your kids to be exactly alike, would you?”
Maybe you’re hearing this too. When your daughter screams for an hour after her hands get dirty, maybe your friend tells you that “she’s just a dainty girl”. Or when your son is crashing and smashing into anything and everyone around him, maybe your spouse says “it’s just boys being boys”.
But you’re here because you know it’s not that. Your gut is telling you something else.
When I spent hours outside a tent during my cousin’s wedding because it was too loud and too crowded for my son, my gut told me something was wrong. When he couldn’t sleep without touching me and hugged me so tight I couldn’t breathe, my gut screamed at me to get some help. And when he would choke and gag on any food that didn’t smell or look just right, my gut begged me to see an expert.
A parent knows when their child needs help. I know when my kids have a fever because their hands and tummies get hot, not their foreheads. I know when my kids are hungry because they start arguing with each other. And I knew that my son had sensory issues and I needed to get him evaluated.
I understand that this is a difficult time for you. You’re juggling work and home life and trying to keep your family together. It’s hard to admit that your child is having difficulties with any part of their lives. And the words “sensory processing disorder”…it sounds very scary.
I know that because it was scary to me too. It took everything I had as a parent to take that step to get my son evaluated by early intervention. I cried every time I filled out a form or answered a questionnaire. But as his mother, I had to do it. My mother’s intuition was telling me that he needed me to. If he was sick, I would take him to a doctor to help him get better. I had to look at the evaluation that same way. That I would do anything – anything – to make life easier for my child.
Are you still sitting down? Good. You deserve it.
Finally, I want you to know that you are not alone. When I started this process, I thought I was the only mother with a child like mine. I know now that not only am I not alone, but I don’t have to do it alone. There are support groups and websites and Facebook pages just for parents like us.
And me. I’m here for you. Always. Because you’re my friend and I want to help.
With her intuition
Will know just what to do
A mother has a feeling
She pays special attention
If someone is concealing
If someone’s playing tricks
She rubs and scrubs and scours the secrets
Until the answer clicks” – Mother’s Intuition by Carly Simon