|Little Miss does “upside-down baby” on her first evening at Disney World|
None of Little Miss’s other sensory behaviors tipped us off to her SPD quite like one of her favorite past times… we call it “upside-down baby.”
To us, all of her various feeding issues had always been “just Little Miss.” The fact that she STILL will only take food from certain spoons and that her diet is mostly limited to crunchy, salty favorites like pretzels… well, we thought that was just the way picky kids ate.
But upside-down baby was strange. We had never seen other parents with their kids on their laps doing sit-up after sit-up — never seeming to get tired (well, the kid at least). And most kids I knew — when they got upset — would crave a hug, or a blankie, or suck their thumbs… not do sit-ups until the tears they had just cried rolled across their faces, into their ears, and dripped off their tiny chins.
We can’t remember when it started. In fact, it seems like Little Miss has just always done upside-down baby. Before she could even ask for the activity, those little legs would clench around your waist and her little hands would seek out your thumbs. The next thing you knew, she would have tossed her body backwards over your lap and would be struggling to pull herself upright again… and again… and again…
We tested to see how long she could do it once. My husband gave up after more than an hour. Little Miss was still raring to go.
Believe it or not, upside-down baby has even been the catalyst for some of Little Miss’s first words. My husband started refusing to give her what she wanted until she said “up.” After she mastered the one-word request, it was on to “Daddy, up” and then “Daddy up, please.” To get upside-down baby now, Little Miss has to use a full sentence: “I want sit-up, please.” It is one of the first few multi-word phrases Little Miss used willingly and regularly.
Upside-down baby has also evolved over time. When we put my old rocking chair in the living room, Little Miss quickly discovered that doing upside-down baby on a rocker provided an extra thrill. Now, as a daily part of her sensory diet, Little Miss insists that her upside-down baby partner hold hands and rock at the same time.
When I read somewhere that kids with vestibular hypo-sensitivities often like being in the upside-down position, it was like a light went on. Not only upside-down baby, but many of Little Miss’s other behaviors started falling into place. The balance issues, the feeding sensitivities… we pursued it with our pediatrician and eventually (after visiting more specialists than I care to comment on) we had our diagnosis.
It makes me wonder for all the other SPD parents out there — what kinds of behaviors tipped you off to your child’s SPD? Was it obvious? Does your child still do it? How has that behavior become a part of your daily lives?
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