Parenting; the word conjures up many thoughts and ideas.
I myself had my own thoughts and ideas before I became a parent and they changed ever so drastically after I had my son. Your ideas on parenting usually change after you have a child, but they never change quite as much as they do when you have a special needs child! My son is now 3 and was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at 18 months. I have my usual challenges like most moms, but on top of the “typical” situations I find myself dealing with, there are just as many or more “atypical” situations.
I anticipated the usual complications with being a new mom; sleepless nights, lots of diapers, spit up, etc. While I did have plenty of those experiences I also found myself struck with so many other experiences that I had no idea how to deal with. Everyday occurrences that most people take for granted are very difficult to accomplish at our house.
Things like hair brushing, teeth brushing, nail trimming, eating, bathing, visits to the bathroom all come with their own set of struggles that we have to work through on a daily basis.
I never thought I would have to wait until my son fell asleep for me to trim his fingernails or cut his hair.
I never thought I’d be up at 9 at night until my son fell asleep so I could clean his teeth with a dental tool because he can’t stand the sensation of a toothbrush in his mouth.
I never thought I’d have to puree my son’s food to almost a soupy consistency just so he will eat.
I never thought he wouldn’t be potty trained at 3 years of age.
I never thought I wouldn’t be able to take him to the park because the swings and slides would cause him to go into a complete state of fear and worry.
I never thought he would hate toys that made any type of noise because the sound would drive him batty!
In the beginning, I was completely thunderstruck and overwhelmed with no idea of how to handle the situation, but now it’s such a part of my life that I wouldn’t know what to do without it! Now, I just try new ideas to help him manage his SPD and keep a sense of humor along the way!
I mean, it must seem unusual to see me poking around in my son’s mouth with a dental tool and a small light during the middle of the night trying to clean his teeth! It must be hilarious, that as I am trying to potty train my son I let him run around without a diaper in my backyard for him to do his business in hopes that he’ll one day feel comfortable to sit on a toilet. (This has only worked once! He did go number 2 under our patio table only to announce “It was a big one!”). …continue reading