It’s been about 14 months since I initially contacted First Steps in February of 2012. I know I am still a newbie with much to learn, but I feel like such a different person than I was a year ago. Things were so scary and dark for a time. I was stressed, overwhelmed, confused. After I got answers and therapists started coming in weekly, I thought things would be better, and in many ways they were, but this was also when sadness, grief, guilt, and sometimes anger reigned. I sometimes believe that two of the worst times in life for a parent of a special needs child are when they don’t know what is going on, and when they find out what is going on.
This weekend, we went to the park. We stayed 2 hours. My older daughter, who has SPD, ran and played just like all the other children. Little toddlers my son’s age climbed and crawled and went down the slide. My son, who has sensory issues and has been diagnosed on the spectrum, spent just about the entire time pacing the paths, collecting twigs, and throwing them into various holes, mainly the recycler and a tube on the jungle gym. Last week at another park, it was wood chips, sorting and throwing, nonstop.
A year ago, this would have made me cry. I would have been reminded about how different he was from his neuro-typical peers. Honestly, it did remind me, but not with a heavy heart. This is my boy. At home, we try to push him out of his comfort zone and encourage him to interact with us more. I let him engage in his soothing world of repetition for a while, and then pull him back out. But you know what? While he was pacing about collecting sticks, he was smiling. He laughed. He was in the sunshine and fresh air, around people, with his family. He was happy. We were happy. …continue reading