I am sitting here today watching the election results and I was thinking of the fact that the holidays are looming. Isn’t that a funny word as it sounds like something scarey is just WAITING for us.
The sad thing is for those who have sensory processing disorder or SPD, or who have a family member with the disorder, the holidays can seem to be that looming force. We ask ourselves how do we make the holidays work? How do we help our child navigate the sheer force of sensory input that is the holiday season itself? and on and on.
But the thing I was pondering today was that even though a child with SPD..(hey let’s just pick mine for the sake of example) has a huge fear of the dark. This fear was brought on by her SPD and a bad planetarium experience some 4 years ago. It is so bad that she won’t go into a theater. (Her reaction to a movie theater or a play is so intense and fearful that we as a family plan movie time AROUND her,) can go out into the dark to trick or treat. Why is that?
Here is the part that makes me take pause about the SPD. She goes trick or treating and in our town, the hours typically fall when it is dark. So out goes Elizabeth, each and every year, happy and excited, into the dark. That consistantly floors me as the walk down a slightly darkened hallway that leads to our kitchen, results in her sprinting its length and arriving like she was shot into the kitchen. So why does one thing make her afraid and not another.
The puzzle that is Elizabeth and her disorders will always amaze me. Certain things are still a challenge to her while other things have been conquered and never bother her again.
I will say one of the things that I am sure rings true for parents of children who have SPD and dyspraxia is that the child is strong! I am consistently amazed by the way Elizabeth works so hard…ever once in a while as I go to wake her for the school day, I mentally switch positions with her and imagine what it is like to wake up and see the world through her eyes, from exactly her perspective and I can only wonder what it is like to have to work so hard all the time. Again…AMAZED!
My pondering led me to the point where I say I am so thankful that we GET Elizabeth, we get her moods and her ways. I can only say to those who are reading this that if you know your child and are willing to reassess what they need be it at school, in therapies, or at home, then like me you can be amazed by child, but willing to work with whatever twist and turn the disorders take.
The high point is that Elizabeth dressed like a Twister board came in with a huge bag of treats, soaking wet (thank you hurricane Sandy)and happy. It is all really want for her is the happy part.
Hope everyone is having a good week and enjoying this little down time before the official holiday countdown.