As we are in the middle of the month of October or Sensory Processing Awareness month, I wanted to post a bit about something everyone on this journey needs to know.
I can remember the day when I learned it…..I can remember that it was NOT an easy thing to accept….and I can remember the feeling of understanding once I did. and it is that this path we are on….this journey…our road…is a marathon, not a sprint. That SPD and its dyspraxic component are part of your child forever. That there will not be a day that it is simply gone. We need to know this to realize all we do for our children will make a huge wonderful difference in their lives, but that through their lives SPD and dypsraxia will play a role.
I think knowing this is almost liberating, it kind of takes the urgency each day, out of each therapy, out of finding THE answer, out of trying to FIX something that really isn’t broken. If you can accept this piece of information and allow yourself to do your best each day for your child, then you are in the marathon. If you feel that urgency, that fear that you have to try this next idea TODAY!, then you are in the sprint.
Please know that I have been in the sprint many times….and each time I fall back to that philosophy, I feel that upset feeling, that nervousness and I have to talk myself back to being in the marathon.
When you are in the marathon, you can take each success and celebrate it, even it is as simple as your child eating a bite of something that used to make them scream.
Being in the marathon is NOT losing it when your OT appointment has to get moved…it is rescheduling it and realizing that maybe a bit of time off that week for your child to be a child might not be too bad of a thing.
Being in the marathon is walking side by side with your child, and enjoying them for who they are and all the great things they bring to your day.
Being in the marathon is losing the constant drive to get everything in in a day. That realizing you CAN relax a bit and if you have to skip one thing today, it really is O.K.
I can take you back to the time I learned this important thing or I can tell you a story that happened two days ago and both will illustrate my point.
In the world we live in today with its fast paced, social media based, share EVERTHING philosophy, it is quite typical to post a question and receive an answer or 50 in under a few minutes. Any of the answers can be helpful or none of them could be the right fit. But the idea is to solve the problem, fix it, and then the attention moves to the next question that appears at the top of the page. This can be helpful for home repairs or even other health concerns but with SPD and dyspraxia it enters you in the sprint.
I guess I will share the story that happened two days ago….Elizabeth is in a club at school and they will be preparing some grocery bags (brown, paper ones) for donations by stapling red ribbons to the bags. Sounds easy correct? but not for those with dyspraxia? not quite so much…we had to practice this skill, and break it down into steps and practice again.
Now, if I was in the sprint, I would have had her practice it the second I heard about it and made sure she got it that night, even if it mean stapling 20 bags….it would have had to be learned! RIght then!!….. but being in the marathon, we broke it down into steps, tried them a few times, ended with a success and did a bit then next night. I knew her “buddy” will be with her to guide her and I knew she would love the friends and social part of the club meeting, and I know she is proud of herself for doing all these new things….so it was, in all, a good thing.
I offer this out from personal experience, and many many years in this marathon. I hope others will leave the sprint and enter the marathon….it is a much better race to be in.
Have a good week.