Friday, April 3, 2009

The truth shall set you free. . .

There's a lot on my mind today. I feel like I'm going to fumble it a little bit, so bear with me.

We learned a lot from J's therapist's visit. She was very nice, but more than that I could tell that she was very competent. She started throwing around things like sensory diet, and deep muscle stimulation. These raised a red flag to me. We weren't aware that J had any medical diagnosis, and yet clearly they were treating him for something. So I asked her outright what they were treating him for, and she said that they didn't make diagnoses, that they weren't doctors. But I should read the book The Out of Sync Child. 
After she left I started googling as fast as my fingers would type. I'd heard sensory diet in conjunction with Autism, but I knew he was not autistic nor did he have ADD, even though his behavior even now could be defined as hyperactive. But he'd always been like that, he has a need to move, has had that since being in utero. He is able to focus on tasks (of his choosing) for long periods of time. Since his growth spurt, he hasn't hit another anyone for almost 2 weeks and he now has 100 words. I stopped counting after that, it's double what a 2 year old should have so I don't think that's an issue any more. It appears that they think he has Sensory Integration disorder. And he really does have every symptom of a subcategory addressing the constant need to move (and crash into things). All the occupational therapy tips that she gave me are working really well with him. Finding out second hand like this, without a doctor or someone to answer our questions is hard. And I'm hesitant to go back to our pediatrician, as she seems clueless and thought he was just a discipline problem. So, now I'm doing my own research and finding that I think I need a new pediatrician and possibly a real occupational therapist, since the prognosis for these kids is excellent if given therapy early on. 
And here is where things get really weird. In the past two weeks I have had people throw out the word gifted several times. Now that he is less angry and frustrated, it's clear that he gets bored quickly with toys, with people, with situations, everything. An example: All the kids in his class yesterday were given a small tennis racket (I know, oh good gracious) and they all sat quietly and put the racket on their heads and stood on it when the teacher asked. My spirited child? He was in the back of the room with the racket, crawled into the tub of balls, pulled one out that was about the size of a tennis ball and started "playing" tennis with me. He was fully engaged in the activity, but you could tell he took it to the nth level above and beyond what was going on in the class. The teacher walked over to me and said, "Do you play tennis with him?" And I said, never. He must have seen people playing when we were at the park. He misses nothing. Since it was the last class, the teacher pulled me aside and said, "I know he is a handful, he never stops moving. But he is the smartest child I have seen in a long time. I wonder if he will be a genius when he grows up." Her words made me cringe. I've heard this before about J.
I don't want that/this for my child. I know what that is like, it's a lot of pressure to have adults think that of you, expect that of you. It's hard to be happy, it took me 2.5 decades of my life for my nervous system to calm down enough that my foot didn't shake involuntarily. And the statistic I read about Sensory Integration disorder hit me like a ton of bricks-1/3 of gifted children have that. I suspect I had that, and that must have been why I drove my own parents insane, being hyper verbal, unable to sleep or calm down. But who better to understand him, to understand this? I know exactly what it feels like, how hard it is. Such a double edge sword, you get the amazing memory and perceptiveness, but your nervous system is so amped that feel like you could crawl right out of your skin sometimes.
And now that I'm certain I've shared way too much information about J and me, I'll kind of change the subject. Another layout with Baby boy A Kiss on the Chic kit:
Happy Friday everyone!

10 comments:

Scrapper Mom said...

Wow...that is a lot to take in for you, but like you said what better person than you to be there to guide your little boy, at least you have an understanding of what he will be going through. Big hugs to you.

And, beautiful layout as always!

Pamela said...

Great layout! And good luck with the whole situation...hopefully you can find a doctor who knows about this who can help more.

Carrie said...

What we wouldn't give as parents to have an instruction manual for our children. Keep using and trusting your Mommy instincts!

Sarah said...

Absolutely insist on an assessment from an OT. I hear they do good things ;) There's a ton of easy and great things that you can do for J that will make a huge impact. Best of luck and fabulous layout!

Lynn said...

ooooo very beautiful lo. hope you find a dr that can help you along.

Anna Sigga said...

Love the layout and I hope you get the best help there is!

~Sasha Farina~ said...

I will be thinking of you, Girl! :)

marilyn said...

Hang in there and keep on doing the best you can for your son. With your insight into how he feels, maybe things will be easier for him than they were for you. The best is to always love him for being him--whatever that may be.

Susan Beth said...

I read this yesterday and been pondering it now for about 36 hours. I'm really impressed with your up-beat attitude about how there is so much you can do to help J. And having a bit of insight into what he might be experiencing is great! I'm so adverse to lables for kids, but I am totally in support of giving them the best possible opportunities to make good experiences in their day to day lives. Frankly, I think the tennis ball thing is very wonderful. He wants to engage in the world, and that is amazing! So many kids his age are waiting for the next piece of entertainment to be put in front of them, but your J is reaching out to create his own. I believe he will make a wonderful adult if you are able to continue to cultivate that view of the world for him. I will keep him and you in my prayers as you gather information, process and work to get his needs met.

Stacey Michaud said...

Well, you and I should have dinner. I work with students with sensory integration weaknesses all the time. And my own son has had some issues. I will say that with the right sensory diet, some of these behaviors will even out. There is research about many children with sensory issues who are also gifted. You are doing beautifully with it--embrace it, research, seek answers, accept him (all those things you already are!) and it will be okay. PS. you may need to find a specialist, a great OT, in sensory integration disorders because many peditricians don't know enough!!!