April 26, 2012

Sensory Processing Disorder. What the?!

Earlier this year, our daughter was diagnosed as having a Sensory Processing Disorder. So we have been throwing ourselves into the world of Sensory Integration. I had no idea what any of this was. Not a clue. Slowly we have been mucking through various books, websites, thoughts, and everything in between to find out what we can about this so that we can help our Noodle to live a less frustrating life.

Her life is very frustrating for her since she cannot get enough sensory input to meet her needs. She has a Sensory Modulation Disorder with a sub-type of Sensory Seeking. Basically, her body's systems are not reading the sensory input that she receives so she craves more in order to satisfy those systems. So talking ends up being shouting as she tries to give her auditory system more input and she is constantly talking, singing or making noises. (We have not known silence in our house in at least 2 years now!) She has an uncontrollable urge to touch everything she encounters to add that extra sensory input about the item to her system. She still tends to put things in her mouth even at 5 years old.

At the same time, some of her systems get a bit overloaded and it causes a complete and utter catastrophic meltdown/freak out. This is mostly an auditory issue for her. So you can no longer make loud or unexpected noises in the house or it sets her off. She usually handles it okay if she has a warning and can leave the room first. Makes using a public restroom with the automatic flushing toilets a bit awkward since she is trying to race out of the stall and pull her pants up at the same time :) Lily has gotten very good at getting across the stall with her pants around her ankles before the toilet flush hits its peak!

We are not sure really where to go with this one. I have signed up for the Sensational Brain website and we are going to start using the recommendations from there for some occupational therapy for her at home next month (after we have finished moving). We will give her a few months to calm down from all the moving and schedule changing (preschool is over next month too!) and see how she is doing then.

February 4, 2012

Poor vision woes

Not everyone is blessed with 20/20 vision. Some people can't even get their peepers corrected to 20/20 with glasses (I am one of those!). While sometimes blurry vision can be a good thing (bokeh photography anyone?) it's not always all it's cracked up to be.

I don't wear contacts because they do not improve my vision any better, I have dry eyes, and they require more maintenance than I am willing (or have) to give them. This makes a lot of things that some take for granted very difficult for me.

January 29, 2012

Nurtured Heart Parenting

A therapist turned us in the direction of the Nurtured Heart approach to parenting and I don't think we will be turning back any time soon. It's not wild or radical or complicated. It is simple, straightforward and it works. It was almost like a miracle with our oldest child. We have barely started to implement the technique and we have already seen a major shift in her actions and attitudes. Of all of the things we have tried in the last 4 1/2 years, this one is actually continuing to work also! Our daughter is asking for the recognition when she is doing something good. She is more helpful, considerate, thoughtful and even focused. She still receives consequences for bad behavior, but we have to give them less often.

January 12, 2012

Where I've Been

Phew! 2011 was a busy year! Of course, you have no idea what I was up to since I didn't blog about anything :) Oh my! Here is a quick recap:

  • Charles got hired by the company he was contracted to work with. He is almost working his dream job. He's working on getting them to do more 3-D animation.
  • We moved into a townhouse from our apartment.
  • Major flooding in North Dakota. We had no problems from the flood, but my sister in Minot did. Britt and Chad are real troopers!!!
  • We had water problems in the basement of our townhouse from all of the groundwater. There was mold and mushrooms and a lot of yuckiness.
  • Lily (Noodle) started preschool! When did she get so old?!
  • I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. We felt Lily needed more of her parents than both of us working full-time allowed for.
  • Ethan (little guy) arrived on his own before my due date. He is almost the total opposite of Lily.
  • I finished my Associate of Science degree. Finally!
  • We found out that Lily has a sensory processing disorder. We start occupational therapy later this month.
2012 is going to be a busy and quick year also! Lily is going to start kindergarten in the fall. (I am totally terrified!) Ethan will probably still be laid-back like he is now; he might learn how to be louder than his sister :)

Right now, our main goal is to try and be the best parents that we can. We have started using the Nurtured Heart approach and it has worked wonders on the defiance and general misbehaving! It has also improved her focus and listening. We will be starting occupational therapy later this month which should help with the sensory issues she is having. I will post more about her issues later. I see the little guy stirring across the room, so it must be time to eat!