It’s the middle of summer. The time when parents are out there swimming with their kids, visiting indoor play areas, taking trips to the library, going out for ice cream, meeting other parents for playdates, going on vacation, sending their kids to Vacation Bible School…the activities are endless!
Then, there are the trips to the stores. Where everything screams “Back to School!” Backpacks, school supplies, lunch boxes. All of a sudden the anxiety sets in, and I start thinking, “It’s right around the corner, and there’s so much to do to prepare B for school!” It is only the end of July right? I know for some of you school starts in August, and it is literally right around the corner. School around here though doesn’t start until September 1st. The thought of school shopping in a week or two (because if I wait until the end of Aug. there will be no supplies to choose from) makes me cringe.
Why all the worries? Why all the fears? I think as a parent of a child with sensory processing disorder it’s easy to get caught up in the “What if’s?” I want only whats best for B and Sensory Processing Disorder is such uncharted territory. Believe me, I’ve been doing my research, and I’ve found information from some extremely valuable sources. However, it’s so easy to get caught up in the future and the uncertainty. It’s so easy to question your decisions when you don’t have a manual that tells you the right answers 😉
About three weeks ago, B mentioned how worried she is about eating in the cafeteria at school. We also hit a bit of a road block in food school. Instead of assessing the sensory components related to what was going on…I got caught up in the “fix it” syndrome. I had been given some advice about how B was displaying symptoms of anxiety and that certain types of therapy can help alleviate the anxiousness.
Of course she’s displaying symptoms of anxiety! She’s growing, she’s starting a new school this fall, and our summer routine is all over the place! When your world is spinning out of control, you try controlling what you can. If you can’t control it, you begin to worry and show signs of stress/anxiety.
Being the worrier that I am (and against my better judgment), I decided to look into these two different types of therapy. After meeting with one of the therapists, who didn’t really understand the sensory component from a practical standpoint, I came home feeling frustrated, alone, mentally exhausted, and clueless as to our next step.
It was after a much-needed vent session with a dear friend, that she pointed out how I needed to trust my instincts and stop listening to all the people feeding me with “quick fixes.” She explained that I do have people on my side. My mom (aka my rock) who always supports our decisions no matter what. Who has dove in with both feet to learn any and everything she can to help B and others like her. My husband who listens with both ears open and offers suggestions when he has them. Who wrestles with B to give her deep pressure. Makes smoothies with her to work on the food/eating skills. Questions therapies that cost thousands of dollars with no guarantees. He stands by and jumps in when I need a break. I also need to remember the sensory mamas out there who offer their support and encouragement whether I’m feeling overwhelmed or excited.
As for the others, I don’t need to answer to them. I need to trust my motherly instincts and accept “B” for who she is. Stop pushing and stop obsessing. She’s such a blessing to our family. She’s taught me so much love!
So, with that…I’ve decided that I’m going to listen to what my gut has said all along. I’m going to increase and rev up the sensory diet at home and back way down on the eating program. We’re not pursing any additional/new therapies at this time. Heck, it’s summer…and we still have an entire month left here! I want B and our family to enjoy it to it’s fullest before she’s off to full-day kindergarten. There’s plenty of time for the other stuff. Right now, I want to focus on my girls being “kids” and enjoying their summer. 🙂