Well, it has been so long I really don't know where to begin. I have been almost afraid to start blogging again because there is so much to say and I find it hard to put into words. It has been over 2 years since I was seriously blogging. It was great and I loved it but then I began working again and I was just unable to blog and keep the family and house going.
I'd say we have had a few big changes in our life since I last put it all out there. I am no longer working (woo hoo), we have a new addition to our family, Spencer. He is 10 months old and our favorite entertainment these days. Our other big change is that our daughter has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (aka Sensory Integration Dysfunction). It is the end and beginning of sorts. It is the end of the frustration and questioning. The wondering, "what is going on with her" or "why is she so different, other kids her age don't act this way." These were the questions I've been asking myself for a few years. I didn't have the guts to say them out loud - EVER. I just quietly, secretly wondered.
Then she began Kindergarten...
Everything changed. We knew something was different. It was too hard NOT to notice or talk about it. There is so much I could say to try and explain but I think these pictures may say it all...
First day of Kindergarten
First day of 1st grade
They sum up the two expressions she has most. Anger/frustration and being totally overwhelmed.
I'll go into more in the blogs to come, but for now, we know... it is a neurological disorder that she will struggle with the rest of her life. Wow, that was hard to swallow... it still is.
She is in Occupational Therapy twice a week to begin to help her learn how to cope with how her body feels in this world around her. To help her not feel overwhelmed in new situations; help her put on her socks without a 30 minute battle to find the precise way to wear them so they don't drive her crazy all day. She is OVERWHELMED by almost everything around her. When you can't stand the feel of clothing on your body and all you can think of is taking them off, well it makes it hard to listen to the teacher. Or if you can't stand to be lightly touched or brushed up against and a classmate accidentally brushes against you in line and you automatically react by yelling or hitting them as a defense mechanism... well, you can see where that would get you in trouble.
We are all struggling at our house to understand this. But it is a NEW beginning. I am reading all I can to understand what I can do to help and what will make life more tolerable for her. I am learning to think 5 steps ahead to cut off a meltdown before it happens. I'm trying to learn how to discipline a child who is out of control because her body doesn't feel what others feel and a child who is so easily brought to a rage that all I can do is hope she doesn't hurt herself or anyone else.
In the midst of it all, there is a smile, a glimmer of hope. Today is a good day. She had OT this morning and loved it. She actually came out of school today with a smile on her face... that has not happened in a very long time.
Everyday is a new day, I thank my God for that. I also thank Him for all of this because he knew long before we did that this would be a struggle... a trial if you will.
James 1: 2 - 5
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
I'm starting over... we are learning how to parent all over again and it is... hard.
But we are trusting that God will get us through and give us wisdom to help guide and encourage her.
But this is where we are. Right Here... Right Now.