Autism & Sensory Processing Disorders

 

If it's not one thing, it's another. I'm not complaining, just sayin'.

A couple of years back, after much prayer and reflection, I realized that all that was put on my plate was for a reason and I began viewing trials from a different perspective—I realized that with each challenge a great and beautiful work was being perfected within me, my son and our family. My heart overflows with gratititude for my son and the joy he brings to my life each day. It overflows for my husband who has stood by my side through it all. It overflows for Little Man's big brother who has been a stellar friend to his bro and his mamma. And it overflows for each person who has supported us along the way.

For those who have followed Little Man's Story, here's a mini update.

Our boy is now six and a half. For six years now we have worked on diet and have spent many dollars on supplements and biomedical treatments. We have seen specialists, gone to physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

Has it helped?

Most it has. But looking back, finding the right path was not easy.

For disorders such as autism, there still is no clear cut road map or formula for healing. Perhaps that's because as Temple Grandin puts it, "if you've met one autistic, you've met one autistic." No two are the same and their needs can be vastly different.

As a parent I have learned the importance of being in tune with my child and seeking professionals who can help me do that. Have I always excelled at that—maybe not, but I have given it my best effort. If you are just starting out on this journey, I urge you not to be afraid to get help and seek support. Your sanity and your child's future hinges upon in.

Temple's story is profound. Her TED Talk (below) is worth the watch as is the film Temple Grandin—a testament to a mother's love and determination. 

I have always taken the stance of avoiding labels unless the application of them is necessary to obtain therapy and services. Little Man has never been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Is he autistic-like?Perhaps. But the best we've received are fuzzy diagnoses. The one thing we know for sure is that Little Man is bright, inquisitive, and reads at a second grade level! Behaviorally—well that's another story and and it all seems to stem from his sensory processing challenges. 

Here is a great film to check out if you have been told your child is autistic-like, but not autistic. I have just ordered it—this is the trailer:

I was talking with one of Little Man's teachers the other day, telling her how from 1-3 years of age physical therapy was what he needed most. From 3-5 it was speech therapy. Now that he is 6 we are seeing that his most critical need is for occupational therapy. Leaving the quiet and predictable environment of home and entering school has really shed light on the fact that we are dealing with Sensory Processing Disorder. Thankfully his teacher knows that his behavior is not malicious and that it is rooted in his sensory issues. 

Resources

The following resources are ones I wish I had been armed with early on. When you sense something is not right with your child and you visit your child's pediatrician and are left with questions unanswered and very few suggestions for how to proceed, perhaps these will help:

  1. My child is young and something is not right, where do I start? Read this book.
  2. I need to find a doctor who really understands my child's condition.
  3. I want to read about adults with autism and what my child's future could look like.
  4. I want to see Sensory Processing Disorder from a child's perspective.
  5. I need to hear from parents of kids with Sensory Processing Disorder.
  6. Another definition of Sensory Processing Disorder?
  7. My child may be autistic-like but I don't think he's autistic.
  8. The difference between "supporting" your child and "fixing" your child (folks, this is where we are now!!)
  9. I need a good source for omega-3's and a probiotic.
  10. Show me how Occupational Therapy can be simple but so effective!
  11. I need a movie to watch this Friday night.