Understanding Eby’s sensory challenges has been very helpful for us. Several years ago we feared that he had an attachment disorder. It took a wise therapist to point us in the direction of a Sensory Processing Disorder evaluation. We were relieved to learn that his lack of eye contact, aversion to being touched, and refusal to give/receive affection were not because he didn’t want relationship with us, but were related to his sensory struggles.
It’s easy to mistake sensory challenges for attachment challenges or disrespect/disobedience. If you have a child with some of these behaviors, you might want to explore the possibility of SPD. It was a huge paradigm shift for us and took pressure off of or relationship with our son. We were able to accept his limitations, gently working with him toward more acceptable ways of relating to people.
Last week was packed with family and friends from out of town; a tough thing for Eby. I was amazed when three different people commented that Eby willingly hugged them when they arrived. That is huge! Last night when Andrew’s family left, Eby wasn’t able to give hugs, but he shook hands with the adults (with fleeting eye contact) and we called it good.
That night he gave me a kiss as he was going to bed. It wasn’t a big smacker, but he managed to brush my cheek with his lips and give me a quick hug, with his head down and pressed against my stomach. Not bad for my boy.
As I write, he is vacuuming and making a loud noise that mimics the frequency of the sound of the vacuum. He’s great at making unusual noises and is still the loudest kid I know. His snoring imitations are hilariously accurate.
I hope this encourages some of you who are struggling with similar issues. Eby still has many sensory challenges and unusual behaviors, but he is making strides.
With graduations behind me, we’re pressing on to finish the school year and prepare for Noah and Katie’s wedding. Sunshine and I are sitting down this morning to evaluate her remaining work and make a plan to wrap it up. And I need to finish reading Little Town on the Prairie to my younger kids.
I think it’s going to be a good week. What does your week hold?
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