Two days at UW, multiple appointments, testing, interviews, and finally a team meeting around the conference table. The final report – Eby’s sensory differences are significant, he has some speech challenges , and trauma is still a big factor influencing his life.
As I listened to the team talk about their findings, my hope drained away. I wanted to hear something I didn’t already know – something I could hang my concerns on, something that would seem solvable. I sat in the room thinking, “I filled out loads of paperwork, waited eight months for an appointment, and spent four days on this trip, only to find out the same old stuff.” I was holding back tears when we left.
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.
We interrupt this vacation to remind you that your son has significant sensory processing challenges which flare up when there are just too many people in close proximity.
One of the things I love about vacation is being together as a family, and frankly, we’ve been together a whole lot. Once Russ got here, he added some adventure with the catamaran and bikes and we’ve been able spread out a little, but prior to his arrival, we were clustered together like grapes.
A sure fire way for me to slip into ineffective parenting is to parent out of fear. My older kids recognize it and sometimes they’ll even point it out, which I don’t really like, but I’m glad they do it.
Thanks for the great comments on my post about Eby andVBS. Beth left a comment that I would like to share,
Lisa, Thanks for sharing your story! You said a thank you to Karyn Purvis when you prompted eye contact with Eby. I am curious to know what this interaction may have looked like before Empowered to Connect and TBRI training. Are you willing to share that with readers?
Absolutely – I only wish we could sit down and I could talk with all of you for a few hours. There is so much to learn and I feel passionately about it! Anybody have a big living room and a huge pot of coffee?
The kids are going to vacation Bible school at a local church and it seems to be providing us with lots of opportunities to think about Sensory Processing Disorder.
The first day when I arrived to pick them up, the director took me aside to tell me that during the closing music Eby and a new friend had gotten a little rowdy and were jostling each other while doing the motions to songs. Eventually Eby pushed the other boy who fell, hitting his head on the pew and getting a small cut. I knew this was going to be a big deal for Eby to process and I wanted to get him home quickly. She suggested that I might want to take Eby to see the boy before we left and tell him he was sorry, but I explained that it probably wouldn’t go well and I would talk with him at home.