Welcome to Normal

Transitioning to first grade has gone way better than we ever would have anticipated for Jacquelyn. The last few months of therapy have made all the difference in the world. In another first, she has been able to jump down from the trampoline instead of using the step ladder. She was so proud of herself. She said, “I jumped down mom. That’s the second time I’ve done that. I’m doing that now.” She has lacked the body awareness to do much jumping down and even some climbing – she always felt she was falling. Jacquelyn played with a friend yesterday, and her mother told me they were running around together blowing whistles. What the huh? Running? Whistles? It’s a Christmas Miracle… except that it really isn’t. It’s taken years of reading and research to figure out what was wrong and then lots of therapy and time to make a difference. (For a list of Jacq’s interventions click here.) Jacq sees and feels the results for herself and is working hard to accomplish everything we set out for her to do. She has actually been hyper a couple of times… enough for me to have to say CALM DOWN. Then I thought what am I saying? Be crazy! Be loud! Run around! This is what “normal” children do. Welcome to normal! She is humming a lot lately, but that’s the only self-regulation I see – no more ear holding, no more withdrawing, no pacing, no more tear filled eyes, and no more ear plugs even at school! She is more joyful now, more energetic, more talkative and is carrying a much lighter burden – she is just less stressed. Good-bye sensory processing disorder with Asperger’s tendencies. It was nice educational knowing you.

(A special thank you to the Diane who wrote Meghan’s World and Hartley who wrote This Is Gabriel Making Sense of School - their books and their advice have helped me help Jacquelyn.)

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6 Responses to Welcome to Normal

  1. SO SO SO happy to hear that things are going great! I am glad that Jacq is getting to see first hand what hard work can accomplish!

    Thanks for sharing Jen!
    Hartley

  2. Alysia says:

    That’s terrific! Giving the rest of us hope…

  3. Martianne says:

    wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing.

  4. debbie says:

    I would love to have your support in raising awareness for SPD by adding our “A Sensational Celebration” Event that we are hosting for The SPD Foundation button to your blog. Please take a moment to see how are event works and enter our very first Entry for the 30 prizes in 30 days giveaway event. I think our efforts are going to make a HUGE impact on getting the word out there about SPD.

    http://lucasjourneyspd.blogspot.com/2010/08/get-your-first-official-entry-into-our.html

    Thank you SO much for adding our button if you can : )

    Sincerely,

    Debbie @
    Lucas’s Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder

  5. Caitlin says:

    Excellent post, lost of great progress. Keep in mind that SPD and Aspergers (if those are her labels) do not go away, but a child with the right accommodations and therapies (from committed parents like yourself) gets more comfortable with their differences, more able to overcome/avoid triggers, and therefore become less anxious. The reason I say this is because when our kids are having a spurt of pure success, it can feel like regression when those SPD or Aspergers tendencies come back in negative ways, which is pretty much inevitable. Try to remember that being sensitive (SPD) and thinking in radically different ways (Aspergers) are also gifts, and you don’t want to banish them, just make their challenging aspects more tolerable. Hartley did an excellent post once on “regression” and how important it is to remember that it’s not “regression” in the way we often think of it (going backward, negative progress) it’s just a bump in the road that will also be overcome.

    I love the title of your post, but I’m a little biased ;)

    Caitlin
    http://www.welcome-to-normal.com

  6. jenstate says:

    Caitlin, I totally agree. She will never stop being sensitive or being a wee bit different. I don’t want her to change. I do want her to experience less anxiety and enjoy life, being able to go to new places and try new things. Here is an example of her odd behavior: She used to cry if I changed the words of a song to something silly to make her little brother laugh. For a year, I purposefully changed the words to songs she knew to make her brother giggle and help her deal with change. I would then explain, over and over that we were joking and that everyone knew the real words of the song. After a year, one day SHE changed the words of a song to make ME laugh. Practice and therapy (particularly auditory therapy that make sound less of an enemy) have helped her be less anxious and more able to enjoy herself and adapt to change. I’m sure we will have our backslides and different hurdles, but I feel like we are winning the battle!

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