Thursday, April 28, 2011

Book Review: This is Gabriel Making Sense of School

When I started out on the journey to discover as much as I could about Sensory Processing Disorder and the other conditions my children have I happened up on a blog called "Hartley's Life with 3 Boys". This blog and its author have been a god send to myself and my family.

Hartley shares the good, the bad, and most importantly the honest aspects of Sensory Processing Disorder, Anxiety etc. on her blog... and its all REAL!!! After I had spent days and weeks a couple of minutes looking through the many posts on Hartley's Life with 3 Boys, I noticed that she has also written a book about Sensory Processing Disorder, and it is called "This is Gabriel Making Sense of School: A Book about Sensory Processing Disorder".

 This book QUICKLY went on my  MUST HAVE LIST.... and let me tell you it was certainly worth it! Not only does Gabriel Making Sense of School talk to kids (and some adults) on a level that everyone can understand, it also fully describes why our children do the things they do and why we need to help them and to understand that it is more than a 'choice' for them.
As soon as the book came in the mail, I sat down and read it, and then I read it again and again and again. And it taught me something each and every time I read it. For example, I had know for a long time that we had  5 senses ( taste, smell, sight, hearing, touch), but do you know we actually have 7 which include vestibular and proprioception.  We had talked about Vestibular and Propriocention input etc at OT but I never in my life realized that it was a 'sense'. Who knew.... Hartley did :)

Once I had read this book a million times I then read it to my children (ages 7, 5, 5, and 3) and my 7 year old who has always struggled with understanding her sister looked at me and said "Mommy... I get it!!! I get why Shelby is the way she is"... and I beamed ... "Yes Delainey... that is why Shelby is the way she is"...

It was then that Delainey said something that I've been thinking for a long time myself "Brody has this too huh mom?".... 

So long story short... BUY THIS BOOK!!!! I will be buying more this fall to hand out to my daughter's kindergarten teacher and also another book for my son's preschool teacher. It is HANDSDOWN the best book on the market when it comes to relating SPD to not only children... but adults as well.

Thank you Hartley for helping not only me but my family understand Sensory Processing Disorder a little bit more.!!!

You can purchase this book by visiting THIS LINK!!! Amazon has amazing service and really fast shipping!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sometimes I'm jealous

Let me 'paint' you a picture....
You are standing in line at the grocery store and you have all your children with you (in my case this would be 4, ages 3-7). You have had a fairly successful trip. There was only one minor meltdown and that was because the lights are to bright and some 'kind' person had commented to your child about how he didn't need his sunglasses on 'in' the store, especially since it was dark outside. You are even beginning to think you are going to make it through the store as a successful shopping trip.
That's when the person ahead of you in line begins to complain.... they are complaining about the price of the milk, then that the cashier isn't putting things in the bags the proper way, and why didn't they ask if they wanted paper bags rather than just keeps going. Someone obviously is having a bad day and it taking it out on some innocent bystander who, let's face doesn't get paid enough to put up with this kind of crap.
Your child pipes up (of course in a loud voice).... "You don't have to be so mean. They are just doing their job".
The mom in you wants to do one of two things.... 1) pray the the floor instantly produces a giant sink hole, that transports you and your groceries into your home without the person ahead of you ever actually seeing your face and 2) jump for joy because you child is starting to pick up the differences in conversation and what is polite and proper versus impolite and rude. I mean come on lets face it... this is hard to do when you can't pick up sarcasm or for some people/kids even the difference in tone of voice.
There is one more thing that is going through your mind.... and that is wanting to scream from the mountain tops " NO KIDDING!!!!".
Let's face it... we have all the those moments where our child (special needs or not) has said something that while socially unacceptable and probably not correct, we ourselves were thinking and were just DYING to say... but our social etiquette stopped us.
These are the moments that I look at my now 5 year old and stare at her in awe.... because of her 'quirks' she can speak her mind, and we can 'pretend' that we are appauled by what she is saying, but inside we are celebrating that she didn't need the 'guts' to say it.
I think my "brother" (he is actually my cousin but we are closer than most siblings) said it best one day as I was apologizing for Shelby's 'frankness' and telling her she had to speak properly to adults, he looked at me and said "Kristin... I like that kid"... I of course looked at him rather puzzled since she has just seconds before said something very inappropriate "She tells it like it is and has no problem doing so... That's the way to do it"
It is moments like this that I am jealous of her uniqueness... and wish just once or twice I could work up the nerve to say what I am thinking.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Amazing Give-a-way

Soft Clothing for All Children and The SPD Blogger Network are co-sponsoring an incredible Sensory Friendly Spring Giveaway!  2 Grand Prizes will be given (one for boys, one for girls), and will each include the following sensory friendly items, which focus on fine motor development, dramatic play skills, sensory integration, creative expression, auditory exploration, and of course, fun!  Whatever holiday or season your family celebrates, there is something in this stocking for someone you love!

Links you may need for your entries:
SPD Blogger Network

Your Sensory Prizes!

 Puffy Easter Basket (Chick) Pottery Barn Kids (boys prize)
Puffy Easter Basket (Rabbit) from Pottery Barn Kids (girls prize)
Soft Seamless Sock 2-pack
Vestibular Wedge
Sensory Body Sock
Alex Toys Monster Bubbles
Alex Toys Sack Racing: Frog and Monkey 
Squiglet Fidget Bracelets 
One complete Springy Soft look for girls OR
One complete Springy Soft look for boys 
To enter this give away you can visit THIS LINK and see the way that you can enter (multiple times) for this amazing gift basket. ENJOY

Saturday, April 2, 2011

it started with a birthday party

It all started with a birthday party…

All four of our children were invited to a birthday party (the kids’ birthday that is mom and I are friends therefor the kids are friends). I of course RSVP’d that we would be there with bells on. I told the kids, they were excited…heck so was I.

There were several things that I didn’t think about when I RSVP’d for the party. I didn’t think about the fact that they were serving pizza (two of my children don’t like pizza… specifically Shelby), I didn’t think about the fact that the party started just an hour before bedtime, nor did I think about the fact that it was on a Friday (Fridays are pretty much always a ‘meltdown’ day). But what I REALLY didn’t take into account was the fact that it was going to be held at a bowling alley.

We got to the party 5 minutes late and it struck me like a ton of bricks when we walked in the door… it was loud and bright and did I mention loud? We quickly found the group that was our party and got ‘settled’… well as settled as you can get in a bowling alley on a Friday night. 

Our group was sat next to a group of adult guys who weren’t exactly expecting to be in the middle of a bunch of kids for a birthday party…. They were drinking and possibly using some words that shouldn’t have been used in front of children…. They tried hard to clean up their act – without even being asked—but that didn’t stop my children from commenting on the bad choices and of course my child who ‘lacks a filter’ had no problem telling the guys that their choices were “NOT APPROPRIATE” very loudly.

Bowling didn’t go well … she didn’t understand why it was so loud or why it was taking so long for it to be her turn… or how another child’s name was similar to hers and would notice the letters thinking it was her name and it wasn’t. 

We sat down for pizza… she didn’t get to sit where she wanted.
She didn’t get the cupcake she wanted…. She had to wait for the one she did.
All the while she kept it together. There were no meltdowns. There was no crying.
Yesterday that is.

Today however we are paying like the dickens.
We are melting down at the drop of the hat.
We are crying. We are sassing. We are tantruming. We are screaming. 

And today was a new ‘high’ for us… we experienced raging. This is not something we have ever had before.
She recently learned how to tell us why she is ‘mad’ ‘sad’ or whatever emotion she is feeling today she has not been able to do any of that.

She has been in swimming lessons for several months in the same class… today was testing day. We thought for certain she was going to pass… she has all the skills. But because she was so over-sensoried    today she failed. She wasn’t able to follow through with a single request of the instructors; she wouldn’t even get into the water. 

Today was a hard day in the life of our sensational family… it is 8pm and my husband and I are both exhausted and worn out. Shelby is worn out and exhausted. Everyone is either in bed, or on their way there. Hopefully we will all have a good night’s sleep and will wake up refreshed and start again tomorrow.

We will move forward and we will use this as a learning experience and will remember this day. We are a sensational family and this is just another day in our sensational life.