Category Archives: Parenting

How to Buy a Winter Coat for Sensory Integration Disorder

How to buy a winter coat for sensory integration disorder could turn into a disaster but it doesn’t have to! My girl and I both have sensory integration disorder and I have been successfully buying coats for both of us for years. I will attempt to highlight some guidelines for you to try. I am not a professional dr or occupational therapist, this can not replace what they prescribe. However, I learned on my own through trial and error.

“I started taking my DD with me to feel, try on and pick out her own clothes and coats a couple years ago. We go alone, just me and her. I always make sure we have hours to spare. She touches and eventually tries on a few chosen ones and then usually settles with the one she feels best in. I, also, have sensory processing problems at 39 years old, so I know what she is going through. It is helpful to buy something soft and a size bigger than I need; it seems to not constrain my arms as much. Also, I try to steer away from collars for myself because it bunches at the back of my neck. It is really hard to drive when I have these things interfering and can ruin my day. It’s hard to refocus after a sensory attack by clothing. It’s best if his energies are spent on school work and just being in school than wasted on a coat. I’m slowly learning to pick our battles. There are so many choices for winter wear that it is not one I choose to fight. Often I can find a way around most of my sensory issues and my DD’s if I try. Be creative! Always remain calm(difficult I know).”

This was a comment I left on a post from a blog I follow. So, to recap the points I made to this other mother and add a few extras to make the entire event a successful non-event.

* Take child with you and NO ONE else.

* Give yourself plenty of time.

* Let child touch, feel and try on as many as they need to but only try on once.

* Leave if they can’t handle it that day. There’s always other days to try. No pressure. Do not act disappointed. Encouragement and patience are key here.

* Take potty breaks.

* Reward with a meal out even if they don’t stay calm the whole time.

There are so many different types of material out there, styles and ways to dress and layer or not that with diligence and a lot of patience a purchase everyone is happy with can be made. Most sensory children and adults prefer soft, fuzzy, shiny, warm and no layers. No two people, sensory disorder or not, is a like. I am still not a professional seasoned writer and there are still mistakes in my work. Hope this article helps you and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to click on the ‘leave a reply link’. I would love to hear from you!

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet? Who hasn’t asked that question at least once? The American family vacation. We are headed to visit my folks in West Virginia, yes that’s a state all it’s own people. My hope is that we make it as unmemorable as possible! It is the first trip in a year since we moved here. I am at least not dreading it this time, yet. I have actually cancelled this trip a couple times this year because I just wasn’t ready yet. Just the drive alone, albeit short is still long with 4 children. I always wait until the last minute to pack and then end up in a frustrated flurry. I end up forgetting things, blah, blah, blah.

So far, although I waited everything is running smoothly. Well, except for 3 out of 4 kids being sick and one screaming at the top of her lungs over a toy. Even for a short trip, 3 hours or less, you still have to prepare. Suitable snacks and toys for all, pillows, blankets and a lovey, and activities to keep them entertained. Then, an entire bag of safe, effective sensory toys to keep my girl from losing it. Unfortunately, on these trips she ends up in the 3rd row seat, which is not ideal for her. I have actually had to bail over everybody to help her calm down before. I will be driving this time, so I won’t be able to do that. The most important thing I must remember is never ever to let on I am frustrated. I must let a calm, quiet voice out, even if it’s screaming in my head.

What are appropriate car toys? Small stuffed animals, magna doodles, books, and nothing that looks like it wants to be thrown. For a 10 year old with autism, safe chewy’s made for an older child, small squishy, stretchy toys and lots of crunchy healthy snacks like granola and pretzels. Oh, and a cotton(for breathing purposes)pillow case to hide her head in for “alone” time.

Welp, wish us luck and have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

The Long Road to Autism-Part 2

This Post is the 2nd part to The Long Road to Autism-Part 1.

So, there we were out in the South Western part of Nebraska. In a little town called Ogallala. There was only one counseling group in town, which we were unable to get into to see anyone. I found a job and lost that job because I had to leave so much to go to the school to clean up her potty accidents or give her the random hug. After the twins were born, we started seeing a pediatrician an hour away. He asked about my other children and I mentioned my girl’s difficulties. He suggested I bring her into him that maybe he could help. I was skeptical but I did schedule her an appointment with him. This is where it all began. The road to our diagnosis.

He looked her over and recommended that we meet with a psychologist that would be traveling there to their location once a week from Munroe and Myer Institute. She was diagnosed with ASD(Autism Spectrum Disorder)just before we relocated again. I thought that with this diagnosis everything would get better. I wasn’t figuring into the equation that still no one was going to believe it. My sister actually asked for credentials and proof. My husband was more convinced but not completely. It’s no wonder why so many families with special need children end in divorce! We didn’t, haven’t and have no plans to but sometimes he  it is still challenging.

We ended up back home in West Virginia for 9 months. It was just long enough for her to be enrolled in public school and for them to decide to rule her diagnosis out! Yes, you heard me. Mind you she was 8 in the Spring when we got the diagnosis.  Now, 9 and being taken off the spectrum. I was at my wits end to say the very least. Didn’t these people realize how much early intervention we had already lost?! It took 4 years to be diagnosed and less than 6 months to be un-diagnosed.

After speaking with my Aunt at great length and doing my research on the web. I concluded with out help from said husband that we needed to move 1 more time and it was for her this time. He would have to find a job once we got there. So, we found a home, purchased it and moved to Cleveland, Ohio.

I am happy to say that I am not going to bore you with the mundane details of the past 9 months but I will give you the highlights. We went to the city and spent 3 1/2 days in the actual school for the IEP process. They arranged for home based schooling while the rest of the process was finished. BTW: They said the IEP that was wrote in my home town was the worst they had ever set their eyes on. Once completed and signed we went through all the red tape to get her in a special autism school. Yes, that would be the one that didn’t work out but no one ever said this process was going to be easy, right?!

So, many other crazy things happened to us during those 9 long years. She suffered 4 plus years with severe acid reflux to no avail. She had every test, biopsy, MRI and more to figure out what was wrong with her gastrointestinal system. Only to discover that there was nothing wrong with her system but that she really does have an autism disorder and it is what was impairing her ability to potty train. She is still battling regular urinary tract infections with a daily dose of antibiotics. All of these are a short laundry list of secondary illnesses that children with ASD typically fight throughout their childhood. One final note on that said disbelieving family: They all believe now and that’s all that matters.

My girl is now 10 and being home schooled again. I have, however, found some great resources to help me with this and figured out(I think)what to do with the rest of the scholarship. I will update in later posts on those things as they play out. She has been diagnosed with ADHD and Trichotillomania in the past 2 months, which I am certain without a doubt she has also. I have done my own research right after seeing the specialists. You have to be a persistent pain-in-the neck advocate when it comes to your children. Also, I am still not a professional writer and there are still mistakes in my writings.

Sick Exemption

I interrupt this regular program to bring you a special announcement, actually more of a statement. Parents should be exempt from sickness, especially parents of special need children. Not to say we are better than parents of nuerotypical children or more worthy. We may not even be less stressed but since I have no idea because I have never been just a parent of a nuerotypical child, I say this in selfishness to my situation. I hope not to offend anyone, just to simply vent.

I received bad news this week, and now I wait to see if the bad news is going to turn worse than bad news or just remain the same. I had to go to a gyn specialist because my regular dr had some concerns. He said as long as I come back cancer free in my “underworld”, then he can fix everything else. He said the good news is that he is a minimally invasive surgical specialist.Um, okay. Well, glad to hear it, I think.

So, what is the bad news I received? I apparently became too greedy when it came to wanting children. I had more than my body could carry. Some of my major organs are now falling out of me in a very literal sense. The ones I don’t need will be removed and the ones I do need will be repaired. The specialist did say he could fix me, that is good news. I sincerely pray that God has given me all that I can handle because I can deal with this, even though it is “serious”. As all mother’s do, I hope my children are not meant to be motherless.

*I am not a professional writer. Most likely there are and will continue to be mistakes in my work. I apologize. I am forever trying to improve and educate myself. Thank you for reading my work. I crave social interaction, please comment! I would love to hear from you and will always reply personally and individually to everyone.