Archive for May, 2010

My sweet little Keagan was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder a few months ago.

What is SPD? I’m still learning myself, but I’ll give it a go.

We all have quirks with our senses. You can’t stand the way a tag feels on your shirt. You are easily distracted by bright lights. Or maybe you have a hard time sitting still for very long. Or you can’t stand loud music. There’s something about each of us that we’ve learned to handle that isn’t “normal.” But what is normal is that, for most people, it’s just a few things that we can look past.

When it’s SPD, you have a lot of of  those “quirks” and you can’t just look past them. It sounds like people are screaming at you when they aren’t. When someone brushes against you it feels like they hit you. When you get a drop or two of water on your shirt it feels like you’re soaking wet. This is what life is like for my son. His senses seem to misfire. And in addition to that, he tries hard to seek out sensory response to try and figure it out. So he’s always jumping, always running. He climbs to high places and tries to jump. He has no fear in that sense and yet is hysterical when I vacuum.  Before we started giving him melatonin to help him fall asleep, bedtime would  take hours every.single.night. Some nights it still does. His brain won’t slow down on it’s own. He wants to talk about the shadows on the wall or the car he hears driving by or the book we read before bed. It’s as if all of this stuff is swirling around in his brain and he can’t block it out.

For more information, check out this link http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-processing-disorders.html

What SPD isn’t: It’s not a discipline problem. It’s not that my child is being “bad.” It’s not an excuse. It’s not made up. It’s a very real disorder that a lot of kids deal with.

This brings me to my point:

I’ve too many times heard people brag about telling parents to shut up their kid or complain about some kid who they thought was acting out in public. These people generally think that these kids they are passing in the grocery store or the like are “bad” because their parents are not parenting them correctly. Well that’s bullshit. I am sorry. My son may have a meltdown in a restaurant when he spills his water on his shirt. He may spin around in circles at the library. He may even slap a kid who touches his head. But he’s not bad. He has neurological disability and he and I are both still learning to handle it.  He’s only three. He looks totally “normal.”   And strangers passing us have not a clue how hard his days are nor mine.

So before you judge that mom in the store who’s child is throwing her shoes in the aisle or the dad at the park who’s kid crashed into you- stop. You don’t know what their life is like. You don’t know what their day has looked like up until that point. You don’t know if maybe mom only got an hour of sleep the night before because the wind kept their toddler up or if that boy got kicked out of preschool because he does not understand personal space and his mom is sad for him and desperate. You have NO CLUE WHAT SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING THROUGH.

Judge not, less ye be wrong. Move on, remove the plank from your eye and smile at the poor parent at the store. And please, don’t tell me how to raise my son. I am doing the best I can.

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A recurring theme on my blog, before I moved to Texas, was decluttering. When we moved, we made the ultimate move in living simply… we got rid of 99% of what we own. We only took with us what fit on top of our Saturn Vue and inside it after my two kids, two dogs, husband and myself were in place. Basically, we kept clothes, a few toys, the computer, a few books, and photos. Obviously, we had to replace some things when we got to TX. Like furniture. The week and a half we had no sofa drove me batty. We bought the kitchen basics (mostly secondhand) and a few new toys (secondhand) but other than that, we haven’t bought anything new.

And I love it. The kids have more room to play. We have less clutter to clean. Every once in awhile, I think of an item I miss. A few of them I have gone ahead and replaced, (a blender is high on our list right now) but for the most part I decide that I am happier with less stuff. Most people are shocked by our choice to live with less, but we are as happy as can be.

It was really interesting to see what we took with us- it showed where our priorities are. All about the kids of course… I did take two larger personal items- my camera and sewing machine, so I am not totally selfless haha. We surely did take more toys than totally needed, but I wanted the kids to adjust as easily as possible.

I find myself with much less desire to buy things now that I know how nice it is to live without the burden of clutter. Every once in a while I think I am crazy, but when I look around our cute little home, clutter free and cleaner than any home I’ve ever lived in, I am happy.

It’s kind of odd for me to be done decluttering, it was a goal for so long. I guess now the goal is to keep it simple and not allow it back into our lives. I am working hard to resist any urges I do have to get “stuff” just to have it, and we’re doing pretty well.

So for those of you who were decluttering, how’s it going?

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