We are a family of five with three wonderful children. My husband and I met in college, fell in love and started a family. When our first child was born we were full of joy, excitement and fear all at the same time. We couldn’t believe that they let us leave the hospital with this little human being, but we were in love with him and he was ours. There were lots of sleepless nights and craziness, but for the most part our first child was pretty easy and independent for us.
Then came our second child and the a case was not the same. She screamed all night at the hospital and the nurses could not console her. After we brought her home she cried most of the first week of her life and we just thought she must have her days and nights mixed up. Life continued and we survived. We just kept thinking she was really strong-willed and needed a lot of attention and we gave it to her. When she was two and threw huge tantrums we just thought that’s what two-year-olds do and when she was three and threw huge tantrums we thought that’s what three-year-old do.
Our daughter walked late so around 15 months we start taking her to physical therapy to help her with her walking because she was not crawling or walking at all. She would just scoot around on her bottom with one leg out and one leg in kind of like in a hurtle position. She continued to go to physical therapy and walked right before her second birthday. Because she had gone to PT I continued to take her in for checkups so they could monitor her motor skills development.
When my daughter was 3 1/2 I was at one of these checkups for physical therapy and physically my daughter was doing well, but she was throwing so many tantrums and getting so upset that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with her. So I asked the physical therapist about it. Frankly I don’t know why I asked her about it because it had nothing to do with physical therapy, but I was just my wits end. This sweet little 3 1/2-year-old was sucking every bit of life out of me and I didn’t know what to do and here was someone willing to listen. It turns out she had actually had some occupational therapy background and had worked with kids like my daughter.
She mentioned something called sensory processing integration and had given me the name of a book to check out. I thought to myself what the heck is that and what does it have to do with my daughter throwing tantrums. So I checked it out from the local library and still wasn’t sure if sensory processing had anything to do with what was going on with my daughter and I continued to survive. Several months later our whole family went on a trip to Palm Springs and we took our daughter and our son to Disneyland. My older son was in heaven but my daughter was not having any fun at all. My sweet four-year-old girl basically spent most of the day in the stroller with sunglasses and headphones on. My husband looked at me and said she has it and I knew exactly what he meant. All this time my daughter was waking up in the middle of the night crying because of one little sound, complaining that her socks were hurting her feet and yelling and crying mostly in public for no reason, it was because her brain couldn’t process what was going on around her.
We all no matter what age have to process sensory all day long and even as adults we can get overwhelmed in loud concerts or while watching a movie on the big screen. That is normal and all children to some degree have trouble processing as their brains are still developing but there are children and adults that even as their brains develops still can’t process and integrate what’s going on around them. My daughter’s occupational therapist calls it brain lock. My daughter was not trying to be rebellious and make my life miserable, she was just in brain lock a lot of the time because I was treating her like my other children. I was treating her like a child that could process things that she could not. There’s nothing wrong with her. She is just created differently and needs to be treated differently like the special, unique and amazing individual she is and she needs different tools and resources than other children.
So this is our story and this is why we have decided to create this website. We feel like we had been through it all with our daughter and are finally in a spot where we would like to share some of the tools and resources we have picked up over the last three years that have helped our family have a higher quality of life. I’m not saying that every day is easy now, but with what we have learned life is definitely easier and our daughter is growing and making lots of progress. Our daughter has gone from waking up 5 to 10 times a night screaming and being so anxious I couldn’t physically get her out of the car to go to school to sleeping through the night every night and going to school and actually participating in all classroom activities and PE. Yes she wears the same thing (she has multiple of the same uniform outfit) to school everyday and we special order her socks but we have learned when it is appropriate to stretch her and when it’s not. We are loving her like she needs to be loved. We are excited to share life with you in this way and hope this website helps you support the needs of your precious child as well.