Monday, November 10, 2008

Processing It All

I realize it has been way too long since I've updated the blog. Things have been crazy around here, though, and they're just starting to settle down a bit now. First of all, check out the cute pictures of the kiddos at Halloween! Aren't they the sweetest?! It was so warm for Halloween this year - it's the first time I can ever remember worrying that the kids might be too hot in their costumes (Noah's monkey suit was perfect for our normally frigid Halloweens - not so perfect for 70 degree weather).

Okay, on to the serious stuff. We recently had Noah evaluated through the school district. We weren't surprised to find out that he tested 1-2 years delayed in all areas, but we were surprised to find out why - He has Sensory Processing Disorder. Noah is what they call a "sensory seeker", which means that he is constantly seeking out more sensory input. This is why, for instance, he constantly needs to touch everything around him, puts things into his mouth, rolls crazily on the ground (after throwing himself down onto the floor), crashes into everyone and everything and likes to hang on people. He needs that extra sensory input because his body isn't processing the sensory signals properly. He also may have trouble with auditory processing, which may account for his speech delays. His other delays could also be caused by sensory issues or they might be "side effects" of the fact that he can't slow down long enough to process and learn new information the way other kids can.

The good thing about all of this is that, now that we know what Noah's issues are, we can start to help him. Last week, Noah was moved to a school with only 6 children in the classroom. He also started speech and occupational therapy. I've already read two books on SPD, so I've learned some ways that I can help him at home too (hopefully I'll learn even more from the occupational therapists). I was honestly starting to get very frustrated at the lack of progress that we had been making on basic life skills and concepts. Working with Noah was next to impossible for me because he has such a short attention span - we couldn't work on anything for more than 1 minute without it becoming a major hassle. Plus, I was at my wit's end because Noah often makes every day tasks very difficult. A trip to the grocery store can be painful. Playing a board game with the kids is hard to do because he can't follow along and play and he also can't curb his impulses to grab the pieces or overturn the board or just throw things around. I've had to ban him completely from Jaden and Danielle's rooms because within five minutes he will have scattered things everywhere and broken pieces. A couple of weeks ago, I went to pick Noah up from his MOPS group and the woman in his room greeted me with, "I need to give you a hug. Things must be so hard for you!" "Oh no!" I thought, "He was that bad?" That was one of those days that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry (unfortunately, cry wins out more often than I'd like to admit).

Well, it now feels like we're moving toward progress - or at least the possibility of progress. Steps in a positive direction - hope for change. And a little hope goes a long way... :-)


Ericka said...

wow Nicole. wow.
Speaking of processing, I need to process your post.
First, thank you for posting, now we can pray and send you positive encouragment.
I'm sure this has been a very big adjustment esp for the kiddos.
You are so incredibly smart and resourceful - I truly, truly admire that about you and I know you'll have little Noah boa on the right path.
Lots of hugs girlfriend :)

sara said...

If you haven't already read it, you should read The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz. There is also a second book (that I haven't read yet) called The Out of Sync Child Has Fun. They are both highly recommended by many OTs that I work with here in IN.

Feener said...

i too have a sensory seeker, it sure does make the daily stuff challenges. we see an ot and that helps. she is great in school but it is home that proves to be the challenge.

Beth said...

I was just wondering how Noah was doing? I visited COTP several times when he was there and I am an OT-- I am glad you shared so I could see how some behaviors I noted may be more than just "dealing with life with a lot of other kids striving for attention as well"