Saturday, November 3, 2012

the reason i write - sensory processing disorder

i did not have an opportunity to write yesterday because we had a visitor in the afternoon.  our new friend, juliana, comes to play with us each friday.  juliana is an occupational therapist and our play times with her are therapy for harrison.  more on that in a bit.

the reason i felt the urge to begin blogging again is complex.  i enjoy writing.  i enjoy writing daily.  it is somewhat of a creative outlet for me.  i typically write for the 30 minutes or so that the boys are in room time and that mid-day escape does wonders for my emotional state as the afternoon progresses.

more than that, i love chronicling our lives.  for quite some time facebook became an outlet for recording the "status" in the white family but this blog is a better venue for remembering the details.  i may, at some point, go back and review the funnier status updates from the past year or so and attempt to tell the story behind them.  i have come to realize i have a very poor memory.  i claim "baby brain" although i'm not certain it can solely be blamed on that.  i often wonder if it has to do with battling migraine headaches for more than 25 years.  whatever the case, i need all the help i can get in the remembering department.  writing out the details seems to benefit me.

mostly, though, as we are now adjusting to new information concerning our son, i wanted a place to process it all, to share with others who are going through similar circumstances, possibly to enlighten those who aren't in similar circumstances, a way of documenting where harrison currently is in hopes of one day seeing how far he has come, and a space to keep our family (and friends) apprised.

so, this all begs the question "what is going on with harrison?"

in mid september our sweet boy was evaluated and it was determined that he has sensory processing disorder.  i am still learning about spd but here's how one website explains it: "humans receive and perceive sensory input through sights, sounds, touches, tastes, smells, movement and balance, body position and muscle control.  difficulty taking in, or interpreting, this input can lead to devastating consequences with regard to interaction with others, daily functions, social and family relationships, behavioral challenges, regulating emotions, self-esteem and learning." (

that's a mouthful.  basically, harrison's little body (specifically his central nervous system??  i'm still learning) has to work harder than normal.  and because his body is focusing so much on functioning at a basic level (actually, it's not a basic level.  it's an incredibly-complicated, masterfully-designed, intricately-working, hard-to-understand-how-the-human-body-is-able-to-do-so-much-at-one-time-without-even-being-aware-we-are-doing-it level) he has a tougher time doing higher level activities such as interacting with others and regulating his emotions.  i will get more specific about all this in separate posts. 

like autism, spd is a spectrum disorder.  harrison would be considered high-functioning.  as his proud mama, i would say he is very high functioning.  :-)  this, of course, is good news!  and i am thankful for it!  but my heart is still heavy and my eyes still get teary as we negotiate this path.  my emotion comes from wanting the best for my son.  not wanting him to have to struggle.  not wanting him to have to work so dang hard to just be a kid.  trying to determine the best therapy.  trying to pay for it.  managing the guilt.  loving my precious boy unconditionally.  looking at him without picking out his weaknesses (just being honest).  seeing him for the amazing boy that he is 

it's an emotional journey.

as i mentioned at the top, harrison has started weekly speech and occupational therapy.  again, i'll detail this more later.  he isn't aware that it is therapy.  well, he may be aware on some level, but we don't call it therapy.  we call juliana our friend.  she is a super fun grown-up who comes to the house to play with him.  it's pretty special.

sigh.  i'm a bit drained from having actually written this out so i think i'll close for now.  i am grateful, though, for the platform and ability to write my thoughts and feelings.  this is MY therapy.

thank you for reading.

No comments: