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Thursday, December 20, 2012

You've got a lot of nerves!

Literally, the human body has over 7 trillion nerves that make up our nervous system.  It's no wonder that nerve disorders are so hard to diagnose and treat.

The sensory nervous system is so complex that it takes time to diagnose a child with sensory processing disorder (SPD).  In fact, the evaluation process can take as long as 4 to 6 months in a respectable practice, although treatment continues during this time.

So what is going on in my children's nervous systems that has them so "out of sync" with the rest of the world?  Well, interestingly enough, my kid's SPD manifests as direct opposites of each other.  Brayden has an under responsive nervous system.  Basically, it takes him a very long time to bring his body to an aroused state where he can interact appropriately with others, tend to his basic hygiene needs, and learn.  Certain things can speed this up such as loud music, exciting activities (think Disney Land), sour foods, and prolonged physical exercise.  On a typical day, he can not get dressed and ready for school on his own unless extensive efforts are taken to arouse him.  As a parent, it is hard not to label this behavior as laziness or defiance but once you arouse him sufficiently, you see that he is quite capable and willing.

Teagan, on the other hand, has an over responsive nervous system.  Her body is always on hyper alert mode. If you tickle Teagan, it is extremely painful to her.  She can't tolerate light touch.  She also tunes into every bit of sensory information coming at her.  So if the teacher is reading a book and her friend is tapping a pencil and someone else is coughing, she can't remember the story because she is tuning into everything at once.   So to calm down her system, Teagan needs cold drinks through a straw, tactile stimulation that she can initiate, and tight hugs.  I can't give her a light peck on the forehead good night. She needs a big ole smooch!

Can you imagine the fun my household is with these two opposites?  This is just one part of their processing disorder that we are learning about.  Much more to come!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blog Directional Change

So several months ago, like back in August, I decided to change the direction of my blog.  I wanted to write about something I am passionate about but also something that might help others.  Like most moms, I am passionate about my children and helping them grow to their fullest potential.  Since choosing to become a stay at home mom, I have often felt that I was failing at this.  Through the help of a wonderful professional, I have learned that I was not the one failing, rather it was their little bodies that were not working to their fullest potentials.  That led me to learning about my newest passion.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological disorder that manifests with difficulties in processing the sensory information that our body takes in every day.  Consequently, the body's response to sensory information becomes problematic for that person.  Both Brayden and Teagan have SPD and it is my passion and mission to help them be the sensational children that they are every day.

My new blog direction will focus around the trials and tribulations of living with this disorder. I believe that if we had known more about this when they were younger, we would have clearly seen the signs and given them earlier intervention.  I want other moms to learn from this and know the signs and symptoms of this disorder.  I also want to be a support for other parents going through this journey with me.  Children with SPD can be incredibly difficult to parent but also incredibly remarkable in their way of navigating life's challenges.

My initial plan was to go into a complete history of each of my kids to show where this possibly began.  I've decided that is a task to huge to accomplish and it is more important for me to write and process what is going on with them now rather than in the past.  So if you decide to follow this journey, you will learn tools for dealing with my kids and other children with SPD when they struggle but also the fun they have when attempting to cope with this disorder.

So whose with me on this journey?