by Kristin Gerner Vaughn
I am the mom of a 4 year old. Since birth we have had questions about her health and none of the explanations from the various doctors seemed to address our vast array of concerns. Eventually, I sought professional counseling with a psycho-therapist whom I trusted. Things at our house had gotten out of control and I needed some parenting help. I didn't know how to parent my children anymore with any success, especially our middle child. I no longer believed I just had a middle child with a strong will. She was in constant meltdown mode. Falling more than she was able to stand. Falling out of chairs at home and school. Falling off of the toilet as she was still struggling to potty train. Falling standing perfectly still on a level floor. Not all the time, but all too often!
From this visit the counselor asked us to look into Sensory Processing disorder. She thanked me for coming to seek help as a parent, but believed that I was in search of a diagnosis. She wasn't the one who could make the diagnosis, but encouraged me to call a pediatric occupational therapy practice. I did and I am so glad. This description fit her to a tee. I cried because I finally felt like I knew my child. I finally could help her.
It has taken 10 months of weekly Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy and much daily work at home, but we have arrived. Emma can now stand on one foot and balance (for a moment) where she would have fallen face first on the floor with bumps, bruises and hurt feelings involved before. We are still working with her on a sensory diet about 3 hours a day. She is still in OT, but she has "graduated" from PT and we are so happy for her. We threw a huge party for her accomplishments. She has confidence she didn't have before. She doesn't fall out of the bed anymore. She doesn't fall off of the toilet anymore. She doesn't have the strong aversion to riding in the car anymore. She can jump. She loves the trampoline. She is still very apprehensive on stairs and things with height, but she tries them and has the confidence to work on it until she gets it.
Life looks different for her now. Our family has been restored.