To put it simply, this is primarily a blog for parents – particularly of ‘special needs’ kids – who feel either stupid, occasionally or perpetually inept at parenting, or, most likely, both. This doesn’t mean you really are stupid or inept, but if you’ve ever been so mental that you’ve made it to the mailbox in your underwear before realizing it, you definitely will start to question everything. If you didn’t realize your ‘garment deficiency’ until your neighbor asked you about it the next day, you’ll really feel at home here.
We’re the proud parents of our 2 1/2-year-old son, who is the bright star at the center of our universe. He has an exuberance that can brighten any room. He also has a great many struggles, but he faces them bravely and with a determination that inspires us. He goes to various therapies during the week, all of which we’ll cover in future entries.
Some of his issues have a fairly clear diagnosis; others do not. The most obvious one is Sensory Integration Disorder. You’ll also see this referred to as Sensory Processing Disorder, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and a few other things. The idea is essentially the same.
There is a growing sense that he also has apraxia of speech. He uses very few words and the challenge has been to understand why. He also has some issues with coordinating fine motor movements, which is most likely related to his sensory problems. As a result, he can’t really sign either.
He’s also very delayed in his eating skills. He was in feeding therapy for a long time and still is to a lesser degree. He only eats a few foods. It became clear that he’s not ‘picky’ but instead has sensory reactions to many types of food. It’s complicated, but we’ll get more into it later.
The good news is that he seems to understand us quite well and follows instructions as well as most two-year-olds. He’s a social kid and gets along well with most anyone. Thankfully, he has very few tantrums, and when he does they are very short.
The complicating problem is that he also has some other indeterminate developmental delays. Autism has been bandied about, but none of his therapists currently think that’s likely because of his social skills and general ability to tolerate situations and activities that kids with Asperger’s or autism usually cannot.
So, we’re on a quest to help our son decipher the world and grow into his full potential. We know other parents are going through this too, often without support or understanding of what to do. Our hope is to connect with parents who are struggling to understand what is going on and share whatever insights we have with each other.
I guess you could say that this is our way of talking through things in hopes of discovering the answers to our countless parenting questions. If we can find common insight and community with other parents and help each other figure things out, then we’ll have accomplished something here.
You don’t need to have a child working through anything we’ve mentioned above. If your child is having a hard time and you feel clueless or frustrated, you’re in the right place. We know that a lot of parents of special needs kids feel isolated, stupid, and frustrated. Be welcome here! You’re in good company.
This will be a tag team blog. My wife will share her wise and sage-like thoughts, and I’ll do whatever it is I do. We’ll try to keep it light-hearted and fun, but we aren’t bouncy, chipper types so who knows what else will come out of our fingers.
So, here we go!
Oh – in case you’re wondering, it comes from the saying, “He can’t find his own ass with both hands and a flashlight.”