Friday, June 22, 2012

Mom on a Mission

This summer I have a mission. I'm on a mission to get to know my son better and to become better educated on how we can meet his needs.

Last Fall, when we first heard the words "sensory processing disorder" we were in a different place. We were actually feeling very relieved to finally know what we were dealing with. As Grant started at a developmental preschool, we saw almost immediate improvements in his speech and we were encouraged. But as the end of the school year approached, I began to realize the whole summer was ahead of us with no therapy, no respite (for Grant or for momma), and no idea how to help him with his daily challenges. That was not acceptable in my mind so I began my mission.

After phone calls to our insurance company and phone calls to the pediatrician and phone calls to therapy facilities, I was able to iron out a game plan. Grant was evaluated the week school let out...again...with a speech, occupational and physical therapist. It shouldn't surprise me, and yet it does, every time he is evaluated I learn something new (not always pleasant) about his disorder or his disability. It is satisfying and scary at the same time. The more I know, the better equipped I am. But the more I know, the less denial I can live in about what our life - Grant's life - may hold for us. It is an emotional roller-coaster some days.

All that to say, some things I've learned the last three weeks:

1. Insurance is important and a blessing, but it only helps to ease the financial burden of a medical disability.

2. Grant has unique sensory challenges, which are hard for all of us, BUT his disabilities are relatively minor compared to some children with SPD. For that, I am grateful.

3. There isn't any therapy or program that will "fix" Grant. Instead we are learning how to help him improve his quality of life. We, as his parents, are his greatest asset and support system.

4. Therapy is fun for a kid. It's hard work, but Grant loves it so much. He doesn't want to leave when it's over and is excited when he gets to go back.

5. Nothing breaks a parents heart more than seeing their child struggle. I have to see it everyday. I'm still learning how to deal with that reality. Some days I deal with it better than others.

6. Grant brings our family SO MUCH JOY! The challenges allow us to better appreciate those moments that are filled with pure love.

7. You give a mom a mission for her kids...and she will do WHATEVER it takes to make it successful. One way Grant works to strengthen his hands is by digging beads out of stiff therapeutic putty. This momma didn't just buy beads. This momma found super cool animal shaped ones! Cause that's what we do for our kids :)

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