I am well aware that this is a creepy ass picture. So please disregard that part and pay attention to the information. I knew nothing of Sensory Issues before I had Cooper. Let me rephrase that, I never knew that it was an actual disorder. I can think of so many kids that can’t stand tags on their clothes or struggle with different types of socks or shoes. Or kids that don’t like to finger-paint or get their hands dirty. Heck, I even know some adults like this! I guess I didn’t know it meant anything really. But, when you open Pandora’s Box of issues with your child you find out more than you would ever want to know.
On a positive note, from what I’ve read, most kids grow out of sensory issues. There are two types of Sensory issues: Sensory Seeking and Sensory Avoiding.
Cooper has some signs of Sensory Processing Issues, mostly Sensory Seeking. And you are going to laugh when I tell you how I first figured it out.
For the past year I nursed my younger son and always have a pillow and a boppy in the living room. My little porker nursed every hour around the clock so I always set the pillow on the recliner for easy use. Every single time I would go into my living room to nurse the pillow and boppy would be on the floor. I started to notice that anything that went on the couch and chair would always end up on the floor. Sweatshirts, toys, magazines or whatever. I couldn’t figure it out. So I started paying attention. The second I put them there Cooper would ram into them and throw or knock the item on the floor. For a while I couldn’t even have papers on my end tables. He would walk by and sweep them on the floor. And heaven forbid I had a newspaper in the living room. He would grab that sucker and run around the house like a beast. To put it positively, Cooper loves to be active and will often run from couch to chair and bounce off. Anything in his wake is a goner. Therefore my living room is a disaster.
Then I started to notice a few other signs. When I change Cooper’s diaper he would push his legs against me. It drives me CRAZY. I also noticed from our short stint in ECFE that Cooper can’t sit in a chair unless he is strapped in. He just can’t handle it. If I put him in a booster seat he will sit still and do whatever activity I ask. If he isn’t strapped in it’s a no go. On a positive side, he is improving on this.
The hardest of Cooper’s sensory issues are his fear of haircuts. On my list of worst experiences in my life, Cooper’s first haircuts are up there. One time it was so bad at a Cost Cutters that concerned people came into the salon because they heard screaming. Wow. Now, we have a wonderful friend come to our house and it is WAY better.
Out of Cooper’s Sensory issues there are two that make me nervous.
First, Cooper goes through phases where he puts everything in his mouth. Now let me add that this could be WAY worse. I joined a Sensory Disorder Facebook Group for a hot minute and the things I read broke my heart. I thank God that Cooper’s issues are very mild in comparison. Cooper loves toothbrushes and you will often see him chewing on one or he may chew on a sleeve or a toy. But, like everything else, he forgets about it and moves on.
Secondly, and most concerning, when Cooper gets frustrated he will hit himself in the head. This is completely related to his lack of communication. 99% of the time this happens during meal time when I force him to take a bite of veggies or something similar. Jamie and I have a hard time with this. To put it simply, it breaks my heart and to put it in context, this probably happens once or twice a week. So, not very often. I usually alternate between saying, “OW buddy, that hurts!” or my favorite, “I swear to God Cooper, stop hitting your head. I made that head and I should be the only one that get’s to hit it.” Yes, not my finest parenting but I get so frustrated.
Cooper’s sensory issues are constantly improving. Time and growing up are doing wonders for him. We also like to challenge him as well as try new things. Never a dull moment!