Cooper’s sensory issues really intimidate me. I think because they don’t make sense to me. I can’t seem to get a grasp on it either. And, they are pretty much invisible. He is an angel for teeth brushing, getting dressed, etc. The kid just can’t sit still. He can’t shut it off. I’m really thinking Occupational Therapy is going to help. I’ve read raving reviews from other parent’s and am SO hopeful.
Looking back at this journey I have to chuckle at all the different stages that were hard at first and now are so easy.
When Cooper was 15 months or so we had him evaluated by the school district to see if he qualified for services. At that time he didn’t have any words. I remember the advice they gave us was to make him ask for things. Don’t just automatically give him his milk or his snack. Wait until he asks. In theory, yes, this was good advice. But, we would still be waiting for Cooper to ask for his milk. Sigh.
After that evaluation I thought to myself, ‘I got this. I will get this kid talking.’ (Such a rookie!) I put him in the bathtub that night and I lined up different animals on the side of the tub. I would point to the animal, say the name and make the sound. Cooper would laugh and then splash and play with his trains. I got right up in his face and I started quaking Like really quaking. Looking back, I was a FREAKING quack. That was the first time I got really, really frustrated with myself.
And now, Cooper’s lack of speech is actually the least of my worries. How can that be? My kid doesn’t talk and I have bigger things to worry about. Plus, he communicates pretty dang good without words.
Another nightmare was the first time we put earplugs in Cooper’s ears. Cooper had just had tube surgery and the fear of Jesus was in me about not getting water in his ears. You can read about his tube surgery here. Cooper was 2 1/2. He wouldn’t sit still and I was pretty clumsy and of course he fought me the whole way. Think screaming and head butting. I half got them in and threw him in the tub. 30 seconds into his hair washing the plugs were out. I made Jamie come in and put his hands over Cooper’s ears as I washed the soup out. NIGHTMARE! Cooper thrashed and dunked and freaked the F out. (As would I.) I remember thinking, never again. I can’t fight him for every single bath. And now, it’s nothing. He loves putting them in and taking them out after his bath. And always reminds me that he needs them before he gets in. It just takes time.
And the number one thing that was hard at first….Hearing Aids! Yup, I bet you wonder how we got a sensory seeking, wild toddler to wear hearing aids. I often wonder this myself. The first two or three times we put them in he fought us. But, in his defense, we were super clumsy. Putting them in is hard! But after that he would just wear them. They never bothered him I guess. We heard from many people that Cooper was the only toddler they ever met that willingly wore his hearing aids. And then to find out he didn’t even need them. Gong show!
My point I am making here is, ‘give it time.’ You will look back and ‘hopefully’ laugh at how hard it was in the beginning. I am praying to God that I can say this about Cooper’s sensory stuff. And his language stuff too. I want to watch him play a sport or give a speech or watch him graduate and think, “WE MADE IT!”
I want this story to have a happy ending so it can inspire other people. No one knows what the future may hold. So, be strong moms and dads. You are going to make it through this and it is going to get better.