Well, Bil and I took Danny to Terre Haute (about an hour away) to be evaluated by a new Occupational Therapist. Our goal is to find someone who has a decent working knowledge of SPD who we can meet with at least twice a month. I think Mandy is our girl!
We first went into a small room. To get to it we had to pass through a big gym-like room filled with swings and slides and balls, which of course completely captivated Danny. He was very resistant to entering the small, boring room and I was worried that it would just go downhill from there. Keep in mind that he had been in the car for over an hour (we got slightly lost) and just wanted to move. Luckily, the room was well-stocked with all kinds of fun sensory toys: cars, games and the requisite shaving cream and thera-putty, which kept him happy long enough for us to answer the myriad questions the OT had. I have filled out so many of these sensory questionnaires over the years, I could practically do it in my sleep.
If you have an SPD kid, you know what I mean: questions like "Is he sensitive to certain fabrics?" Oh yes! "Do noises rile him up, even background noises like the fridge or air conditioning?" Definitely. "Does he take a lot of risks?" All the time. The list goes on and on. My favorite, though, has been asked by pretty much every therapist he has ever seen (and that is a pretty big number for being only five years old): Is this how active he is typically? they ask a bit awestruck. And the answer is, "Oh, yes, definitely."
It makes me think of a goal his Early Intervention Physical Therapist set for him. This goal was to reduce the amount of times Danny spent tackling and or climbing on his mother. The funny thing was up to that point, I think I had become desensitized to it, I think I maybe thought all kids were like the Tazmanian Devil running through life like whirling dervishes. I have since found that this is not true. Some of my friends actually have kids with normal energy levels. And sometimes I find myself envying them. OK, I admit, at times I find myself CONSTANTLY envying them. The friends with kids who were potty trained by three or even by four. The friends with kids who can be in a big group of people without completely going super-hyper and crashing into anyone nearby. The friends with kids who don't need all types of therapy or picture schedules to get through the day. The ones whose kids will actually handle going on several errands in a day with little incident. The ones whose kids who do not freak out in certain stores because the lights are weird and buzz. The ones who can change their schedules a bit and their kids go along merrily.
Sorry for that pity party. Of course, I wouldn't change him for the world. With all his difficulties also come some great attributes that make him so lovable. With his amazing energy levels comes a really enagaging exuberance which pretty much touches all around him. And I have learned so many lessons from him that I don't think I would have picked up normally.
Well, anyway, I digress. The point of this post is that the therapy session went well. The therapist seems to really get SPD and what these kids need. Bil and I are pretty confident (not to mention relieved!) that this might just work out.
After the therapy, we grabbed lunch and went to this amazingly huge and beautiful park in the city, where Danny was in ecstasy. Not only was he able to play on huge play structures, but we also even got to ride this cute little train dubbed "The Spirit of Terre Haute." It made his day. Bil is planning on taking a vacation day for our next appointment and we will bring Charlotte and make an entire day of it. I am looking forward to it.