As a parent you always want the absolute best for your child, but sometimes that isn’t always possible. When I found out my son had Sensory Processing Disorder it was overwhelming. From feelings of sadness to guilt, I experienced it all. Instead of just being a mom, I was now a “special needs” mom. These are some things I learned about how to cope with the diagnosis as a parent and other things I have incorporated into my daily life to make sure things go as smooth as possible.
The diagnosis doesn’t change the child
After getting a “snap out of it” talk from a dear friend, I realized that my son was still the same sweet boy he was before the diagnosis. Sensory Processing Disorder does not define who he is at all, if anything it just adds to his personality a little bit. With or without a name for the symptoms he was experiencing, he was still the same child I read to at night and who climbed into my bed several nights a week with bad dreams. Nothing about him changed.
Redirection was nothing new to me, but the words to use and activities were. When I saw a meltdown starting, I was able to refocus his attention on something else. This help our day go a little faster and we became more productive as a team. If there is something that I know will send my son into a complete meltdown I can avoid it, or at least prepare him before it is too late. While this is a little different than I planned to parent, it is working for us as a family.
Taking time for myself each day
Dealing with Sensory Processing Disorder gives parents both good and bad days. We mostly have good days now that we have figured out how to get through the day without multiple meltdowns, but there are some pretty bad days thrown in the mix too. A friend suggested taking time for myself each night so that I could regroup and refocus my thoughts. If I feel overwhelmed or a little edgy, I walk outside and take five minutes. Sometimes that isn’t an option if someone else isn’t here to keep an eye on the kids, but most of the time it works out.
After accepting that Sensory Processing Disorder isn’t the end of the world as I knew it, I was able to move forward in a way that would benefit both me and my son. Being labeled as a “special needs” mom hasn’t changed anything. I am still “mommy” to my son, and he is still the same little boy who I gave birth to years ago. There isn’t one thing I would change about him!