Since our appt with the DAN doctor has confirmed Alex's SPD diagnosis, I have really tried to keep him on a sensory diet. Meaning every day before school (he goes to PM kg) he either has gymnastics or OT and on the days he does not I make sure he swings, jumps on the trampoline, gets to play at a playground, or we walk to school. In addition, he does Therapeutic Listening every day. He is a sensory seeker so he needs this input EVERY. DAY. If he doesn't get the input he is generally a mess at school and at home and does his sensory seeking jumping which looks pretty similar to autistic stimming.
To be honest, I am kind of sick of making sure he gets his input every day. I am on constant alert - did we do enough input today? And I am wondering what will happen next year when he goes to 1st grade and doesn't have all morning to get in his sensory stimulation. My fear is he will get it one way or another - either by being disruptive in class or sensory seeking alone at recess or both. I don't know how his sensory needs are going to fit into a day in public school even with an IEP.
Also.....THE CAFETERIA (cue up horror movie music)is bound to cause problems for him. Although mostly a sensory seeker, Alex is an avoider when it comes to smells. He is a kid who can't tolerate the smell in IHOP (which I think smells pretty good...hello? pancakes, what's not to like?!) The elementary school cafeteria is noxious to even NT kids' noses. I am not sure how he will handle it. I can't imagine he will make a lot of friends by gagging and dry heaving at the table.
Alas, his days as a "little kid" are rapidly coming to a close. He has had 2.5 years of special ed preschool and 2 years of kindergarten. He has come a LONG way from that first day I put him on the special ed bus when he was completely non-verbal and did not appear to understand anything that was said to him. I remember that day vividly and how scared I was for him and for me (putting him on a special ed bus made it official - I was the mother of a special needs child!) I cried my heart out that day and I am in awe of my little boy and how much progress he has made. He has worked harder than any young child should have to.
Next year he will be on his own more than ever. I meet with his special ed teacher next month and I will share my concerns. Hopefully, we can come up with some things to try. However, this will be a whole new world for him. I am terrified for him and for me again. I am also hopeful that all his hard work has paid off and he will be able to attend first grade with NT kids and thrive.
Thoughts on Newtown
4 years ago