Posted in Autism Support, Healthy Eating, SPD Tips

Tip for sensory eating problem

I realized that Abby will eat much much more if she didn’t have to actually touch her food. Plastic forks etc is a big no no as well. Metal is also not a great option for her. So if I feed her with my hand she will eat. Some things I obviously can’t feed her with my hand so I have started doing some searching. i found these amazing little things. “Fruit sticks” They are made from bamboo, so they are not only cheap, re-usable and ‘not plastic or metal’, but also not damaging the planet.

If she wants a full apple, I can actually poke one in each side and she can eat them, holding the little handles.

She prefers fruit to anything else, so it helps a lot if I give her some cut up fruit and she can eat it with her little ‘stick’.

No messy hands – she usually goes into sensory overdrive when she touches fruit. She would cry, pull faces, panic sets in as she tries to get her hands clean. Her OCD kicks in to a point where she just can’t function.

So, yeah for small miracles.

 

They even work great for fruit bars

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Posted in Random nothings, SPD Tips

For a moment there, we were a normal family

We have discovered that Abby is a little beach bum! Yeah! So on Friday evening we had to drop something down at the beach front and the girls begged us to let them go to the beach. So we went down to the beach and they loved playing in the sand. We then went to McD’s for ice cream. Everything seemed so ‘normal’. And I sometimes wonder if parents realize that there are parents that would anything for this kind of normal. Abby did so well and we were so proud of her. She was out and about around people, no tantrums. NOTHING.

It obviously only lasted until we hit home – this is a normal situation for a lot of autism parents. As soon as they get back into their safe space they ‘let go’ and well, all hell breaks loose. She had a meltdown but we got her to bed quickly and I just held her until she fell asleep.

Tonight we went to the Boardwalk and she again did so well. My heart just wants to burst with pride. We came home and there were no meltdowns tonight. She just asked to go to bed as soon as we got home.

It is the small victories. 🙂

 

Posted in Random nothings, Sensory play, SPD Tips

Pod Swing Review

So everybody on our SPD support group are raving about these pod swings. You don’t see a sensory room without one. So when I saw some on a sale, I got 2. I know the “science” behind it, but still was a bit skeptical. How can a bag hanging from the ceiling help? Well, it does!! We just had the garden services in and that usually cause huge amounts of chaos in this house. As soon as the first lawnmower starts Abby starts running, hides in her room and won’t come out from under her blanket. Today she got into her swing and stayed there for more than half of the cut. She did then get scared and came to sit with me on the couch. But that is a HUGE improvement. She found a safe place!! Thank GOODNESS!

Her sister on the other hand, needs a lot of input as well, so she is using it as a crazy swing. The amount of times I had to tell her to calm down on the thing in the past day, is crazy. She kicks and swings and goes wild. Which is also great, she is getting the input she needs. Both our girls as SPD, but totally different problem areas. Living with 2 girls under the age of 5 both with SPD and one with Autism is sometimes (okay always) chaos. So every single thing that we can do to bring some calm, we are doing. So is the pod swing worth it??

EVERY SINGLE CENT!!!

We are busy converting our whole home into a sensory room / area. So I will be posting more about that soon. Winter is coming in SA and every SPD fear the cold. Not only is it difficult to keep jackets and shoes on them, but also difficult keeping them busy. This mom is on a mission to make this Winter work.

 

Just some specs:

The pod swing can take up to 80kg.

It is attached to the roof. I will create a post to show how to install it soon.

It is sturdy and safe

It has an inflatable seat for comfort.

Posted in Random nothings

When it’s okay not be okay

Tonight, putting my two girls to bed – exhausted and really needing them to sleep,really left me feeling overwhelmed. I realized today how lucky I am to have these two crazy, strong willed girls. I spent the morning with a friend who lost her 5 year old boy two years ago. She would give anything to put her little one to bed, but she can’t. After two years the pain in her eyes is just as deep as if it happened yesterday. And I’m pretty sure it will always be that deep. After 6 miscarriages I can relate somehow but also – not. I can’t imagine not having my children in my life. Even on days like today where Abby was having a hard time. This morning a ‘calming shower’ was me in the shower trying to get done as quickly as possible while she was standing outside the door hitting her head against the door as hard as she can, screaming ‘come out to me, come out to me’. And yes that is most of my days. Showering in peace is something you can only dream of. Most nights aren’t different either – she will call for me and wants to sleep on top of me. Last week she told me she wants to go back into my tummy that I can never put her down again. It just broke my heart. Her need for me is constant, and trying to run 2 businesses and a NPO with her literally attached to is sometimes just too much. This morning I lost it with them and screamed at them that I’m going to put them in a creche – no I won’t, but at that moment it felt like my only option. Because of her constant need to be on me she is not willing to share me with her sister. This in turn make Sky act out and over-react to everything. We have this constant tug of war and it’s just damn tiring. I’m tired. I’m done. And tonight I don’t feel that everything is okay – and that’s okay. Tomorrow we will get up – hahaha, okay I know that means that I’m actually hoping to sleep in my own bed tonight ; a girl can dream – and we will try again.

And through all the drama and worries, I’m mostly thankful. I’m thankful for my children that brings so much joy in my life. I’m thankful for my husband that has my back every step of the way. I am thankful for friends, like my friend who lost her little one, that understand that some children have special needs, and that my house is a mess – and pretend to not see the mess, because they know, they’ve been there.

I’m going to go to bed tonight – not sure which one, it all depends on Abby – with a thankful heart. I am blessed. I get to be their mommy another day tomorrow. And yes I’m most probably going to scream at them within 5 minutes of them being awake, but now they are sleeping peacefully and I can pretend they are little angels…

 

Posted in SPD Tips

Helping your child (or partner) who is sensitive to noise

After this weekend’s disaster at the restaurant, I decided to give more advice / tips on handling these kinds of things, because I got a lot of feedback from others that has the same issues.

Following these tips can help you and your loved one to function much better in a noisy area.

  1. Warn them before the time. If they know what is about to happen, they can mentally prepare for it. It might sound ‘simple’ but it really helps to know what you are stepping into
  2. Earplugs!!! Or earmuffs. Or in our case – earphones. Do what is best for you to cancel some of the noise out. Just make sure they can still hear you. If helps them focus more on what they are doing and just takes away some of the background noise. It works like a charm
  3. Let others help. My children loves smoothies, but both hate the noise the smoothie maker makes. The little one actually calls it ‘the loud’. If she asks for ‘loud’, she wants a smoothie. We made it a game. If I go make it in the kitchen, both girls jumps on daddy and hide under his arms. Causing lots of giggles. As soon as the machine stops, they jump off and runs to the kitchen for their smoothies. Get the family involved. My 3 year old knows when things gets too much for the 1 year old, she will take her hand and take her outside. It’s a family problem, not an individual problem.
  4. Go to malls and play areas during the week if possible. We prefer to take them to play parks during the week. There aren’t a lot of children around, they have more space to play and the noise if much less. If you are going to a new place, tell them what they are going to see and what to expect and make sure before the time there aren’t going to be a function with lots of noise (sometimes schools will have day trips etc. Phoning the play center to hear if they have bookings might be a good idea as well)
  5. Teach them it’s okay to say no. A while ago one of my friends wanted to touch and play with my 1 year old. She felt very uncomfortable being touched and she lifted her hand and said: STOP! I felt so proud of her. She needs to know it’s okay to say if she is uncomfortable in a situation. Letting you know they are unhappy before the melt down will empower you to get them out before things gets out of control
  6. Let them make some noise. This might sound weird, but let them make some noise themselves. A lot of noise sensitivity has to do with ‘feeling out of control’. If they can control the noise, they are more at ease. Usually children with noise sensitivity are the noisiest!
  7. Use your ipad, phone, tablet to distract them. If they focus on something they enjoy, other noise becomes background noise and they do not focus that much on it. Distract them with their favorite youtube channel. I have no idea what we would have done without youtube!
  8. Expose them to more noise. I am very guilty here. I try to protect them and keep them away from noise. And then things like the weekend happen, when they have to be in noise and a meltdown happens. The more they are around noise, the more it will be just part of their lives. We are working on this one…..
Posted in Random nothings

A day in the life of a sensory family

I’m not going to lie, today was one shitty day. When your child hurts, you hurt. And today my heart wanted to break for my child.

Abby woke up at 5am. She was not ready to be awake and we got her back to sleep. She slept until 9 and we then got ready to go out. The babysitter we organized for the day cancelled yesterday and I thought that I can just drag them along to my meeting, should be fine (ne). The meeting is right next to Spur so hubby took the girls to Spur while I went to the meeting. Meeting took about an hour and then I went to Spur, thinking I’m going to have a quick meal before we had to go to a kiddies’ party. I walked into Spur to see my husband in a total panic. Covered in puke. I came closer to them to find Abby sitting with her knees up into her chest, holding her ears screaming “loud, loud, loud” – cradling herself. Everything in me broke to see my child sitting there, helpless, covered in puke. She is having a sensory meltdown, the noise in the play area got too much for her.

I jumped into action. The staff as Spur were amazing, they were cleaning up and helping my husband. I went to change her while they packed our food up and got the bill.

As we walked out, she has a nappy failure and wets both of us (bear in mind, I’m not suppose to be picking her up yet as I had surgery 3 weeks ago). I put her down, she walks with me and falls off the stairs. I have her one hand and pulls her back, obviously hurting her arm. She screamed all the way to the car. I try to get her into the car and bump her head (FML). She starts screaming again. At this stage I just want to get home. My husband is covered in puke still and he looks like all blood has drained from his face.

We got home, threw her in bath while we showered. We decide that only Sky will go to the party as things are just too much for Abby. Abby screams blue murder – wanna go party, wanna go party. We cave, at this stage both our fight is out. While all of this is going on, Sky demands to be the center of attention and screams, puts the television on 50 (I did not know if could go to 50! Our normal listening sound is around 10), jumps into walls, demand food, demand drinks, talks back at everything we tell her to do.

We dress both (Sky demanding to put on a R300 skirt to a party where they are going to be climbing etc, because she wants to look like a MODEL (FML!!!!!). I dress her in the skirt to shut her up and throw them in the car. We are already 10 minutes late for the party but we are in the car and on our way. We get to the party – the party both of them screamed blue murder to get to. Sky attempt to climb on one climbing frame. Gets to top and screams daddy must come take her down. Abby hangs on me like a bush baby. I find them 2 chairs and a little table. They sat there watching everybody else play, eating their party packs. Not moving! A little boy came to ride a rocking horse near them and made horse sounds while riding. Abby immediately covered her ears and screamed he is too loud. At this stage I just gave up. Screw life. Screw parenting.

We got home, Sky hyped on sweets. We try to give her lunch. She has a melt down, we gave her too many chips. I tell her to go to her room. She goes totally ballistic on me. She starts screaming at me that she will NOT go to her room if Abby gets to stay. I won’t even mentioned what happened after this, but it was ugly. I screamed like a crazy person. I just had enough.

We pretty much had the same scenario for the rest of the day. Sky would make a noise (on purpose), Abby would scream for her to stop. Sky would make MORE noise, Abby would scream for her to stop. I would tell Sky to go to her room, Sky would start running into walls, screaming she WILL NOT go.

It’s 8;45, hubby is with them in the room. It sounds like he got them to sleep at last. We are done. We need a break. I need coffee (or something stronger). I need pain pills. Parenting sucks. But will I not want my kids – never.

Posted in Activities for little ones, Homeschooling, Sensory play

Colored Rice; Theme for the week: Color

Today hubby took over the lesson with Sky. We got her a sticker book about colors. She had a lot of fun putting the different stickers on their spots and looking for the colors etc.

I played with Abby. She has been really struggling today with sensory overload so I decided to do some sensory play with her.

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I had some colored rice so I had her play with it on a page, touch it, push it around.

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BUT it all ended up on the floor causing poor hubby to go into sensory overload. Living in my house you have to walk a VERY fine line 😉

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