For When Your Family Doesn't See Your Child's Special Needs

For When Your Family Doesn’t See Your Child’s Special Needs…

I’ve never had the kind of relationship with my Mom or either of my parents for that matter that I would have wanted. In fact, growing up I expected to not really talk to them in my adult life. However, things changed I ended up staying in closer physical proximity to them than I expected.

My parents were very excited when we announced that we were adopting. They supported us during our journey and were there to pick us up from the airport. There were days that were so bad during the toddler years that I would call my mom and ask her if she could take Miss Sensory for the next day, because I needed sleep. And I am so grateful that she was there.

But there’s a bigger, deeper part of parenting that I wish my parents were here for. Typical parenting (from what I hear) is pretty challenging, but parenting a special needs child we fight battles we never knew existed.

And one of those battles comes within our own families.

We fight for disorders that appear invisible to those we are related to.

We take each comment to heart. We stand up to those who are supposed to love us the most.

“She’s normal.” “That’s typical kid behavior.” “They’ll grow out of it.”

“You need more discipline.” “There’s nothing wrong with her.” “It’s Ok.”

“That’s normal.”


These comments hit us deeper than anything anyone else says. Because our families are supposed to be the ones who support us the most and know us better than anyone else. But, that doesn’t always happen.

I wish I could sit with my parents and tell them how much I feel like a failure.

I wish I could tell them about our daughter’s new diagnosis and the treatment plan.

I wish I could tell them about the grief and the challenge of not thinking of her future.

Or comparing her development to another child her age.

We never get too old to need our parents. I still do.

Maybe someday, they will see.

That my child is different than other kids her age.

That I can’t discipline this out of her.

That her challenges aren’t quirks, or accidents, or her feelings getting hurt.

That I could have used their support along the way.

That I am amazing at this.

That this is not normal parenting…

Because she’s just not a typical kid.

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2 Things That Remind Me I've got This as a Special Needs Mom

2 Things That Remind Me I’ve Got This as a Special Needs Mom

Yesterday, I had a break down. We’ve had two surgeries in our house within two weeks (don’t worry we are all ok, just needed a couple things taken care of) and I’ve been on a long stretch of taking care of everything by myself and I can do well for a while, but inevitably I hit this wall. It’s like everything comes crashing down, my patience ends and so does my peace. This special needs parenting thing is rough!!

There are two things that have made all the difference in my parenting journey. They have all helped me feel less alone and more confident as a mom. When I hit those walls, both of these help me remember that I’ve got this.

  1. Support.

When our daughter was 2 years old I started going to Early Childhood classes. The first half of the class was play time with your child, the second half of the class was separated. The teachers took care of our kiddos, while the moms had parenting class. During parenting class we would talk about anything and everything that was challenging us. I started to realize that our struggles at home and our challenges were way bigger than anyone else in the class. No one could relate to what we were dealing with. After our daughter was diagnosed at 3, I finally found people who got what I was struggling with. They knew the battles we faced, because they were dealing with the same thing.

2 Things That Remind Me I've Got This as a Special Needs Mom

This completely changed my world. I felt less alone, I felt like I could be honest about how I was feeling and how hard this journey was. This was a big part of why I started this blog, to share our story and to help others in this journey. Which is why I am creating this new Sensory Parent Support group as a way to expand and connect with you! Because, we all need more support and we need to feel less alone and more understood.

The other major area of support for us has been professionals (Psychologist and OT) who are encouraging and understanding of the challenges we face. We certainly have had some who are more encouraging than others and we have been so appreciative of those who are there to provide support for us, who have given us the reminders we need to hear, who have spoken truth to me when I am drowning in feeling like a failure.

  1. Research.

It’s true what they say knowledge is power!

I have always been the type of person who researches a lot! I never make a major purchase without doing research on it and I have learned how to do many things from reading a book (including dry walling my entire house). So, it makes sense to me that this would be a big part of our journey!

I have found the most comfort in being well researched on whatever we are dealing with. I read every book I can get my hands on. We’ve just added two new diagnosis and quite honestly it’s been overwhelming and hard to understand. I started reading more on ADHD and I felt so much peace about this new diagnosis. It is what I’ve been missing. I need good resources to feel educated as mom and ready to understand how to help Miss Sensory.

The more I know, the more it encourages me as a mom. The more I feel like I understand what we are dealing with and how to deal with it, the more confident I am.

This month I am a part of the SPD Parent Zone’s Online conference for Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness and it has been such a great resource of daily encouragement and knowledge for this parenting journey. I’d love to have you join me and grow in your parenting journey this month. Everyday a different expert in Sensory Processing Disorder is sharing a short video (5-15 minutes), so far it has been a great conference!! You can join in now, and still have access to all the previous videos!

Here are the three ADHD, books I’m starting with this month:  Parenting Children With ADHD, Raising Girls with ADHD and Focused: ADHD & ADD Parenting Strategies.

parenting    girls       focused


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sensory blog hop

Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!

Want to join in on next month’s Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!



The Explosive Child for $.99

****This sale has ended.  But if you want to know of more resources and when they are on sale join our mailing list in the side bar on the right. ***

If you do not have the book, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene, PhD you can snag it now for only $.99 on Amazon Kindle!

This is a book that I have gone back to over the years and I have loved having it in my library!!
The Explosive Child
The groundbreaking “New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children,” The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., has been updated and revised to include the latest research. Dr. Greene is Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and the originator of the Collaborative Problem Solving approach to the treatment and study of children with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. With The Explosive Child he offers an indispensable helping hand to parents who may feel overwhelmed by having to deal with children whose reactions to everyday stimuli may be far more extreme than normal.

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Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness

October 2016 Sensory Awareness Month

October is Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month!!  Just like last year, I created a few images that you are welcome to save and share and spread awareness!!  You can also use any of these from last year too!!  Enjoy!

Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness


Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness


Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness

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for when you wonder if your child has Sensory Processing Disorder

For when you wonder if your child has Sensory Processing Disorder…

There is sometimes, nothing more complicated than a fresh diagnosis. We are in the middle of walking a new journey but one thing is for sure, I’ve got this Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) stuff down!! If you are new to Sensory Processing Disorder or wondering how to get your child diagnosed, I thought I’d share a little bit to help you through. October is Sensory Processing Disorder awareness month, please share this post and spread awareness!

Have you ever wondered why your child refuses to wear pants (tactile)? Doesn’t notice that their face or hands are dirty (tactile)? Refuses to eat crunchy foods (taste)? Prefers to dump all the toys on the floor (sight)? Loves loud noises or hates loud noises (auditory)? Gag’s at the smell of certain foods (olfactory)? These are just a few examples of everyday occurrences that are actually sensory related.  There are so many more sensory related everyday experiences,

From as far back to as when our daughter was born, we knew we had a lot of challenges with her and we were at a loss of where to go and what to do in order to get help!  Every time we were at the doctor’s office for a sniffle, I would mention the challenges and they would tell me this was normal.  I am not a doctor, a psychologist or anyone who can offer medical advice.  This is just mom to mom.  So, if you at all wonder here’s what you can do…

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

We actually have eight senses: touch (tactile), taste (gustatory), sight (visual), sound (auditory), smell (olfactory) and there’s three more vestibular (balance, coordination, spatial orientation), proprioception (sense of muscle and joints) and interoception (internal regulation for thirst, hunger, etc.) . Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) occurs when the brain receives mixed messages. Basically it’s the way the brain processes the senses.

A checklist of signs and symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder.

I think my child might have Sensory Processing Disorder.  How can I get my child diagnosed?

Maybe you’ve just heard of this thing called Sensory Processing Disorder and you are wondering how to get to get your child diagnosed. Well, here’s the bad news first. Sensory Processing Disorder is not a standalone diagnostic condition. The American Medical Association does not recognize it in their diagnostic manuals (what doctors use to diagnose). In the DSM-V (what psychologists use as the diagnostic manual), it is listed as a symptom.   What that means it is a characteristic of another disorder (such as Autism).

What that all really means for you is that you will find some medical professionals who discount SPD as a disorder. The thing is that, Sensory Processing Disorder can be a standalone disorder by itself. It is recognized by a lot of medical professionals and teachers as a disorder. We just aren’t there yet in the diagnostic manuals (confusing I know).

for when you wonder if your child has Sensory Processing Disorder

Should I get my child evaluated?

My take on this as a mom is that if you have concerns about your child then, YES!  It never hurts to have an evaluation done.  One of the things I always ask is how much is this effect you and your child’s daily living?  This is usually the definition of disorder.  When it makes daily living a challenge then you know!

Where can I go to get my child evaluated?

There are a few places and people that you can seek out for help. If your child is 5 and under, you may qualify through an Early Education center in your area for evaluation. Usually, they are called Early Intervention.

You can also, look for a psychologist in your area that is knowledgeable and has experience with Sensory Processing Disorder. You will also want to look for an Occupational Therapist that has pediatric experience and is familiar with Sensory Processing Disorder.

My child got diagnosed with SPD now what?

I know the feeling, you want to do everything possible to help your child and you are anxious to do so. The first thing I would recommended is starting with a few great resources to grown your knowledge of SPD.

Want to know more about Sensory Processing Disorder as a whole, The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz, is the best book to read.  This will help you understand all the senses and how they affect our neurological system.

Wondering what kind of fun, creative, and easy activities you can do at home, Sensory Processing 101 is a must have!  This book is loaded with activities for you and your child to have fun together, while experiencing some at home therapy!

Sensory Processing Cover Clean

What toys and tools would be helpful to have in my home?

Coming soon …my toy guide… will be here just in time for Christmas shopping!  Join my mailing list to find out more.

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Coming Soon- A Parent's Guide Sensory Toys for Home. Until then, check out some of my favorites here.

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