It started this morning with the bouncing, she bounced from thing to thing. Thrashing her body on anything near, trying to hold her anxiety in. It took us quite a while but we got her through her visual map of everything she needed to do and have this morning. We got her safely in her car seat and could breathe a sigh of relief. Here we go. On the way we played the rhyming game the entire time. It focused, it calmed, it connected.
I pulled into the school overwhelmed by just finding a parking spot, thankfully Sensory Dad was along today and I didn’t have to think about it. We walked hand in hand down the corridor with Miss Sensory safely in between us. Since it’s hard to keep her near us in parking lots, we tell her she needs to keep us safe. She does better when she’s in control and so we give her a job and she takes it seriously. Once we enter the doors you can feel the chaos surrounding the building. Her classroom is right around the corner and we quickly move that direction.
Only inside the classroom the chaos is more common, more present. There’s so many kids and parents, it’s hard to get around to even get to her cubby. She clings closer to us and I can tell she’s shut it all off. I can tell she’s overwhelmed by a room full of people, withdrawing inside herself. I can tell she’d rather run and find someplace to hide. I can tell she’s attempting to be ok with the noise level in the room, when inside her head it feels like someone turned the volume on high.
We are greeted by one of her friends’ older sisters who was excited to be her helper today. She asks Miss Sensory a million questions and Miss Sensory answers none of them. She tried so hard to help her, to get her to her desk and get her some play dough. But Miss Sensory couldn’t respond, couldn’t focus couldn’t find her way through.
I got down low and asked her quietly if she wanted pink or purple dough, she said pink. I was so glad to see her engage, answer a question and be excited. I could tell this was tough for her when no one else could.
I could tell that this isn’t just her being shy or scared or first day jitters. This is more. I could tell her nervous system was screaming for help and I can tell that most of the ‘typical’ world won’t be able to see that her nervous system challenges her to function.
It’s the first day of Kindergarten and my daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder. Sometimes for her it might feel like the world is going to crash in on her and it’s my job to see it happening and help her navigate through it. It’s like I’m her lighthouse. When the storm starts, I help her find the way home.