When I learned the topic of the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out October kit was Journey, I immediately thought of the experiences my son and I have gone through over the years since he was first diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at the age of three.
It was a diagnosis that explained a lot to us, and helped me understand why he was having complete meltdowns over bumps in his socks. Or trouble transitioning from warm weather clothing to long sleeves, pants and jackets. Why he sometimes walked on his tiptoes. Or the issues he had with food.
Being a preschool and Kindergarten teacher, I suspected sensory issues but just wasn't sure. And it was a huge relief to know that there was a reason for these behaviors. That I wasn't doing something terribly wrong, although others had tried to make me feel at times as if I *was* a terrible mom.
I remember at one point offering to help my sister-in-law with her new babies (yes, twins) and she told me "how can you help me when you can't even handle what you have?" This was in the early days of Evan's meltdowns. And I learned a lot about how people judge others without really understanding what is truly going on. Or even trying to. But it gave me the ability to empathize with other parents I saw struggling. I wasn't so quick to judge the parent in the mall who had a screaming child throwing a tantrum. I don't always know what is going on in a particular family or person's life, so there may be circumstances I just can't see.
And I thought of these lyrics from a U2 song:
"It's not a hill, it's a mountain as you start out the climb."
So with those lyrics in mind, I decided to go ahead and share a little bit about the journey Evan and I have taken since his first diagnosis. Because it truly is something we have done together.
You were first diagnosed with Sensory Issues around the age of three. Around the time these photos were taken. And some days were definitely rougher than others. My heart would break on the days when even something as simple as a seam in your sock, or "fumps" as you called them would cause a meltdown. You simply couldn't handle it. And I couldn't help but think, "what am I doing wrong?"
But since those days we have come a long way! I have put so much time into reading books and getting you the therapies you needed. And it has made such a huge difference. When the additional diagnosis of ADHD came along a few years later, I was ready to learn.
As the years have passed, we have learned so much together. And you are proof that children are so much more than their "labels". With hard work you are often a straight A student and no longer worried about bumps in your socks. I know the world will not always be "fump" free, but I hope you know that I will be there for you whenever you need me. And I will always be open to learning and growing as well!
And I will be. We are lucky to have great friends and family who have been supportive over the years despite a few who weren't so much. There are always going to be doubters or those who judge, but I have learned that it doesn't matter what they think. What matters is that the children get the love and support they need to be the best they can be! And as parents, we are not alone. There is support no matter what mountain it may feel we are climbing. You just need to look in the right places :)
Hope you have a wonderful day! :)