Navy has been going to occupational therapy once a week for a little over a month. Progress is slow, but I would by lying if I said I didn’t see some improvement.
I was given a written evaluation on Navy’s sensory issues ... The results didn’t surprise me, and simultaneously blew my mind. There were several areas of evaluation conducted - social participation, vision, hearing, touch, body awareness, balance and motion, and planning and ideas. Navy’s percentiles ranged from 95-99%. Her average percentile for her sensory systems is 98%. A good friend of mine, Cassie, (who works in this field) broke that down by explaining, “Imagine 100 4 year old girls lined up. The girl that is number one is struggling the least (with sensory processing) and the girl that is number 100, is struggling the most.” Navy is girl 98.
This comes as no surprise, because I spend all day with Navy girl. I see her constantly strip her clothes off. I see her freak out over the vacuum cleaner, or music, or unexpected sounds. I see her struggle to eat or drink. I see her lose her mind over touching things that are wet. I see her inability to conceptualize the idea of first, next, and last. I see her climb, nearly up the walls. I see her in distress. These results echoed the distress I was witnessing, and while it was HUGELY vindicating to our plight, it was a terrible “victory” to win. To see the extent to which she’s struggling, in number form, was absolutely heartbreaking.
Our OT has been an asset and has exposed us to all kinds of new things to try. We’ve got visual calendars, visual timers, funny body brushes, weighted blankets, chewelry, sensory bottles, noise cancelling headphones, neoprene body socks, a tent set up in the living room along with a yoga ball, trampoline, and tunnel for obstacle courses. Much to my surprise our house could in fact, become MORE of a circus. But it’s been well worth it to see Navy react to some new techniques.
We have a long road ahead of us, but we’ve found support along the way. My OT just yesterday said that on paper she assumed Navy has ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and while she wasn’t absolutely sure that was what was going on, she was open minded to my concerns and encouraged me to keep fighting and searching. That felt enormous to me ...
I know I’m an echo chamber of self-congratulatory phrases, but as somebody who doubted myself for so long (in regard to Navy’s behaviors) - it has been unreal to see the power of perseverance and following your instincts. So, reminder: TRUST. YOUR. GUT. And fight the good fight!
I’m not sure what the future holds for us, but for the first time in a long time, I finally feel a little hope. I’m calling that progress.
I’d also like to shout out my friend Cassie ... she has been like a hug on my worst days. She’s offered me ENDLESS support and insight, and has made me laugh along the way. Cassie’s a fierce advocate for cleaner beauty, and I know it would mean the world to her if you’d all check out her website. She’s a consultant for BeautyCounter and has absolutely sold me on their amazing products. (Legit. They’re amazing.) I can’t think of a better way of honoring/thanking her than by sharing her knowledge and passion with you all! Check her and BeautyCounter out here: https://www.beautycounter.com/cassieschmisek