(Taya) Today we have a guest blogger, Hayley from Welcome to the Mouse House. Thank you Hayley for sharing your beautiful story! Remember that the weighted vest pattern is on sale for $5 at my Craftsy store. All proceeds go to SPD Foundation. The Sew-Along will start Monday, the 21st, and I encourage everyone to find someone to donate their vest to, whether it is your own child, a child you know, or a school district/therapy center. Link: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/weighted-vest-sizes-18-months---12/72489
Hey guys! My name is Hayley from Welcome to the Mouse House. My 6 year old son has Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder and he is the most amazing boy I have ever met.
When Taya contacted me about doing a post in honor of Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month, of course I agreed. This is something we have been living with and learning about since our Ethan was a baby. It was evident from very early on that something was "off" with how he behaved and how he responded to touch, light, noise, and the world around him. When he was about 6 months old, we had him tested and he was diagnosed with SPD by the time he was 8 months old.
Immediately, we started working with multiple therapists to get him the help that he needed. I am not going to lie, it was tough. So so tough. We were dealing with meltdowns like you can't even explain, we couldn't take him to all the typical places you take a baby, and I felt so alone. It wasn't what I imagined raising a child to be, but it was my new reality and I was determined to make it the best it could be. I could tell that Ethan was special.
The therapists were coming to the house at least 3 times a week to work on his sensory issues. Ethan didn't want to touch grass, food, water, rocks, or anything "different", so the therapists used to do sensory therapy where they would basically make him dig his hands into dried rice or sticky noodles. After months and months of therapy, it started working! He would also get overwhelmed by bright lights in stores and loud noises at the park and the therapists showed us tricks like weighted blankets and hats. It took time, but we learned how Ethan best handled these situations and we worked with it. It was a lot of work, but so worth it when we saw the results.
By the time he was 16 months old, it was very clear that there was more going on. We all had our suspicions and by 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Autism. It was hard and I cried and I felt like maybe I had gone wrong somewhere along the way. I knew I had done everything correct, but I wondered.
But I regained my strength, took a breath, and realized that it would be okay. It wasn't the end of the world. We would figure this out and it would be okay... and it has been. We are doing this parenting thing day by day and that is good enough. SPD is tough some days and Autism isn't something that I would wish for anyone, but we are doing it.... my son is awesome and I am so proud of everything we have accomplished.
My biggest advice to anyone that suspects that something might be "off" with their child.... don't listen to anything or anyone but your gut. My gut is what got us where we are today and I knocked down many doors until I got answers and my son is better for it today.
Please consider purchasing Taya's weighted vest pattern so that the proceeds can go towards the SPD foundation. It is such a wonderful organization!