Sunday, February 28, 2010

Please watch The Gift of Ordinary Days

My son's kindergarten teacher just sent all of the parents a link to this video.  Please watch it and remember to have a kleenex handy.  I was touched by it and am trying to remember to cherish those ordinary days that I am having with my 8 and 6 year olds.  I can remember when we brought my now 8 year old daughter home from the hospital.  We didn't know how to put the car seat in the car or how much to feed her.  She is now 8 as of yesterday and playing with her zhu zhu pets and fighting with her brother over who's turn it is on the Wii.  I already look back and miss my babies and toddlers.  They are both in elementary school now and it is going fast.  This is one of those ordinary days...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

To medicate or not to medicate, that is the question.

For two years now, we have been trying to figure out whether or not we should medicate our daughter for ADD.  This has been a very tough question to answer.  At first, I was all, "NO", "My daughter will not be given mind altering drugs!"  (We will call her R4 once again.)  In kindergarten, R4 did very well.  Her teacher had nothing but good things to say about her.  Then, in first grade, we were told, R4 has trouble focusing and has to be reminded to stay on task.  The teacher was not allowed to come out and tell us, but she danced around the "ADD" diagnosis the whole conference period.  They were not given letter grades in first grade and the teacher basically said that R4's personality was carrying her through.  We put R4 in reading classes over the summer and then relaxation therapy.  We have met twice with the pediatrician on this subject and both times, the pediatrician said that R4 is doing this to get her parents' attention.  The doctor then asked if R4 was having any trouble at school.  I replied "No" and was then told that I needed to attend parenting classes.  Now I know my own child and I also know that she has ADD and SPD.    Then second grade rolls around.  R4 starts out with stellar grades ranging from a 98 to a low of 86.  The second grading period the range was 91 to 85.  The middle of the third grading period, the grades were 89 to 76.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  R4 is having trouble at school!  There are also several comments from the teacher saying that R4 is talking during class and not staying on task.  This week, I went back to the pediatrician and said, "R4 is having trouble at school!"  Next week, we are going back to talk about ADD medication.  I am going into this with an open mind.  The elementary school here is difficult enough without having untreated ADD and SPD!  We are right by NASA and all of the parents have very high expectations for their kids!  That includes these parents of TWO SPD kids one of whom has been diagnosed by a psychologist as having ADD.  I will keep you posted of R4's progress.

One side note.  I remember when we were getting ready to take our son (R5) home from the hospital after he was born.  The nurse told us to be adamant when we knew something was wrong with our child.  She said jokingly, "You will take your child to the doctor and the doctor will say, "All kids have their arms fall off at this age!""  I will never forget the words of the nurse and I apply them to my life.  We are not going to let our kids "slip through the cracks" at school or anywhere else!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A place for everything and everything in its place!

I haven't blogged in the last week so what have I been doing?  I cleaned out what we call "the children's wing" of our house.  It consists of 2 children's rooms and a toy room.  Since children with SPD have so much going on in their brain, they need very organized surroundings.  Will they miss any of the things that were taken to charity?  Probably not.  My oldest understands.  I explained to her that she is always thinking about so much and her room needs to be organized so that it does not clutter her thoughts.  I am taking three large shopping bags to charity today and selling some on ebay.  Spring cleaning started a little early here but it already feels more organized in our house and someone else will appreciate the things that we no longer use.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


We have had a couple of breakthroughs at our house the past couple of weeks.  The first one occurred at occupational therapy.  My son, who has never finger painted, because he does not like to get his hands dirty, did a really nice finger painting of a race car!  I don't think there has ever been a parent as happy as I was to see that finger painting!  It is now hanging on our refrigerator!  The second one was today at church.  In our family faith formation, we did family activities.  One of them was to put each family member's hand in yellow paint and put a hand print on a "family banner"  My little one did this activity without as much as a peep!  Woo-hoo!  We are moving forward with joy in our hearts!  Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SPD Meltdowns

Ok.  I realize that what my child (R5) just had is a Sensory Processing Disorder meltdown.  He has been whining ever since we came home from school.  We put together his Valentine's to give to his friends tomorrow.  Ever since then, it has been one drama after the other.  Now this child is normally pretty calm.  Now I see this must be an SPD meltdown!  First his hands were sticky, then he didn't want to share with his sister, then his clothes didn't fit right and now he is in full meltdown.  It has been raining for days and too cold and muddy to go outside.  His little body must be saying, "I need exercise!"  Obviously, we need to come up with a way to exercise when the weather outside is frightful!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How can sit ups help my child to write?

I'll have to admit that I was surprised to hear that something as simple as crawling through one of those playground "tubes" would help my child be able to write better. I read it online while researching Sensory Processing Disorder. I'll call him R5. R5 has never been able to write and when he did, it was very, very light. This is one of his symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). R5 would tell us that he had drawn a picture but we couldn't see it. He would say, "But it is right there!" He is going to physical therapy and occupational therapy. The physical therapy helps with gross motor while the occupational helps with fine motor. The gross motor develops faster than the fine motor. Today, his homework from physical therapy was sit ups and push ups. He has learned how to ride a bike, climb a rock wall, and walk on a balance beam. His handwriting and drawing is coming along but he will tell you it is "scribble scrabble". For now, we will do push ups and sit ups and maybe my tummy will get some benefit from exercising too! We have a Wii system and perhaps we can find Wii fit somewhere like Have you checked out They have tons of stuff in an auction format. I have seen baccarat crystal and cole haan shoes to name a couple.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Are all of your ducks in a row??

I did not see this symptom on the SPD checklist but I find it interesting. Both of my children, let's call them R4 for my daughter and R5 for my son, like to line things up. I call them R4 and R5 because they are the fourth and fifth "R" names in the family. R1 is Papa, R2 is Daddy, R3 is their uncle, and then R4 and R5. Anyway, R4 has liked to line things up since she was about 18 months old. She liked to line up Daddy's chess pieces, little people were her favorite, rubber ducks, and now littlest pet shop animals. She lines them up perfectly in a row. She then puts them away. Her little brother, R5 lines things up but not so perfectly and gets upset when they are moved. It is very interesting to me that my children like to line things up because their rooms are a mess. Neither of them likes to put things away. Both of them likes to line things up though. Maybe they are just visual learners and like to be able to see all of their things....lined up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Let's talk about picky eaters, shall we??

Do you have a picky eater in your house? I definitely do. The problem is SPD is exaggerated when the child will not eat healthy foods. I went to an SPD seminar in December and received a wealth of information about food and the SPD child. The thing that stands out most in my mind is that these children should drink WHOLE MILK. All of this time our pediatrician said to give them 2%. SPD children NEED the fat from the whole milk. Also, the best thing to feed an SPD child is eggs!

Now I have a problem, one of my children refuses to eat eggs. My daughter has major texture issues. We are trying to get her to try two new foods a week. I am reading over the seminar information that I received and there are some helpful hints that we can try:

Offer a variety of textures
Keep portions of new foods small
Allow the child to taste one bite and let them spit it back out
Do not mix food items (like a casserole for example)
Involve child in food preparation
Make the food attractive to the child

Now this is all easier said than done, believe me but it is worth a try. Here are three books that can help us with picky SPD children:

Just Take a Bite

Our Children Are What Our Children Eat

Why Can't I Eat That

These were all recommended as good books for parents of SPD children to read.

Also, fatty acids are important for the developing brain of the SPD child. They are contained in things like salads, fruit, veggies, nuts, whole milk, olive oil, seaweed, and fish oil.

Finally, in my area, there is a picky eater's group that meets in the summer. I am definitely signing my daughter up for it! It is at Christus St. John Sports Medicine Center in Nassau Bay right across from NASA. We can't wait!

Click here to join