This past week was one of great anticipation mixed with a good dose of anxiety followed by a sweet reminder of God’s provision in all circumstances.
Our oldest boy, D, has always been a bit of a…um…”challenge” to us, his parents. Loads of love for the little guy – don’t get me wrong! But there have been countless days, nights and everything in between that have brought us to great levels of frustration, anxiety and fears that we simply do not know how to be effective parents in regards to discipline, and a continual, nagging feeling that something was just “off” in D.
On Tuesday we headed up to a little town called Colfax where D was observed by a pediatrician who specializes in sensory processing disorders. For approximately 5 hours she “tested” D through various games, watched him during play, watched him during times of reading and gave Hubbs and I feedback throughout the day.
It was a tremendous experience to finally have some answers to our frustrations as well as hope that D will not be stuck in this “mode” of operation that is neither enjoyable for him or helpful to him as his days of schooling full-time get closer and closer.
By the end of the day the discussion concluded with the doctor while D played quite harmoniously by himself; a big rarity in that little guy’s life! The official “diagnosis” is proprioception issues tagged with a nervous system “delay” that causes things like his intense emotional outbursts and also explains why he is unable to depict a person when asked to draw one (he scribbles a line and says it’s a fish or some such), why he seemingly “chooses” not to listen to us when we talk to him, why he can not even come minutely close to catching a ball when tossed just mere inches away from him, why he had significant sleep issues the first 2 years of his life, and the list goes on.
That first evening after our visit in Colfax was one of relief for me. Oddly, the frustration in communication with D diminished greatly as my understanding of how his little brain was working had greatly increased in those 5 hours with the pediatrician.
The next day it all hit me a bit harder as I attended a Kindergarten class with D’s preschool as a field trip experience. It was painfully evident to me that a typical classroom is the absolute worst place for D at this time. He simply can not understand or handle the setting when all his mind wants to do is PLAY and all his body wants to do is MOVE. To expect that boy to sit in a chair for any length of time, hold a pencil and do something with it when all he can do is scribble, to listen to a teacher talk when realistically he can only “hear” 1 thing at a time simply throws him into a state of stress. It was difficult to see him run around the room looking for toys, seemingly just “misbehaving” to those who are unaware of his issues, and then once outside the classroom running to the dirt and feeling the wind on his face and being awed and amazed at the big tractors rolling by. Every other kid in his class (there are 29 of them) was sitting in their chairs, or sitting on the sidewalk with their pieces of chalk doodling away and snickering as D “messed around” the entire time.
Thus begins the next “phase” of our journey with D. There have been several kinds of therapy mentioned, things like biodynamic cranial osteopathy because D (most likely) has pressure on the back of his head that is blocking certain brain pathways, Eurythmy therapy, equine therapy, and sensory integration therapy.
I was so thankful that my women’s Bible study group was meeting on Friday morning. I was only “3 days in” from all of this new knowledge and all of the “unknowns” that we are facing. The discussion that morning was on Philippians 4, namely these verses:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It was good to be reminded that with this life comes all different kinds of challenges. I am not alone in this parenting thing in any way, shape or form. Regardless of the types of challenges I face, I can be assured that God has provided the resources needed and that I do not have to anxious. I am never alone in my challenges. Never.
I will do my best to continue blogging about the adventurous changes we’re making around here to help D’s nervous system calm down a bit and our lives a little less challenging. I am once again thankful that my D loves his veggies and fruits because he’s getting a lot more of them in the days and weeks to come!