I tried a third school, a church school, with no better luck. He continued to have problems, I kept getting phone calls, I kept having to leave work to come get him. He lasted three days before I decided I couldn’t leave him in that place. I watched the “teachers” putting some children down for a nap and how they were interacting with the kids appalled me. I knew I wouldn’t bring him back to that place. There had to be another option, my sister had used an in home daycare with my niece, but they lived across town. I had a flash of asking to move in with her so we could use it also but I knew it was unrealistic.
I started looking for in-home daycare’s with fewer children and therefore less sensory overload. I literally started asking every person that I knew, in hopes I would find a lead. I interviewed a nanny and was prepared to pay more money than I could really afford, but in the end, she wanted even more money than I could pay. I found a lady willing to watch him, I wasn’t totally comfortable with her but I felt like I had my back against the wall. I was having to leave work too often and I didn’t want to get fired and I could keep looking for someone better.
While I continued hunting for somewhere to leave my child that I liked I also reached out to a mother in my Mom’s group. She is a Physical Therapist and I turned to her for advice since I thought his behavior was sensory related. She said I could bring him in for a free unofficial evaluation.
I met with her on a Friday and told her Nate’s story. How he was a head banger when he was a baby. How he crawled at 4 months and walked at 9 months. How he was always go- go-go. How he chewed his shirts and pulled off little pieces of his diapers when he was in diapers. how he would spit out a mouthful of food if I happened to miss that there was a tomato or onion mixed in. How he wouldn’t try new foods. how he only wanted to wear “comfy pants.” How he would literally have a meltdown if I didn’t dry my hands after washing the dishes if I turned to help him and touched him with wet hands. How he never wanted to sleep even when you cold tell he was exhausted, even when he had been a baby. How he struggled severely at school. How he struggled with transitions.. . . I went on and on.
She listed to all I had to say and she told me, “Oh yes, He has Sensory Processing Disorder.”
I was relieved to have an answer. I felt hope. I had a diagnosis.
Now, what the fuck is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Finally, a step forward on a very long, very hard and tearful journey towards helping my child.