Bittersweet October


October has always been my favorite month of the year.  I love the cooler weather (or the chance for cooler weather anyway, *sigh* Texas…).  Fall activities, pumpkins, earth tones, smells of spice, football games and festivals, my birthday, Halloween magic, what’s not to like?

Memories.

A year ago this week my son got kicked out of preschool.

So last year, in an instant, my cherished October was tarnished.  My birthday and Halloween were ruined.  (In fact I don’t even remember my birthday from last year but I remember Halloween day was a well played disaster.)

A year  ago my heart was broken into a million pieces and I cried so many tears I might have filled a bath tub.  I hid in the bathroom shedding those tears so my son, who now felt even more fragile to me, wouldn’t see me upset and think it was his fault.  My stress level wasn’t even registering, I had at that time, broken the meter.  I had no idea what to do.  I mean how even does a child get kicked out of PRESCHOOL?

I can still feel the panic in my chest from when I got the phone call and heard the words “You need to find somewhere else for your son”.  I can still feel the raw agonizing pain of sitting in the office of the director and having the Mama Bear surge of wanting to fight to keep him in the only school he had known for the past three years and at the same time yearning to hate them and wanting to never bring him back to a place who didn’t want him.

I can still see in the distance the grey clouds that made up those days last year.  I can still feel the buzz of the uncertainty that filled those days, the vibration of tumultuousness that wrapped itself around me like poison smog and clung on for so long seeming to break up for periods of time only to gather strength and gather me full force back into the gale force winds of a cyclone.

I have had a fear of impending doom for pretty much this whole month.  I think residuals of haunted memories began to invade, (especially when I had multiple baby-sitter catastrophe’s this month) and my freshly healed wounds still aching from the process of healing were broken open again.  So I did the only reasonable thing to make my October better and I attended a workshop at my favorite yoga studio to channel my inner Goddess and try to squash any and all residual feelings and I found a most awesome babysitter with tons of experience with children of different abilities, whom my child already adores after just a short time.

I have been trying my hardest to remain positive and have been filling my soul by listening to inspirational podcasts. In one such podcast (I’ll be damned I can’t remember which because I binge listen)  Jen Hatmaker‘s guest talks about how “life doesn’t look pretty for people who are doing it right.”  Oh good.  That must mean I’m doing it right.  “First we have pain then rising.”  How true that is.  Without experiencing the devastation we would have never began down the road to learning about Sensory Processing Disorder and start adjusting our lives accordingly and I would never have met or reconnected with some of the amazing people I have. 

So this year I’m going to remember my birthday and I already set up a fun evening for Halloween.  This year the sweet will over run the bitter and October will remain my most treasured month of the year.

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A Spark of Hope

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.

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This is the Third Post in SPD Series.
Read Post One Here: The Day My World Came Crashing Down
Read Post Two Here: Trying to Move Forward and Getting No Traction