Christina is a freelance writer who lives in Southern California with her husband and three boys, one of whom was recently diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and mild Autism. Christina uses her love of design, adventures in parenting and teaching background as inspiration for her writing on numerous parenting websites including her personal blog, Mommy Loves Coffee.
I knew something was "off" when Bennett was 18 months old -- I was three months pregnant and that's when the high-pitch screaming started. Right after my third child was born (and Bennett turned 2), I started to think that I didn't know how to parent this child. I was at my wits' end and decided to push for a second opinion. While that doctor dug a little deeper, we ended up hearing the same words: "It's a phase he's going through." Two years went by and during that time I was constantly frustrated, my patience was hanging on by a thread and I continuously doubted my parental instincts and myself.
We finally pushed for a third opinion shortly after Bennett turned four. Two minutes into our appointment the words "Sensory Processing Disorder" came flying out of the doctor's mouth. Suddenly everything made sense. We began to understand why Bennett would only eat one specific kind of baby food and nothing else until he was 17 months old. We knew why the cries of his baby brother, the doorbell ringing, the vacuum cleaner and the loud roars of a football stadium sent him into an inconsolable tantrum. We knew why he needed to play with his head resting on the floor or why he had to sit in my lap to sit still for longer than two minutes. Suddenly, things started to make sense. And I knew why things were so hard. It wasn't his fault -- it wasn't my fault.
We've been receiving in-home behavior therapy and weekly occupational therapy for six months now. It's helpful knowing the cause, but it's a long and slow road while we patiently try to figure out every little thing that makes up who he is.
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