Whispering Pines Photography
Capturing Your Memories and Turning Your Moments Into Art
I've just recently began sharing about the journey that we're on with our middle child. We've had concerns for a while about her development; especially in her ability to handle sensory issues. For the longest, we wrote them off as just expecting too much because our oldest was always so advanced in talking, etc... Last summer, we had many discussions about our concerns but, ultimately, decided that she was just having trouble adjusting to having a new brother, me being at work, and just the age.
I decided to bring up our concerns at her 3 year old visit, but did not do well on organizing my thoughts to really articulate what was giving us concerns. See, the hard thing is that unless you are around her a lot, it's easy to either not notice her issues or to write them off as something else. Following her visit, where basically a wait and see approach was adopted (frustrating for me because I wanted to either have them say, yes, there's something there that needs to be explored further or to say, no, there's definitely not any issues), I decided that what I needed to do was to start writing down what I noticed so that the next time I was better able to articulate what we saw on an everyday basis.
Fast forward to early in the spring semester of school and they were doing developmental evaluations at our oldest's school. I didn't realize until I got up there that it was actually for the early intervention program for kids under 3, but, it worked out well because it put me in contact with the lady in charge of the special education program to begin the process of seeing if she qualified for services. We still don't have a diagnosis, and most likely never will, but she did qualify for services. We were given several options for receiving services through the school system, and opted for her to receive speech and occupational therapy through the preschool. Suffice it to say, she loves it!
Excited to be heading to school!
Her main delay is in speech/communication, so she receives speech therapy both days that she attends preschool. Part of the reason we chose this route for services was because it was more informal, which works better for her when dealing with transition issues. Also, she is able to work on interacting and participating in the same activities as other kids. I have to say, I have been very impressed with the preschool. I wasn't sure what to expect with living in a small, rural county, but it offers pretty much everything that I had read that you want in a special education/early intervention preschool. I also love how individualized the approach is; they don't try to make each child a cookie cutter, but rather design lesson plans for the children's individual needs. Cayleigh already knows which tray is hers and will go straight to it and start playing/learning. She has come such a long ways since I started working on developing her an early intervention plan for at home at the start of the year and adding in the interventions through the preschool has already been such a benefit.
I forgot my camera the first day that she attended school and then wasn't able to go with her the second. So, I made sure to bring it her third day. It worked out well that I had it that day because a special group of students came up from New Orleans to play with the kids at the school. It can certainly be difficult to get a large group shot in normal settings/conditions, with a group of kids who are anxious for a bus ride and who may or may not understand how you are trying to pose them, you just scan heads and hope for the best, lol! Cayleigh got to go on her very first bus ride. She has definitely come a long ways since she was a baby (and couldn't handle really any sensory input different from normal) because being on a crowded bus didn't bother her. That said, the issue with transitions, yeah, she didn't handle having to go home after the bus ride well. Baby steps ...
Once we got home, though ...
Cereal (with milk), icecream (chocolate, or, if we're out, with chocolate sauce/syrup will somewhat satisfy her), and soup ... as long as we have those foods, she is happy. And, she eats them every day at some point, oftentimes multiple times throughout the day. Let's not forget, a new spoon and bowl for each. Here, lunch after getting home was a bowl of cereal with milk.
The group of students from New Orleans brought presents for the kids at the school. Cayleigh has definitely enjoyed hers!
Anyone who has followed my photography for a while knows that we have lots of pictures where she falls asleep in random places. Some of it, I believe, is where she truly just tires herself out because she goes nonstop until she just can't keep going anymore. Some, too, though, is her body/brain protecting itself from sensory overload. I found an article just recently talking about that and the light bulb went off because so many of her falling asleep in random places episodes are when we are in crowds, where there's been a lot of noise/activities, or immediately following a sensory meltdown.
The day here was apparently too much for her ... we found her asleep in the kitchen floor.
Life with a child who has sensory/communication issues definitely keeps me on my toes but it has made all of the little victories that are so easy to take for granted that much more special. And, I love watching her face light up as she heads to school and as she figures out how to do something that she previously didn't do. The sky is the limit!