Lately, my frustrations with Little Rascal have come to a head. His refusal to eat normal foods have hit my level of patience. I finally threw in the towel and waved the white flag. I finally made the call. I called our local child therapist center where Little Rascal and I went in for him to be evaluated. After an hour and a half with him, he was officially diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder.
Our very kind evaluator was concerned when she gave me her results and cautiously asked “are you ok with this?”. I probably surprised her when I said (a little too enthusiastically) “YES!” You see, since I have been grappling with ‘what’s wrong with this poor kid?’ for so long, it was so freeing to be able to put a name to face, er… a name to problem. To finally feel like I haven’t been going out of my mind, was a great feeling indeed. Pediatricians, family members, friends, and even daddy all had at one time or anther said “Oh he’s fine.” “He’ll snap out of it.” “It’s just a phase” “He’s just being naughty”. For this professional to validate my concerns was such a weight lifted off of my shoulders because I knew then that we can move on because now we would finally have help.
Our therapist said that yes, he does indeed have Sensory Processing Disorder, and more specifically, his biggest concerns are with his movement and tactile senses. I must not have been paying too much attention to his delayed gross motor skills, but he is 6-9 months behind. I mostly knew that this kid wasn’t thrilled with certain textures or being messy, but didn’t quite grasp the full importance of it. Both of these issues are the main reason why Little Rascal won’t touch most food. I don’t fully understand it all, but am committed to the process if it will turn our lives around. Living with a child who refuses to eat 90% of the time is stressful beyond belief. You come to the realization that you simply can not force the issue. It puts you completely at their mercy. For this strict-take-no-sheenanegans-momma, this is a hard thing to swallow (pun intended). It has been the biggest mommy challenge I have yet to face.
She recommended that we have a once a week occupational therapy session with their resident food specialist. We went our first week and cautiously went on the trampoline, where he sat on my lap the entire time. Then we moved onto the ball pit with much trepidation. Once we were inside though, Little Rascal loved popping the balls and sorting them by color, but was covering his eyes during the “popping part”. It was pretty cute. After meeting with our therapist, she recommended that we also participate in their ‘food group’, which is basically a time where several non-eaters eat together with their therapists watching and observing.
This is just the beginning, but I hope its the begging of a new day.