Posts Tagged With: SPD

The world of SPD never goes away

I’ve been posting a little bit about how the juggle of returning to work part-time was quite an adjustment for our family….

Initially, this mostly revolved around trying to accommodate drop-offs & picks-ups amongst terrible local traffic & a husband who has a completely irregular & all-consuming schedule in the land of our own start-up versus my not-an-inch-of-flexibility work schedule.

But as the weeks past, & we got more into the swing of a new routine, we realized there was another side effect to me working that we did not anticipate. Nor, did we manage very well.

As it turns out, my return to work, albeit part-time, did nothing but exacerbate Mylo’s struggles & SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) symptoms. I began working again sometime around April this year & now that October is approaching, Mylo is finally finding a place where he can cope a little easier with life.


Once I returned to work & when summer vacation & the absence of school hit, poor Mylo just turned into a big ball of distress & frustration. Seeing him now much happier & more able to self regulate on occasion, has made any qualms I had about being at home, disappear in an instant.

Mylo is so much more secure & stable when I am home & that in itself is a huge blessing to witness as a parent.


Anyone who has a kid struggling with SPD will attest to the fact that it takes many different shapes & can vary in degree. And just when you think you’ve got a strategy down… a new issue arises or an old one takes a new spin.

For Mylo, we’ve always struggled with shoes – over summer it could take us 40 minutes of massaging his feet & trying many different socks to find a way to leave the house without pain in his feet. And to his credit, he tries so hard to make himself comfortable, he really does (which in itself is naturally heartbreaking).


He also suffers from a sound & smell sensitivity limiting our surroundings at times. So once out, he often wants to immediately return home.

He is easily overstimulated when his little body can no longer process the sensory input he cannot avoid and this tends to manifest in tantrums & bouts of rage where everyone around him can suffer. Socially inappropriate & the flying judgments are painful.

Another result of this, if Mylo isn’t consumed by frustration & rage, is a high. He can become so high in his behavior that trying to communicate becomes almost impossible. Sometimes he’ll fall asleep in the moment. But sometimes not.

Reasoning & trying to communicate logically is becoming more a part of routine as kids approach 5. They may not agree, or like the way things are, but unlike with a 2 or 3-year-old, they can form a much greater understanding & thus acceptance of circumstances & reason out a means of coping. Mostly.

Mylo though has delayed development & interacting with him currently, requires the recognition that he is more often than not, needing a 3 1/2-4 year old level of communication as opposed to a 5-year-old. But as he is very tall, no one else gets this fact.

There are many more issues that affect Mylo, resulting from SPD but for the most part whilst I was working, getting through the day was actually a challenge for all of us. Both Kevin & I had to constantly check our patience & empathy; I needed time out I wasn’t able to get & Ethan, the big brother, really has to adopt a much more mature stance in that living with Mylo requires flexibility, understanding & acceptance not usually required of a 6-7 year old. He is a trooper that kid. One I am so proud & also inspired by.


Currently though, I’m pleased to say, we are all truly enjoying the here & now. It is like taking a deep, satisfying breath, as Mylo comes down a few levels of intensity post summer. He has always been the most personable, quirky & popular kid I’ve known. You cannot do anything but adore Mylo.

Back in OT, back in school & me being available for drop offs, pick ups, sick days & everything in between – means we can enjoy those parts of Mylo more & more often. And that is making our family unit, much more, a family unit.

We are coming back together again rather than feeling like we are splintered apart & barely holding on.



Categories: Bigger Issues, Family Life, Life as it is, Mummyhood | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The “glare”

On Friday’s, my 5-year-old (Ethan) has a 30 minute swimming lesson & it’s later in the afternoon so my 3-year-old (Mylo) comes along after pre-school.

Mylo’s treat for sitting still & not leaping in the pool or trying to strip down for his own lesson (which is actually on a Sunday), is to watch/play the iPad or to read books with me which is sometimes what he ends up choosing over the iPad.

Sometimes. Naturally the iPad wins on occasion too.

We’re fairly new in the iPad world… we’ve had one a few months but the kids have literally only just gained access recently & on occasion. Mostly I let Ethan play some educational games but in truth we don’t have many instances where it’s employed.

Hence why it’s such a “Friday Fun Day” treat for Mylo.

Anyhow – picture the scene: Mylo engrossed in his iPad; Mummy engrossed in an email reply which had taken all day to get on to; a small gathering of children edging their way toward Mylo, naturally seduced by the sounds & flashing lights that is “Bolt” the movie.

And then come the glares.

Mothers employing the old eye-drilling glare of disapproval. I could feel their wrath reaching deep within my bones.

Comments pouring out – like “Mary! Let’s COUNT the number of flags you can see – isn’t that a good Mommy-Mary game?”… And “Mary, what colour are the flags?”

And of course there I am struggling to remain “oblivious” & vacillating between heart-racing guilt & a desperate need to apologize for my poor, poor parenting (I am a total people pleaser BTW). Completely resenting the fact that I could no longer just enjoy the peace & serenity of a half hour swim lesson.

Without the iPad, I can’t (guilt-free) actually watch Ethan & cheer him on without chasing Mylo around & literally wrangling him – physically manoeuvering him into some semblance of a restrained position, without having CPS (Child Protective Services) called on me.

(That image you may be concocting is, by the way, our usual scenario sans iPad.)

Thus I either take the hit for using the iPad or take the hit for possible child abuse-like behaviour.

When the laser-sharp glare of “the perfect mother” hits, my gut reaction is to launch into an explanation about Mylo having CP & SPD & that TV is his “go-to” in times of anxiety/need of self-regulation; to explain that this is his weekly treat – something I use to entice him (half an hour is a long time in little peoples’ world); that if he let me, I could teach him “stuff” on the games.

I want to explain that our daily reality is also thus: Mylo has SPD which can at times, present like ADD/ADHD. He can get extremely “high” at any time & it doesn’t take a lot of stimulation to do so. Usually it is his reaction to a task that is beyond his physical capabilities. But in addition it comes because Mylo cannot regulate his body like other little people can; he has motor planning difficulties & fine motor delay which simply means that engaging him in things that are challenging is not a wise move in certain environments.

Ethan’s swimming lesson being one such example.

I want to add that in fact I am extremely happy with the progress we’ve made – we can now actually attend swimming for Ethan. Six months ago that would not have been possible without Kevin.

I’ve posted about SPD before – we were in a really tough phase & I wrote partly as I needed to share my struggles; I needed the outlet.

This time I do it in part to make my own lack of directed parenting seem less neglectful (I feel I need permission perhaps?) but also to say if there’s one thing I’m learning from our experiences, it is to be careful when judging children & their behavior  It’s not always what it seems at face value. And, it can be incredibly hard to sit surrounded by judgments when you yourself would like to be experiencing this situation in a very different way also.

We make such progress & mostly Mylo is like any other over-energetic 3-year-old & he is so damn cute & personable, I am actually in love with him head-over-heels, just as he is.

However those subtle, imperceptible delays & challenges for him, make for some moments that are not in the “Perfect Parenting Handbook”; moments I don’t keep have immediate solutions for or the right preventative steps either.

So today I offer up my story for anyone struggling with guilt & judgement & just trying to do the best we can – whether it be because we have tired kids, hungry kids, frustrated kids or kids with more.

Categories: Bigger Issues, Family Life, Mummyhood, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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