Friday, August 24, 2007

Sensory Issues

3 days ago Ang dropped by my blog and commented on my vacation travelogue:

Enjoyed reading about your vacation. We kicked around a Colorado road trip this summer as well, but were concerned about the sensory stuff associated with elevation changes. (Ended up going to St. Louis instead). I'd be interested in knowing if Buddy Boy had any problems? Or does he generally not have sensory issues anyway?

I almost replied that "No, Buddy Boy doesn's have any sensory issues." Then after a bit I thought, well no, he doesn't really have any sensory issues, if you don't count things like when he orders grits and sausage (one of the few restaurant foods he'll eat) the grits have to be the right consistency. Or the fact that when he gets stressed a bit, he reverts to chewing on things (something that he doesn't do nearly as much as he used to. Or that the sun bothers him when it's too bright, the music's too loud when he doesn't like it, too soft when he does, and yeah, he's not wild about clearing his ears to equalize at altitude.

But a couple of things stand out. One, that all of these things are worlds easier to manage (both for himself as well as us) than they used to be. And two, that we really don't notice them much anymore. They're just part of who he is, and how he is. And accomodating him and what sensitivities he does have is not that big a deal, and comes naturally.

We plan ahead and let him pick which of his stuffed toys to take with him as a comfort item. I always carry a few extra McDonald's straws in the car (they're thicker and heavier than other restaurant's straws, and hold up better for chewing). His soft sweatshirt jacket is left in the open in the car, so that he can lay on it as need be (or escape under it). Although we give him gum to chew as we climb in the mountains, the first time his ears are about to pop he gets anxious. We've talked about it ahead of time, though, and subsequent times are weathered quite well by him.

So I guess the bottom line is, Buddy Boy is not nearly as sensitive as he used to be, he's gotten better at figuring out ways to help himself and communicating to us how to help him, and we've gotten better at anticipating things that might need amelioration.

So there aren't any issues, after all. I was right to begin with.


bigwhitehat said...

That in and of itself is a blessing.

mumkeepingsane said...

I guess we've also stopped noticing Patrick's sensory issues as time has passed. He certainly still has them, but I think the biggest change has been that we see them as similar to our own preferences and they've become normal. Now you've got me thinking so I'm probably going to pay attention in the next couple of days to see if anything has changed without my knowlege.

mcewen said...

It is amazing how we all recalibrate. I was just having my older son evaluated. [again]

I always forget that he has just as many sensory issues as his little brother, it's just that Junior's are so extreme that they get so much more attention.
Best wishes

Steve D said...

Same thing with my son. We brought him all the way to 11,000 feet this summer and he did fine. The brightness at that altitude was difficult for him, but he adjusted.

Daisy said...

"he's gotten better at figuring out ways to help himself and communicating to us how to help him"... worth a million. No, priceless.