Do you know that sometimes when you are in the thick of things you really can’t see what others from the outside looking in can see?
And I am so thankful.
At Tate’s second doctor’s appointment after he arrived home from China at the beginning of August, I was mentioning Eliza’s behavior as we talked about Tate.
As we left that appointment that day, it was casually mentioned that we should get help for Eliza, because it sounded like her sensory challenges were interrupting our lives every single day.
But more like every single hour of every single day.
Blake and I were aware of Eliza’s sensory challenges from the very first morning that we had Eliza in our arms.
That morning when we opened the curtains that were over the giant windows in our hotel room in China, Eliza covered her eyes and started screaming.
We have been limiting Eliza’s sensory world as much as we can, filling her days with controlled sensory activities, and trying to handle it from the training we had before we traveled to China to bring Eliza home.
It wasn’t until it was casually mentioned that we really should get help that I truly dug in my heals to learn ALL I could about sensory processing disorder.
It also gave me the drive to find a therapist that was available, and to continue to fight for the insurance coverage that needs to be approved to be able to see the therapist on a weekly basis. (still waiting on word on that)
The Lord has blessed my efforts.
God is SO good that way.
And I am hoping that the words I use to tell you about Eliza’s amazing transformation will do it justice.
Eliza’s tantrums made no sense to me before.
They were so frequent and so random (so it seemed) that I could not tell what set her off.
Once I studied about sensory challenges, I realized it was her sensory challenges in the form of sensory input that was setting her off.
Things like bright light, the wind outside, smells and noise.
I realized that Eliza’s brain cannot even handle the sensory input of our touch.
So simple really.
This girl cannot be touched right now.
At least not the way we were touching her.
That light touch of my fingers through her hair as I read her a book?
The light touch of one of the kids rubbing her back as they said “Good job, Eliza!” for whatever she had done so well?
Nope. No can do.
So I put out an order that no one is allowed to touch Eliza.
(This has not been easy, at ALL.)
The kind of touch Eliza needs is deep touch.
I have started using a technique called Wilbarger’s brushing.
I brush Eliza’s skin (arms, legs, and back) several times a day with a brush that resembles a mushroom cleaning brush.
It is done with deep pressure.
The therapist taught me how to do it.
Eliza fusses when I start it, but instantly melts into the touch and sensation it allows.
It is helping her SO much.
SO, SO, SO much!
Another thing we are doing with Eliza is handling her tantrums differently.
If she starts to come apart, I (or Blake) scoop her up in a tight hold, and either sit right where we are, go to the rocking chair, or get on the exercise ball and start rocking or bouncing immediately.
This vestibular motion helps Eliza reorganize herself.
Yes, I said instantly!
We are making sure Eliza swings and bounces at non-stressful times in her day too.
The results of these simple things has taken our breath away.
Eliza has found her words.
I think they were here before all the tantrums, but it had gotten so bad, I am really not sure anymore.
Wearing clothes is a hard thing for Eliza.
Now as I am trying to dress her she will say to me, “No, Mom, not that one. It not working! It has a tag.”
So we cut out the tag, try it on, see if it works, no tantrum, and she is wearing clothes.
Getting dressed was a 45 minute ordeal full of melt-downs before.
Eliza is also saying things like “Mom, I so happy!”
“Mom, that smells bad. I no like!”
“Mom, I need to swing!”
“It is too loud! I no like!”
“Mom, I love bouncing!”
And my personal favorite is “Thanks, Mom!” followed by her initiating a huge hug!!
Our sweet baby is hugging us.
Did you read that?!
Our sweet baby is hugging us!!!
Deep touch and motion are working miracles right before our eyes.
There is still SO much more we can do for Eliza.
We are earnestly praying that our insurance will see the need for this therapy.
Can you pray that way with us?
And please, please Praise the Lord for Eliza’s progress while you are at it!
May the Glory be His and His alone.
We love you so very much our precious Eliza Claire!