Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sensory Senosry all around

This has been a particularly rigid week for my Kennedy. As we know, Keddy is currently diagnosed on the spectrum with PDD-NOS. While, we (her therapists, doctors, and family) aren't quite sure this is the proper diagnosis for her - it is what fits right now, particularly when it comes to sensory processing.

Yesterday, Molly wore shoes with laces. Molly rarely wears shoes with laces. Kennedy flipped out! Then Kennedy needed to make sure she picked out my shoes (thank goodness she picked matching flip flops!) and her shoes (again matching!). Then when I wouldn't let Keddy climb the bar stools to sit at the counter, she decided it was a good idea to be stuck under them. We then had to proceed out of the house, down the stairs, into the car and to Molly's school in a very regimented order. Every time I stepped out of place, I heard about it with screams of contempt!

We then had OT with Keddy's amazingly talented Birth to 3 OT Steph. We love her! She's so in-tune with the kids and with what's on the cutting edge of their needs. As an added bonus, our fabulous teacher Tammy followed the session up with one of her own. Kennedy's Annual Review is due this month (I can't believe she's been with Birth to 3 for a year!) and they wanted to go over scores with me. It's so sweet, they were preparing me and bracing me, since some of the scores were really bad - but I could have predicted the outcomes of the tests. I wasn't surprised, but relieved that there is documented proof of Kennedy's struggles. How else will we help her if we don't know what to target?

Her scores were extremely low in the sensory profile, except for hearing - so low that it appears 98% of the population functions better then she does (it's a new standardized test - which is incredibly beneficial for obtaining services!). Her fine motor actually tested ok. But her self-help, safety awareness, and gross motor all tested well below average. We have speech tomorrow, so we'll see how those scores turn out. One of the frustrating things for Kennedy is that her cognitive skills are at or above average. She's got all this knowledge in there - but it doesn't always know how to come out. No wonder she throws herself or objects to the floor so frequently. Or better yet, spins herself in continuous circles without getting dizzy!

So - I'm left not knowing quite what to think. There are different schools of thought on Sensory Processing Disorders, although little debate that sensory issues are extremely relevant and can be debilitating. There is a school of thought that would classify SPD as it's own diagnosis, however most doctors I have spoken with classify it as a piece of a larger disorder such as autism. This then leaves me to ponder the relationships between the 2 girls issues. Molly has seizures, and Kennedy - although we were concerned for awhile, does not appear to have seizures (we aren't out of the woods; you never are). Molly tests on the spectrum and so does Keddy. Kennedy clearly has sensory issues, but I could have answered every question on the test and more the same for Molly. And so the Mommy Medical Detective will keep documenting, observing, and researching.

Kennedy working on a 24 piece puzzle

Kennedy and her completed puzzle
After all these years though, I've learned to rejoice in their accomplishments and abilities and while I acknowledge their disabilities, I try to help them get the most out of every experience. Today I will celebrate the fact that Molly has an actual best friend, Chloe. Someone she asks me to invite over every day, someone she considers her friend - this is a big thing for Molly! And for Kennedy, I will celebrate that she ate almost her whole bowl of soy yogurt with a spoon and got none on her bib or shirt and that she continues to build 24 piece puzzles all by herself at only 2 1/2 years old!

1 comment:

  1. Amanda,

    You have 2 amazing kids! :-) I love your blog! I teach 1st grade in Meriden and wish I had parents like you.