Why mint?


Why mint?

I love mint. I enjoy its smell. It reminds me of winter kisses.

I love its taste. The cool feeling as it rushes over my tongue.

I love to chew mint gum.

I LOVE candy canes.  I love to buy them just to stir hot drinks.

Why mint?

Why is it the one thing my dear daughter cannot handle?


I cannot open a piece of gum, a candy cane, or even sneak a cup of peppermint mocha coffee without that nose sounding off to her brain stem that there is danger.
 Mint is not dangerous. It is soothing and wondeful. 
Well, at least to me...

Wait a minute.....

These moments are not meant for me to put away
the things I enjoy. 
They are for me to help that snarling growling crying monster 
to relax and COPE with life.
I try breathing, and get told, "Really, Mom, that is soo annoying." But, we work together, and she can get through it.
It is called compromise. 
I do try to limit my mint intake, and she is trying to accept it.

But, there are still moments when
I have to ask "Why?"

oops is just not a strong enough word

It has been a long while since Ruth has had a melt down. 
So long in fact, I cannot name the last one. 
That is until yesterday morning. 

I let Jackson out, like I do every morning before I head out to work. Ruth began to cry like the dog died.
I yelled.
I mean, YELLED!
I told if she didn't knock it off, I was going to have unpleasant consequences for her. 
Like my screaming wasn't unpleasant. (enter derisive snort)
I realized my mistake as she slunk down the hall to her room.
The dog came back in, and followed me to her bedside.
I have to go to work, and she is crying still.
I ask if she wants me to lay with her a bit.
I get a sound, which indicated that probably I missed my opportunity.
I lifted my bag to leave, and heard a pat on the bed. 
I figured it was for Jackson. 
It wasn't.
It was for me.
I crawled onto the bed beside her. 
She let me wipe the tears from her face.
No apologies. 
But, forgiveness was there.
Forgiveness for her, as I realized it was not her desire to have an outburst. 
It was her anxiety getting the best of her.
Forgiveness for me, as I held her close, and sang softly to her as she began to doze.
I left her there, quietly dreaming. 

Science for free

Last Friday I took a day off. It was supposed to be about packing for our camp trip, but it was a bit more.

I spent some time cleaning the front of the house, which has desperately needed it. Ruth joined me, but only to keep me company. Eventually she lost interest, and wandered back inside. I plugged along, and picked up an old vinyl table cloth from under the window near our front steps. I tossed it aside, and saw a single yellow jacket emerge from the wrinkles. As it landed, I noticed the nest attached to the underside. I left it 'be' and kept on plugging along.
A bit later, Ruth came out again. She was chattering away about this or that, mostly her newest interest, "The Hunger Games". All of a sudden she shrieked, "Mom, Look at those bees!" Over where the tablecloth used to 'be' (hehehe, I am having a bit of fun with that), there was a small swarm of yellow jackets. They were just flying around. "Why are they doing that?" Ruth asked. My response was to say something about the missing nest, and I showed it to her. There were no adults near by, so we poked it with a stick. (No, we could not leave it "be'. hehe)
There were yellow bulges in the holes of the nest, and we picked at them. How cool to 'be' able to check out the different levels of bee morphing? So, I encouraged Ruth to bring the nest inside and poke around to see what she could find. She took several photos, which I will have to attempt to upload at another point in time. She ended her project by lining up the different stages, and adding two more. (The last two stages included stingers and wings.)
Free, Fun, This is why I have ALWAYS wanted to home school!


I have no doubt that home schooling was the best choice for RuthE.
Today, she began to use her new curriculum. We decided to stay eclectic in style. So, we use a variety of materials to entice her. I like how they are set up so that it doesn't take a Master's Degree to teach. But, I digress from the YESSS.

I came home tonight after a very long day which ended with a meeting at church. It was near 8 PM. I was tired to say the least. Ruth had her work done and on the table. It is a good start. But, I was not amazed by it. Though, I must say it was a huge and wonderful change to hear "I can learn from my mistakes" come from her mouth when I pointed out some issues with math. 

I was amazed by some sculpting she did using clay purchased for her pottery wheel. AMAZED! Several reasons:
1) They looked like an adult made them. Details, with precision. Okay, maybe not perfection, but still so wonderful!
2) She did them instead of watching television. This has been a long battle in my home. I get it, but I don't always like it.
3) Ruth accepted the compliments, and the critiquing. (After I was settled in, she made several other critters that needed some tweaking.) 
These critters are both gifts, and for sale. Ruth has  4H goal to raise money for her cat sanctuary of choice. I believe she can do it. Most importantly, so does she.

First things first

No, I am not discussing evolution.

More like eating dessert before dinner.

We went off to the CT Science Center on Saturday.
With the way are choosing to home school, this works for us.
Ruth and I went to see the dinosaurs before they disappeared. Literally, the exhibit ended on Sunday. :o)

What an awesome place to visit. I am glad we went without a group. Ruth was excited to go, and was rocking my shoulder at 7 AM to get a move on. Nope. See lessons below. We got there later than she hoped, and the place was hopping. But, it was not crowded. No concerns for her there. The lines were short for the exhibits. She was able to go from thing to thing and learn at her leisure. We took as much or as little time as she needed. We even stayed in one spot for me to sit and relax at the roof top garden.

 Lesson 1:
 Mom would like to sleep in on Saturday mornings as long as she can. Not a great idea to wake her before then without a cup of tea.

Lesson 2:
Follow your instincts for best learning. If you are beginning to feel anxious, move on. If a headache is forming, find a quieter exhibit. This works for all of us, and we both have things that we need. Give breaks when asked for, and voila', we want to stay longer.

Lesson 3:
Dinosaurs of my day were dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs today are big bird lizards.
(no, they were not yellow)
T-Rex babies are thought to have feathers like baby chickens.
Imagine that.

Lesson 4:
Learning with hands on is a great way to learn!
We can work on writing skills, and we will.
To start off the school year, field trips rock!
Why do schools wait until the end of the year to do this stuff?

Fall is a beginning

It is odd to consider that fall is a beginning of a cycle.
We often place it at the end, like the moments before the climax in a good book.
This week, I see it differently.
We are getting ready to begin our first full year of homeschooling.  I have struggled with what to bring before my girl. Why? I want the best for her. I want to meet her needs, and still meet the mandates of what other children her age will learn.
I have wasted time worrying about that stuff. I am done, and will look forward with eagerness. I realize that Ruth already is beginning to show eagerness to learn. She would rather go to the science center than anywhere else. Hmm, sounds like membership there would be a good thing. We go tomorrow.
Structure is what Ruth struggles with.
That brings about anxiety, and tears. Sunday school and church are the places where she is learning to deal with those issues. I fear that it maybe will work against me. But, I PRAY that I will be more honest and open with others that care about her, and she will develop those skills in a place that is as loving and supportive as her first home.
I have hopes and dreams for this year.
That is why I think of this fall as a beginning, not an end.
Looking forward is not looking back.


Last post I spoke of the turmoil my daughter was going through. That was about 18 months ago. The whirlwind of tears and tummy aches continued all year. The outcome, November 2011, Ruth became so sick, she could hardly move. Doctors, specialists, Mayo Clinic contacted. By the end of December, she had only attended school about 5 times over the course of 6 weeks. The specialist gave us a note for her to be schooled at home, if she needed to be. In our town, that means tutoring. I was so tired of fighting with the school system. My daughter needed something different. My husband and I chose to follow our guts.
We took the PLUNGE!
Homeschooling began on the day that the school finally decided that our family might need some help. Take it easy, the resources say. 6 weeks to 6 months of decompression. Our instincts are that she needs 'school', but we began slow and easy. The hardest assignment the first week was to write thank you notes to family members.
We tried some curriculum assessments. They are 'go at your pace' and we chose not to use the publisher. The results showed us where to start. Back in the third grade level of math. We shook our heads, but we figured, better to start slow and easy.
Sentences, and single digit multiplication. Therapist appointments spent on how to build confidence.
Jump ahead to the end of January. Recheck at the specialist. The final outcome: by following our gut, the doctor said we did the BEST thing for our daughter. We can expect it to take much longer than 6 months for her to recover from the trauma of what she experienced in public school. Not that the teachers were awful, but there was no support for her there. Our sensory kids struggle with feeling safe in their own body. Anxiety reeks havoc in their minds.
This month, Ruth has started 2 different 4H clubs, is volunteering at a local cat shelter, began a "Girl's Circle" group in a nearby town. She attends Sunday school and church with limited struggle. And she is looking forward to her pottery classes that begin in March.
Tummy aches? Rare, and obvious to anxiety. Tears, well, they are more than I would like. But, she is changing from little girl to young woman.
I couldn't be more pleased with her progress, and hope to begin to track more here. Especially since we are still Sensing the Differences.

Something is up

Can't put my finger on it, but something is up with my girl.

Angry outbursts.

Tears for no reason.

Upset tummy.

Difficulty sleeping.

Usual signs that a full fledged melt down is coming, kind of like the storm brewing in the southeast.

Watch out friends and family, classmates, and others.
Unless I can figure it out and quick, we are going get blasted!

Sensational Siblings

My Ruth has sensational siblings. The boys don't always 'get it', but they have learned through the years what makes Ruth tick. They don't always agree with how Darrell and discipline her, and think we are too soft, but then, they grew up with a mother that didn't get it until it was too late, and tried to make them fit the mold of the world.
Thank God, I learned better!
My thoughts on Ruth sensational sibs have me thinking about these instances:

Nate laying on the floor with 8 year old Ruth laying across his back. He was helping her while visiting Nana, and she was a little out of sorts. She lay along his back, watching him play a video game peering over his shoulder.

DJ hand over hand showing 7 year old Ruth how to feel the imprint of a deer track, and then a bit later showing her how to poke through scat to identify what kind of animal it came from. He spent an hour or two that day helping her to use her senses to explore the great outdoors.

Brian struggles with his own sensory issues, but to watch him sit beside 9 year Ruth during a dinner meltdown will be forever imprinted in my mind. He spoke with a calming voice, gathering her in her weighted blanket and just helped her through it. This from a young man that only a year or two before would have been the one breaking down.

I cannot imagine being a sibling of a child with such needs. The roller coaster of modulating is hard for me as a mother, but to be a child, it must be horrendous. I can only say, I am proud of my boys, and glad that Ruth has them in her life.


I was nervous about taking Ruth into DC via the Metro.
She doesn't tend to do well with lots of people. I forgot about the rhythm that tracks entice. The biggest problem was that she did not wish to sit, preferring instead to stand. I imagine this increased the input, and met her needs well. I will not be so nervous in the future.

On the side, I have learned that Ruth may be old enough to be expected to stay in the area of our beach blanket, but it does not mean she will. As with a young toddler who is focused on trying to touch a fluttering butterfly, Ruth was so focused on collecting shells at the beach, she got out of my range of voice.

About a half mile of my trying to catch up to her, and she finally stopped and took in her surroundings. Ooops. She looked so afraid when she saw me huffing and puffing my way to her. "I am sorry, Mommy," she said with tears welling in her eyes. I gave her the biggest smile I could muster. I am not mad, but I didn't want to lose track of you", I explained. I realized that she was not being naughty, but instead was just following an instinct. The smile was enough to relax her mood, and our walk back was filled with giggles and chatter as she realized how far she had wandered.


If I had one word for my girl, this is the one:
Ruth lives life to the fullest, and she loves with all her heart.
The girls are part of that love, and I watch each day as she expresses her thoughts and feelings to them. I see how much growth she has made as I hear her explain how to add numbers or make a choice about lunch. She gives her all, and then some. :)
Ruth loves to read, to paint, color, and take care of her cat, BamBam. I have evidence of the reading coloring and painting in every room of the house. Sometimes in places I wish I didn't, like the light bulbs....
BamBam has been worried over all of his life. We fostered for his mother, and he was part of the package at 2 weeks old. We could let them go when it was time, so we adopted them. This cat has patience. Currently, he is sporting a bright orange collar, complete with rhinestones and a jingle bell. He has been given his special canned dinner, with a bit of milk mixed in. And played with his new cat crate. Tonight he will be allowed to use the new remote controlled mouse. :) All purchased with Ruth's Christmas money. Gifts for her kitty bought with gifts for her.
Those moments when Ruth wraps her body around mine in an effort to be as close as she can. Maybe it is meeting her need for input, but for me, it is showing her need for sharing the love she feels. I cannot describe the joy in my heart as I consider this little girl's loving heart.
Forget the rest of the battles of clothes, and toys and sounds and food.... remember the

and then there were three

Our stepson and his family moved in several months ago. Ruth has always had a room to herself, and now must share with 2 others, girls her age, who are close as sisters ought to be, and do not understand her needs. We still struggle daily with this, and Ruth just doesn't get how if she shares, and they don't, how they can be angry with her when she does something like stretch her legs across theirs. I mean after all she is sharing her space with them, isn't she?
This morning I woke to her tears. She was in trouble for writing "I hate you" to C, after feeling left out and neglected once again. Strong emotions, come from my strong girl. I see so much growth every day, a giving nature shines through often. Gifts of simple nature, things like the thought of how the girls miss their kitty, and asking if they could adopt one of ours.
I hope that someday, her love will be able to overcome the walls that others build...


Photo courtesy of thelensflare.com

I know that most people have experienced difficulty with thunderstorms at some point in their life. I have, and well, I have mentioned before that Ruth still does. Ruth has had a couple of busy, fun filled days, and took a nap yesterday afternoon. The result: she was up at 10 PM when the thunderstorm started, and I was ready to head to bed. When I say up, I mean playing in her room after being put to bed. I wasn't as sweet as I could have been when she came into the living room to say she was 'scared'. I sent her back to her room, and told her she would be fine. Of course, I really didn't realize there was a thunderstorm going on, as the curtains were drawn, and the TV blaring.

5 minutes later, I went to crawl into my bed, and in popped Ruth. I was still feeling grouchy, but had noticed the lightening through my bedroom window. "Mommy, I just want to talk for a little bit. Is that OK?", Of course it was. I was comfy in bed, and she laid across the foot chatting about how she thinks of our dog, Sam, as a therapy dog, and how she wishes he would sleep in her room. Of course, he sleeps in my room. She has her cat and typically there are 2 guinea pigs. (Right now, there are 4- she is pet sitting for a friend.)

Before long, I told her that I was going to turn off the light. I wanted to see the lightening, and help her to adjust to it in a safe environment. She crawled up to the pillows, and snuggled with my hair rubbing on her nose. We talked about what makes her afraid of storms, and she really was not able to label the cause. Then, she spoke some of the sweetest words, "You know what, Mommy? I feel safe here cuddled next to you and being held close in your arms."

Teachable a moment! (as well as precious memory....)

I asked her to describe how she feels, and to try to paint a picture in her mind of this moment. The lightening and thunder outside, the safe, warm feeling inside. "That way," I suggested. "You will have something to help you when you are somewhere I am not. You can just remember this moment, like I will."

You see, in our home, we deal with SPD a lot. But, almost as often, it is the anxiety that gets the best of us. So, I hope that I was able to build a small, but firm, foundation for another storm. You know like the old children's song....

The wise man builds his house upon the rock.

The wise man builds his house upon the rock.

The wise man builds his house upon the rock.,

and the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and floods came up.

The rains came down and floods came up.

The rains came down and floods came up.

But, the house on the rock stood firm.

Maybe, just maybe, Ruth will find her storms in life are bearable, because she has an inner strength no one can take away. Her faith, and well, her family's love.

Hairy Details

When you have a child with Sensory Processing Disorder, one of the issues tends to be brushing/ combing their hair. With Ruth, this is a huge difficulty. She can do the front, but the back is hard to manipulate. I struggle to get her to let me help. The tears flow, and it breaks my heart. But I do not want her to go out with a huge mess of snarls. She has enough to contend with...

We have tried the short pixie cut, but then she didn't have the length she needed for stroking the hair across her nose in an effort to calm herself. That is when we had our last bout of hair pulling, silver dollar sized bald spot. Not pretty, and very concerning. Thankfully, we acted on it, and well, that is what got us our diagnosis: Trichotillomania, General Anxiety Disorder, and finally- SPD. Each step has been long and tiring, but that is a different post.

Back to hair----

After the pixie cut, Ruth was asked to be a flower girl for her cousin's wedding. Ruth wanted to have her hair done, and so we grew it out. Oh, how sweet it looked the day of the wedding. :) That was last year, and though we have had a few days of sweet hair styles, Ruth cries when we try to brush it. We have tried every kind of brush/ comb imaginable. It just is hard to deal with. Who wants their child's day to start with tears, or have their self esteem take a nose dive as you point out where they missed brushing day after day. I know I don't...

The other day we were at the library with our pal, Meg. Meg wears her hair pretty short, and in a wedge.

I just saw that look on a woman at a party last week.

Selena Gomez, one of Ruth's favorite actors, just cut her long hair into a longer wedge.

Look who got their hair cut into a wedge!

Isn't it sweet? Long hair for nose rubbing, short hair in back without a rat's nest. We think she looks a bit like one of her favorite characters, who lives her life to the fullest: Ramona. She got this morning, and her hair was cute. Brushed with ease and no tears....
Yes, this haircut makes both mother and daughter, happy!

Baking Up a New Outlook

Ruth has a friend, "L". At first, we were not sure about "L" from the parent stand point. Ruth often left her house in tears, and when "L" was here there was quite a bit of fighting. Finally, I told "L" that we don't like fighting at our house, and if she wants to go home, it is okay. I will be glad to take her. Amazingly, the fighting stopped.

"L" has her own set of difficulties. I do not feel at liberty to discuss them, except for one which is pertinent to this post. She is the youngest of 5 sisters. Now, I am the youngest of 4, and my Nana was the youngest of 5. I have often been spoiled by my sisters, not teased to tears. I do not recall them harassing my friends. In fact, the opposite. But, "L" has a different family life style. Her sisters fight, often.

Yesterday, Ruth asked to visit "L" for the afternoon. Ruth was excited and really wanted to go. I let her. It turns out that the older sisters were in charge. They locked Ruth out of rooms, and out of the house. They teased her often, and made up mean songs. When their mother came home, Ruth didn't tell her about all of this, because in the past the sisters have lied about the behavior. Mom offered for Ruth to have dinner, thinking the girls had done the prep work she asked. Apparently they were too busy being nasty to remember, and so dinner wasn't going to be until after 8. Ruth was told it was going to be too late for her to stay for the birthday cake. Ruth called home in tears. I went immediately to pick her up. After she came out to greet me, we tried to go in to get her things. The door was locked. Ruth began to cry again. I ushered her toward the car. As I was getting in "L" and Mom appeared with Ruth's things. They commented on how Ruth left without asking for help in finding them. I explained about the door. Mom said she was int he shower. I believe her. She is a very nice woman, who maybe doesn't know about what is truly going in on. She has a lot on her plate, and I didn't feel it was time to add on. SO, we thanked her for the visit, and left.

On the way home, Ruth asked if we could bake a cake. She bought a mix about a month ago and was told when she was ready, she could make it on her own. She expressed such delight in making this cake. She ripped open the box. Used my good Fiskers pinking shears to cut the plastic bag. UGH! Cracking eggs, there were squeals of delight. Our eggs have the occasional double yolk. She stirred up the mix, measuring liquid in the right kind of measuring cups. :) The chuckles abounded from Grandpa and I as she licked the side of the bowl after pouring it into the pan, and then proceeded to lick the spatula that we needed to scape the remains. Whatever....
Ruth sat and gazed at her "un- birthday" cake as it baked.
She talked about the way it would taste, and the frosting she would place on it. She licked the stove- yes, I know- and decided it didn't tasted the way she thought it would. Good, if it had tasted good, I would be in trouble. She'd be licking every one's stove.... Off topic. We invited Grandpa to come and have cake for breakfast, as he needed to leave while it was still baking.
When the cake cooled, we applied the frosting from a can, and Ruth lathered on the sprinkles. She had a small piece, complete with lights off and candles. The delight on her face showed me that she had a new outlook. The tears were gone. The pleasure of her own creation bloomed.
Ah, if only we could find a way to bottle this to send along with her to school. :)
PS: We have a new house rule. "L" may come here to play as often as she wants. Ruth is no longer allowed to play over there. It is a sad thing, but I think it is for the best.

The strength within

Today was pretty warm, some would say hot. I have been doing school work most of the day while sitting in front of the air conditioner. I have no choice, the work has to be done.

Ruth asked early this morning, before my eyes were even open, if she could invite a friend over. I told her she could, after all her relationship skills have grown to the point where if I have school work, she can play with a pal with out an eagle eye watching. :)

Ah, good intentions... No friend though. No one was answering their phone. Frustrated tears sprang from her eyes. After all, she had dressed up with her new 'funky' outfit, and lip gloss.

Maybe we could go out shopping?
  • No, sweetie, I have school work.

How about the pet store, I would love to pet puppies.

  • No, darling, I have to do this, it is due.

But, I am bored and tired of TV.

  • Thank goodness, but I am sorry. Daddy is busy doing yard work, why not go with him?

No, thank you. I really wanna' go somewhere to pet a puppy or swim or something.

  • I have to finish this. You know it is important.

Okay. I will go play for awhile. Can I paint a box for Erin's present? .....

I finally had enough of the school work making my eyes go wacky. I suggested Ruth get her swimsuit on, and we drove down the road to the small beach. She brought her bucket for fresh water mussel shells. I brought, well, my book that I was using for my project, and a highlighter to highlight the passages I needed.

Ruth got wet, and entertained me with dumping water over her head. It was cute. She dug a river and played, all the while eying the raft out about 100 feet from shore.

I wanna swim to the raft.

  • Go ahead if you want.

I am afraid to.

  • You have swam out there before.

But, I had people in the water with me. (We were the only ones at the beach.)

  • Honey, it sounds like you are letting your anxiety win.

But, Mommy, I want to go out there, but I am afraid.

  • I understand you are. I cannot go with you, I do not have my swimsuit. It seems like you have two choices, Darling. You can allow your fear to stop you or you can choose to move past it. I can not do this for you, you must decide.

A few minutes go by. More dirt is played with. More passages highlighted. A splash is heard.

Strength within my girl propelled her the distance to the raft. There she sunned for awhile before coming back to shore. I pulled up my shorts and met her about half way. Now, I can sit and do some more school work, and she is content for the evening.

I made a few changes, with Ruth's help.

I thought, if the blog is about her, it should be one that somewhat reflects her.

So, here it is.

The hot pink, cheetah look.

I hope you enjoy it. :)

Don't forget to check out Hopeful Parents on the sidebar. It is fantastic....

Explaining things

One of the hardest things for me is having to explain Ruth to people. The worst ones to get through to? Family members, lately her brother, Brian.
Tonight, Ruth had several meltdowns over 'special' things: her swing, a seat near the fire. It is so hard to get her to share. The meltdowns are tremendous, and can happen without a glimpse of them coming. Thankfully, as a family, we are working to keep her to 'normal' standards for her age. Occasionally, we might help another person to understand why a certain spot is important to Ruth. I find it helps when she is having difficulty with a friend who is visiting. But, when it comes to 'the girls', Ruth's nieces, I feel that they seem to always have to be the ones to give up, as does Darrell. Tonight, we dealt with the meltdowns, and stood our ground for our granddaughters. In the long run, we believe it helps Ruth as well. I did apologize to Bobby and Chrissy (my stepson and daughter-in-law) about the behaviors. They told me not to worry about it. After all, I had dealt with Brian just an hour before.
You see, Brian was diagnosed with Dyspraxia as a young child. I had no support from a doctor or the school. it was difficult, and his will was very strong. It still is. As a result, Brian had difficulty with anything physical. I let things go, and "helped" him by giving him excuses not to do the things he was told to. "It is too hard" or "My body hurts" were allowed excuses to get out of most situations.
Brian watches me with Ruth, and know that I regret letting things go for him. He attempts to hold me accountable to making her tow the line. Now, this is hard, because he does not understand that his expectations are based on his own age, not hers. He thinks I am full of it. I have spent time trying to explain things to him, and well, he seems to want to understand, but he thinks she is playing me.
I wish I had an answer on how to explain things to others. SPD is not a diagnosis that is easy to comprehend. There are no tests that are conclusive to say it is this chemical or that neuron. The anxiety is just as tough to understand. As he says, often, "We all have sensory and anxiety, Mom." He just doesn't get that Ruth struggles with both at a level that is interfering with day to day life. UGH!
Oh, well, I will plug along. He may
get it' or not. The bottom line, I know he loves her and wants the best for her. I will just keep monitoring things, and pray that I can get through the rest of the summer.

Support Systems

As a parents of a child, whether with 'special needs' or not, it is good to have a support system. Living so far from family, my system is at times smaller than I would like. But.i think that is where the internet comes into play.

Before I go on, you should know, I do have some friends that understand Ruth, and I just have to say, it is wonderful, just wonderful. My friend, Meg, for instance, will always find a way to help me to relax and see Ruth's unique talent for being open to saying what is on her mind. Meg is the one that bought a the cat rock the other day. She has a son that has dealt with anxiety as well, and Meg just always seems to be able to go with the flow. I know she has moments, and that is what helps. I met Meg when I was working in the worst job I have ever had. Each day, I think she came in just to help me to get through the day with one smiling face. It was horrible. Meg pointed me in the direction of my current work locale, and I can not thank her enough.

In any case, I think I had a point.

Oh, yah, support systems.

I have been reading some blogs for almost as long as I have known about blogging. These ladies just have no idea how much their lives have touched mine. For instance, Michelle offered to buy one of Ruth's Rocks. We prayed for her daughter Riley as they were raising funds for a service dog. I wish it could have been more, but I know that it was what we could do, so we did. Then, Michelle wrote about a new place for parents to gather. It is called Hopeful Parents, and you know it has been great to visit there. If you happen onto my blog, please, go check it out. You will not be sorry to have them as a part of your support system. The things that are talked about range from food issues to Autism to Sleep apnea, and the list goes on.

Little things to those on the outside, your know "behavior issues" ... the parents know just how hard it is to seperate an 8 year old's attitude from her sensory issies or anxiety. Find a support, whether from your mother who reads as many books as you do {Thank you, Mom} to the local pal who helps you laugh to the person you may never meet in person that helps with achieving a goal in whatever manner they can, you will not regret it.

Finding Her Way

Ruth loved camp. It was the best time, and I am so thankful. I found it was truly good for me as well. RESPITE is the word I heard as I described the way I felt. It was three days of not worrying about what was going to happen next. I sat and read books, enjoyed some down time. What a blessing. :)
Now, today, we went to the library for the rock painting activity. She needed me to stay close by. I should have realized that would be the way when she came out of her room dressed in her yoga pants with a flannel shirt covering a tank top. This outfit does not match, but it is her favorite. I have a feeling it is a comfort measure, as the temperature was 90 degrees. She insisted, and I let her wear it. I knew that it was not worth fighting over. Good choice. We got the library, where Ruth grabbed my hand. Last time, she ran downstairs without a second glance. I sat nearby as she painted her rocks. Everyone was shown how to make a lady bug. Ruth made two.

Then, she made a cat and one with a heart. They were adorable. Imagine my surprise when she asked me if I thought she could sell them. 50 cents for the small ones, and a dollar for the larger ones. I said I thought so, and she tried it out on my pal, Meg. When asked what she is going to do with the funds, Ruth eagerly replied "I am going to put it toward my Camp Wightman fund."
See, when we let go, sometimes our kids can find their own way...

Going Out into the World

One thing that can be said of our Sensory Seeking Kids: they want to experience everything. Touching helps them to understand things they have not experienced, or experienced to its fullest. Investigating and moving can make many of us tired after only a few minutes, but it is not enough for them. At home, it is workable. We automatically convert our living space to meet the needs of our families. But out in the world…. It can be a task and a half to meet their needs.

Ruth is at her first "sleeping over camp". There is a Baptist camp that is less than 10 miles from our home. It helps to know that if there is a need, we can be there in no time. :) That said, I must say that the one thing about leaving her somewhere is in trying to explain her behaviors and how to best suit the need, either for out put or for retreat. The same situation can present different outcomes.

My mother suggested I write a letter to explain how to best handle her needs. I thought about it, but it caused me great anxiety. How can I possibly explain what to try in all circumstances? I can hope that I have prepared her to follow the rules, and to navigate her needs within the boundaries. I can only ask that the leaders be sensitive and understand that she is not always trying to misbehave, though sometimes she does. :)

My comfort level was met when I registered her, though the counselor did not know anything about SPD or anxiety. He seemed to be open to understanding, and well, it helped that there is a woman in one of the other sessions that jumped in to offer her aid. (She is a paraprofessional and knew what to ask.)

It is hard to let my girl go out into the world. It may be that she is out there on her own, and is just 8 years old. Or it may be that she has to get through a new experience on her own. But, I have to admit, I have a feeling of comfort in letting her go. I feel the foundation is laid, and she has to begin to build her own life...

This is the summer of:

  • Learning to ride a bike
  • Cleaning out a bedroom to be comfortable and have a place to play
  • Fishing-- putting worms on hooks, and pulling fish off of them
  • Being able to cook simple foods
  • Swimming both above and below the surface of water
  • Going to overnight camp for the first time
  • Camping in the yard with friends
  • Remembering to handle small animals with care
  • Playing ball with the dog
  • Wearing a plastic shopping bag as underwear to meet the "keep your bottom covered" rule
  • Discovering that spaghetti strap bras are good under tank tops
  • Reading 10 chapter books before vacation is half over

There are so many things that are important to our sensory kids. Being able to be in an environment that is comfortable is high on the list. When our kids are feeling safe and comfortable, they seem to be able to be more focused, and better to interpret the world around them. The willingness to try new things with out melting down is stronger. It makes one wonder how to give them this feeling all year long...

Learning Hands On

In my house we have raised boys. I have helped to capture snakes, watched a snail lay eggs, caught tadpoles, and the list goes on. I guess I figured that if they were interested, then I should help them learn. Was it my greatest desire to create a home for the ring snake that ended up dying because it stuck to the duct tape that I placed on the top of the terrarium after it had gotten out in the house and hid under the dishwasher? No, not really. But, I just find this to be one way that children can learn about how things work.
So, I shouldn't be surprised that Ruth thinks nothing of carrying in critters like a grey tree frog.
Of course, I was not really surprised when she decided to place it on my shirt, either. She found it while out on a walk with her beloved Grandpa. He finds her to be amazing. As he pointed out today, "When we are on a walk in the woods, there isn't a rock or a log that she can overturn that is passed by untouched." On my walks with Ruth, we seek out gypsy moth caterpillars, earthworms, beetles, slinky or scaly animals, rabbits, and owl pellets. (Yes, folks, that would mean dried owl puke.)
Ruth's newest enjoyment is fishing. I asked her last night, while she and I were out fishing on a mother daughter date (I cannot believe this...) what her summer goal was. "I want to fish as much as possible." was her honest response just prior to my catching a small bluegill. It was the only catch on the evening. I don't have any tools for removing hooks from the fish's mouth, and Ruth somehow, without a knife or scissors, cut the line. As we drove home, Ruth talked about taking the fish to Grandpa's to have him help us. I explained that Daddy was able to help, and she pouted a bit. When I asked why she said, "Grandpa would let dissect it."
I must admit. It was too small to eat, and there was no way it would have lived. I told her that I would let her dissect it. I mean, it was a way to let her explore, hands on, while not ruining a food source. She ran into the house and grabbed a steak knife. By the time I reached the utility table, she was sawing away. "I need some help, this is too hard for me to do,"she pleaded. I went in and got the fillet knife, and she tried again. "wow, that made it easy." I will not go into the gory details, but let's just say I will not look at a bubble the same way again. She explored until we found a red worm crawling around.
I find that we can teach our kids about things. I mean I figure I could either be the 'coolest mom' or the worst. I am not a frilly girl. I know how to wear a dress, and make up, but it is not my every day lifestyle. I had forgotten along the way the days I spent creating fishing poles from string, a stick and a safety pin. I recalled today the days spent with the boys next door tracking water bugs and earthworms. Or late afternoons fishing alongside my Dad, minus my 5 siblings which was a rare treat. I guess that I hadn't considered the prospect of having a nature girl in my life. But I can say one thing...
I am thankful to be able to share with her some hands on learning.

Worth its weight

I must say Ruth's new blanket is getting a work out. She snuggles under it at night to go to sleep. It is dragged around to relax with on the couch. And, when she becomes distraught, it has helped in her regaining control.
When Ruth gets anxious, she begins to escalate. Her crying becomes almost crazed, and it is hard to get her to calm down. Once she begins to spiral out of control, it can take all afternoon to get through the issue. Twice this week, we went there. It is overwhelming for her, and for those around her. Often it is a combination of anxiety and over stimulation. Both times, I reached to hold her in my arms, and while she excepted that, it did not calm her. Then, I remembered the blue gift from heaven. (Well, from Aunt Beth and Uncle Jim, but still...) We got the blanket and wrapped her up. She covered her head all the way to her toes. Within minutes, we had a crying, but not uncontrolled child. With a half hour, there was laughter, and we could move on to new things. I can not say just how much this is worth to us...

A gift...

With a child with severe sensory needs, you will find there is a multitude of information that says they need to "work it out". Often this means "heavy work", or applying pressure in the form of massage or blankets/ vests/ lap pads.

Today, Ruth received a gift. One that has been longed for. Her god parents purchased for her a weighted blanket. It is a glorious fabric-- 'soft and silky'. The look on Ruth's face as she wrapped up in her "giant hugging me" blanket, well, it was priceless.

I look forward to seeing how this works in the long run. I believe it will have a great impact on her anxiety and on her well being.

All I can say is "Thank you" for the gift. It means more than words can say...


I was luck enough to go to a Sensory Processing Workshop a couple of weeks ago. I have many things to share, but I do not have time right this minute.
One thing I want to share is about how to prioritize the needs of our sensory kids.

In our home, we deal with many sensory issues. Ruth is the only diagnosed person, but we all, even you, have sensory needs. You pick up the smell of something, the way your clothes fit today, what you have had to eat, these affect your ability to work effectively. So, how do we create priority in a home when one person is seeking extra input (more smell, more noise, more taste) while another is needing to withdraw from it?

You know what I mean. Think about the car. You are driving and do not know where you are. Do you turn down the music? This is a decrease to your senses. Are you with me?

Okay. I think it is fair to say that in our home, it can be crazy. It is rather small, and there is a large doorway from the living room to the kitchen. The TV is almost always on. Often, there is at least one person melting down because of an overload. You need it quiet to talk on the phone, or to do homework.

There are times when this becomes a battle field. UGH!

The solution: The person who is in need of less stimulation gets priority. It is not really simple, but it is a good guideline. I put it to work last night. Here is how it worked:

On Tuesdays, Ruth has a two page math assignment for homework. It can be confusing, even for grownups. She has to write how she is figuring out a multi step problem. Writing is a struggle as it is. So, last night, she began to break down. (I had left the room to answer nature's call.) The TV was too much for her. Two weeks ago, this would have resulted in a huge fight between she and her older brothers. I would have been screaming. Not fun, and not good for getting school work done. I was able to intercept before the fighting began. I calmly explained that Ruth's needed to be at the table for complete her work. She needed it to be quiet for the next 5- 10 minutes. The boys made their typical comments like "I'll remember this". I explained that I would try to remember when the need is theirs as well, but please try to understand. Ruth finished her work in a matter of minutes. Without tears. :) Then, she said, "I need it to be quiet so I can read." I explained that reading can be done in her room. "Oh, yeah." she replied, and off she went.

Priority goes to the one who is avoiding. The reason? As their needs change, you can add stimuli back. But, if there is too much stimulus, then it is hard to judge where to cut back. So, next time you are in a situation where there is a fight over how loud something is, turn it all the way down. Then, ask the one who is struggling with it if we can add it back, slowly. Sure enough, before you know it, there will be a bit of peace in your life, instead of all out warfare...

Dealing with cravings

This is one of the hardest parts of our journey.
How do we deal with cravings? For Ruth, the cravings are sweet and salty. These are not good for her, especially since we are a family that struggles with weight. I think that I have a handle on things, and then, I realize that I likely do not.
We have candy in the house. We make waffles and pancakes. Cake is something that we have at least once in a while. At this time, there is soda in the basement.
All I can say is that I try my best.
We offer her fruit, not juice. The soda is left from a special occasion, and actually Ruth asked that we put it away so she would not see it. That is why it is in the basement. Yes, we had waffles with syrup. I could beat myself up, but it was what we had available at the time. Ruth is just as happy with scrambled eggs, especially if she makes them. The candy is an issue, but even that is undergoing some changes. The chocolate is darker each time it is purchased. It is not intended for Ruth, but she can see it, smell it, and I cannot hide it. So, we are working on it being a healthier type.
I mean, I am trying to limit my own cravings for sugar. It is not easy. The next best thing I can do is to say that we need to increase the Sensory Diet to include more exercise activities. If we can stabilize the weight, then we will be doing a good thing.

Socks and Boots

Okay, I know many folks understand this. My kiddo hates socks. Going that far, she comes from a long line of sock haters. I still fuss if they do not feel right. Now, with winter, we have the same issue with boots. How does one get ready to play in the snow? Definitely socks and boots are on the list.
It is hard to be little. I remember. It can be hard to be a mom too. I experience that each day first hand. Today, the struggle was socks and boots. UGH! She just wanted to get out to play in the white stuff. OR maybe to disappear over to Grandpa's. Whatever the reason, socks and boots were needed. They didn't feel right. They hurt. The ridge itched her toes. The boots felt like they were on the wrong feet. The mother said "It is just the way it is. Sometimes we must deal with it." Ah, but, it is not easy. I know. I remember. I will do my best each day to remain calm in the face of her frustration. I will offer her MY socks. Whatever it takes to make things work for the moment.
It is good when things work out. The girl gets outside. She plays in the snow. She visits Grandpa. She relaxes. Things are good in the world. Who knows how it happens? It just does.
Socks and boots. Who could guess they would drive one crazy?
Oh, wait I did...

Long Dresses and wiggle room

Here is a good reason that long dresses are great for my sensory kid.


Last spring, when Ruth had her 2nd grade concert. Her anxiety was through the roof. She just could not stand to be up with all those people surrounding her. She was upset about those in the audience as well. I sat near the back and watched, with some dismay. Oh, there was my little girl, cute as a button, holding her knee length dress up over her shoulders. Thank goodness I managed to get tights on her. I had to seek out other children I knew to watch. Ah, so crazy, I know. But, I hadn't learned then the few things I know now.

During the summer Ruth was a flower girl at my niece's wedding. When the discussion of dresses came up, I suggest one to the floor. Ruth's legs were scabby, and it was a great way to hide that. Besides, it seems more princess like, and I thought she would enjoy it. My sister ensured me that a lot of little girls legs were scabby, and we went with it. :) This dress was used during the wedding, and on several Sundays since. Now, it was used for the concert. I must say, I saw her lifting it up, but I didn't see past her knee. :)

The other thing that helps is to blow dry her hair. It had some sort of calming ability. I don't know why, but as my sister pointed out at the wedding, Ruth is a seeker, so maybe it provides the right amount of input for her to work through.

Oh, and wiggle room. Ruth's teacher has come a long way in understanding Ruth. One day not too long ago, Ruth came home and told me she doesn't know how, but the music teacher "forgot" where she belonged and moved her to a new spot. I believe that her classroom teacher suggested a spot on the edge where Ruth was not boxed in. What a good idea. She did spend much of the time wiggling and shaking.

Needless to say, I had the opposite sense of feeling at this concert. Ruth was perky and fun. She loves the music, and danced to her heart's content. She sang and did the motions. (If she was of a little, it just made her more noticeable, and as she was so cute, that was cool.)

Chalk one up on the winning side.

Knowing when to quit, or having an out

One of the things I am working on with Ruth these days is knowing when to quit an event. She can do just about anything, but I am trying to pay more attention to the cues that mean she is becoming over stimulated: the need to move, to hide, to climb. These behaviors can be irritating to say the least, and, as a mom, I want her to just learn to sit and behave. But, I am finding that by watching and learning I can get her "out" while we are still having success. That makes her feel good, and truly, it helps me to stay in control of my own feelings. It is better to do something and leave early than to either avoid going or leave in a fit.
The first time I realized this was at a wedding in August. Ruth has a great time, as did I. But, there were a few behaviors toward the end that, in hind sight, should have been my cue that she was losing her ability to stay in control. We left in tears, and that was too bad.
Then, at her own birthday party, I saw some of the triggers starting, and we attempted to get her out of the situation as quickly as possible. I missed the window, but it did not take as long for her to gain back control. Hmm, a pattern emerged.
Yesterday, we went to a funeral. Ruth had been asked by a dear friend of mine to help set up the reception. When we got into the packed church, Ruth was pretty calm. She began finger sucking and twirling her hair. She sat on my lap and promptly fell asleep. There was no buildup of behaviors, this was instant overload, and she needed escape. So, she slept through the service, and woke up in time to stand in line and speak to the widow and her family. This went quite well, and we slipped into the reception hall as the crowd went to the graveside. There Ruth had success in helping to set up the food. We waited to help out for about 45 minutes. The crowd still had not returned. I noticed a trigger behavior, and decided to take her before the people all arrived. Success was felt! She was thanked for her help and then we walked quietly to the car. She got home and was relaxed.
Sometimes, this stuff is hard to deal with. I mean who wants to plan out a for attending an event? But, by being aware that this is the best thing, we could spend time doing something, and instead of my being afraid of her becoming "naughty" I could instead focus on her good side.


Routines seem so very, well, routine. To someone with a creative flair, they might seem to inhibit you from doing what you want to create. To others, they are a lifeline.
Working on routines have always been so hard for me, as a person or as a mother. But, I learned a few years ago, from this site, that routines can give you more time and energy to do the things you love.
But, I am human, and I forget how important these routines are. Simple routines, like rubbing Ruth's back, can make all the difference in the world. Take last night for example. I had a long day. We went from work to therapy to Nana's to home (for Ruth) to church for a meeting to home again. I didn't sit for relaxation until after 8 PM. Ruth was tired, so I thought, mistakenly, that she would just relax and go to sleep. Not so. The things we passed out time with did not give her the sensory input she needed. This worked her up, rather than settled her down. After her daddy talked to her, she was still too wound up to settle. Then, I remembered 'routine" and sensory integration work together.
So, I went in. I held her on my lap. She cried and tried to explain away her behavior. I told her that I just wanted to sit and for her to not talk right now. I rocked her for a few minutes, then I could feel her drooping. She laid down, and I covered her with our heaviest blanket. (Man, I need one of those weighted blankets.) I sat for a few more minutes rubbing/patting her back through he blanket. her eyes began to droop. She reached her legs up. Ah, a sign for needing to be brushed. I pulled out the sensory brush, and began to gently pull it along her legs. She requested more pressure. Ah, yes, the need for sensory input was great. With in a minute or so, she was smiling in that tired droopy fashion that reminds me of her as a contented baby after she had finished nursing, minus the milk dripping out of the corner of her mouth.
Routines. We need them in this sensory filled home. They not only get work done, but they allow us to fill the sensory void, to be able to relax and feel in control. In our home, I need to remember that routines are not the enemy, but are a friend.

Head Banging

Scary thought, huh?
Head banging is the newest thing we have had to deal with. In times when things are intense for Ruth, she feels the need to bang her head. Do we let her? Well, not really. I mean, she has, but we seek other things for her to do, like take a shower. I was extremely worried about this behavior, and contacted the Occupational Therapist. She said that it is cause by a need for intense input. Oh. So, for a kid with sensory seeking behavior, this could be normal, I guess.
We are looking at what we are providing her at home, and readjusting. She gets 2 bath/shower times a day (or more), we are brushing her, and there are changes to allow for more movement in our living room.
Someday, we will buy her a weighted blanket or neoprene vest to help add pressure when she feels out of control. The OT said she needs that input to reorganize herself: body, mind, and I bet even soul. I mean really think about what it feels like when you are so frustrated you can not even think.
I believe the saying goes: "I feel like banging my head against a wall.".

New Friend

I love when Ruth makes a new friend. It does two things.

It gives her needed peer support which she craves. Having a friend to share joys and sorrows is so important. Ruth has no sisters, and so I pray she will find that friend that fills the void. Maybe this is the one...

The other is kind of selfish of me...

I had 4 hours to myself. Without the constant wonder and worry of Ruth. I moved furniture around. I worked on a project for a retreat. I sat and watched adult TV (true crime shows are not Ruth material). One thing that is hard to realize as a mother of a child with SPD is that we do need these down times. This is important so that we can refresh and rediscover our joy in our bundles of wonder. When we are tired, okay, when I am tired, I get frustrated and snappy. I forget that if I just plan ahead I can help Ruth to achieve great things. Down time allows me to be me. When I am me, I gain focus. I achieve joy. Or maybe I don't, but I can feel a shift in my attitude about life.

New friends, old friends, friends are a blessing.


Yesterday, there was a note from school. Two, actually.

One was on a packet of written work "Ruth used a lap pad and did a GREAT job getting her work finished." Hmm, a lap pad, you mean you gave her some sensory input and she responded positively? Why am I not surprised? This was wonderful on many levels. It validates what I have been asking for: that Ruth needs to have a correct sensory diet. It also gave Ruth an absolutely fantastic start to her weekend.

The other was 7 words long "Ruth had a very good day today."
In translation: Ruth got to eat her snack, she completed all her work on time. She not only had the lap pad, but wore a weighted vest for parts of her day. She felt good inside and so was able to produce what the teacher asked for. Isn't that wonderful?~!

One day at a time...

I can and will get through this. I can and will get through this.

Ruth is struggling so much. It is only day 5 and tonight she had 7 “extra” pages of writing and math besides the one meant to be homework. They are offering sensory items “as needed”, but yet, she is not able to use them the way she feels.

I am frustrated, and she is crying “I hate me.”. I spoke to the teacher yesterday and felt better, but tonight I just want to scream. I have open house tonight, and can only hope that I will not be so aggravated as to say something that should not be said.

I can and will get through this. I can and will get through this.


It can be so hard to be a mother with a background of fighting with teachers and feeling unvalidated. My struggles with the public school system are noted by those I work with, as well as my family and friends. So, I am quick to assume the worst, instead of hoping for the best. I mean, I try to hope for the best, but I let myself get worked up over the worst. Does that make sense? In any case, I am forever rediscovering that communicating is the best way to handle the school. At least it worked for me, well, for today....

Friday brought about no snack or recess for Ruth. She was lagging behind in her work, and though it did not upset her to be without snack, I felt a rush of frustration. Added to that was the fact that her classroom is without her sensory items: No seat, no fidgets, no heavy work. This of course results in her need to get out energy, resulting in chatter. I feel lucky it was not bouncing, picking, itching, scratching, bleeding, poking, squeaking, squealing, or the need to remove herself from the classroom via the bathroom where she sucks her fingers in private. (Though any of these would have been reason for the teacher to show concern instead of discipline.)

Ah, frustration. I took into account my mother's, and pastor's, words of wisdom, and did something. No, I was not the aggressive she tiger my mother suggested. I took a different road. I assumed there was a reason, and I do not want to alienate the teacher in the first week of school. So, I called and spoke to the teacher.


On Friday, the teacher noticed Ruth was struggling with her math. She took her aside to a quiet table, and sat with her to work out the problems. She offered reminders about getting her work done so that she would not miss out on snack. It sounds pretty supportive and exactly what I would want. :) She gave me the opportunity to explain that Ruth will "whine" as a result of her anxiety. She knew the math, but was afraid to get them wrong. She assumes the worst... sounds familiar? The teacher THANKED me for letting her know.

The teacher also said that she was sorry that Ruth had missed the whole recess. That was not intended. She has already spoken to the teachers on the playground, and we talked about the sensory stuff, and how they might help. She asked about if we should use the balance disk, and I began to explain there was something different to help Ruth. I had not finished explaining about how to use a flex-band (The kind of long exercise band used with stretching) to help, when she piped in "Oh, the type to tie around the bottom of her chair to bounce her legs on?".

This might turn out to be great!


Where do you bring a child with sensory seeking behaviors that absolutely loves cats?

To Grama's? Not really. She has them, and they like to be pet, but really not the best place.
To the zoo? No, the kitties there can not be touched?

How about a kitty sanctuary? YES!

Brian joined a Kitty Sanctuary to volunteer. Ruth and I went along for a tour. By the end of 45 minutes, my redheaded ball of energy had pet and touched, picked up, and played with at least 40 different cats. She dozed in the car for the less than 10 minute ride.

We will be returning, she and I. (So, will Brian, but at a different time.)

It is not always easy...

To listen to others, especially the Pastor of my church. I have found myself often feeling out of touch with his thoughts. This comes from years of "differing opinions" regarding things on a personal level. Today, thankfully, things were different. His sermon mirrored a conversation I had with my mother. You know, the type of coincidence that makes really feel the Spirit of the Lord speaking to you.
Mom said I need to be more aggressive with Ruth's school. On the third day of the school year, she lost all of her recess and went without snack as she struggled to get caught up in math. Not one of her sensory items are in her classroom. How exactly can she have consequences if they have not provided her with her needed supports?

Mom said that God made Ruth special, and that I was made her mother for a reason...

Rev. Lou said that sometimes we have to take a stand that does not always make us popular. We need to listen for what God wants us to do, and then do it. He said that it can be simple things like helping others when you know they need it, it could be reaching out, it could be as a leader or a follower, but that we need to step up and do what we know is needed.

Opening the door

Living each day with Sensory Processing Disorder puts our family in a different place than most.
We are constantly changing, and trying to decide who's senses are more important.

Do I get to have a fragrance free day,
or does Ruth get to smell like a "french whore house".
(My dad's saying.)
Does Brian get to have peace and quiet,
or does Ruth get to squeak and squeal to get out her energy?
Does DJ get to have personal space,
or does Ruth get to be as close as she needs to feel safe?
Does Darrell get to sleep during the day (3rd shift worker)
or does Ruth get to bounce on the trampoline?

How does this all fit in when she goes to school? It doesn't.

Conformity just isn't part of what she does. We can not punish her for meeting her needs. The school doesn't get that. We try to fit it in, and all end up frustrated. Homeschooling is what many do, I cannot afford to keep her home. We pay for OT, Play therapy, a psychiatrist, and whatever else comes along. But, it just never seems to help.

See the door, open it, and welcome to the world of Sensory Processing Disorder.