I’ve put off writing this blog post for a long time now- too long. I wasn’t sure how to explain it all, how to make it make sense to people who are reading this and not experiencing it. I finally decided to bite the bullet and just write.
A while back I found myself slacking off on giving my son MeMe all the vitamins I bought for him. I kept up the multi and probiotic, but doling out the fish oil, vitamin E, choline, and extra magnesium, just got to be too much for me. I felt guilty but since I honestly didn’t see a positive change in him, I never became motivated enough to start up the vitamin routine again.
MeMe also started to really hate the Learning Breakthrough program. I still like it and I’m sure it is wonderful for children like MeMe but I have to admit that doing the same type of daily exercises over and over again can get pretty boring. So when MeMe started dreading Learning Breakthrough time, despite the rewards I promised him if he did the exercises, I did understand him. And I couldn’t bring myself to force it on him.
One day I was searching the internet like I do often for more information about sensory processing disorder, food allergies and sensitivities, high-functioning autism- the kinds of things that are relevant to our daily lives. I came across the website of a neurodevelopmental specialist who is making a therapy exercise program for kids who sounded similar to my son MeMe. I contacted her (of course- I contact everyone who I think can help us ) and to make a long story short, we started her exercise program.
We’ve been doing the exercises for almost 6 weeks now (yes, I haven’t updated in that long!) and what can I say? How do I explain all the positive changes in MeMe? I even put him back on gluten a few weeks ago and he also eats dairy occasionally. The only foods I restrict him from are sugar and food coloring, and for good reason. When he eats those, I get a glimpse of what he used to be like before we started the exercises.
Here are some of the changes I see in MeMe, and these are a stark contrast to what was just a few weeks ago: MeMe is now calm almost all the time. The wacky-hyperness I used to have to try and control (without success!) is gone. I can stop being a 24-hour referee for the first time in 5+ years.
In addition to that, it is as if MeMe’s brain has had it’s ON switch flicked on fully for the first time ever. When I speak to him, he hears me- there’s no wall or barrier in the way. I’m not repeating myself over and over and over… and when I say something, I see wheels turning in his head and he actually answers me back, on topic. His thoughts and words are flowing smoothly in his head and he can express them fluently 90% of the time.
Also, I wrote once about MeMe making constant noise without a moment’s break, that’s also drastically diminished, it happens now maybe once every few days.
Another thing is that I used to have to wake him up every morning and then literally wake up his body with a quick deep massage. He’d be groggy and cranky and unfocused. Lately he’s been out of bed every morning before I am, and already in full awake mode. He does what he’s supposed to do every morning and I don’t need to urge him on or redirect him.
Just in the past few days I noticed he can play games without being a sore loser and his handwriting is actually starting to straighten up and look like letters! He also can find his own activity when he’s looking for something to do instead of taking away someone else’s or bothering them enough to make them quit playing so he can have it.
Of equal importance, my other children are noticeably happier. They don’t have to keep living in the shadow of “what did MeMe do now…” or feeling like MeMe’s sensory disorder dominates our family dynamics or that they can’t get a word in edgewise when MeMe’s around.
Now about the exercise program itself. We do it three times a week for about 20 minutes at a time (or less, in the beginning). The exercises change up a lot and there are always new ones, so they don’t get boring at all. MeMe loves doing them. The neurodevelopmental specialist who created the online program has thought of everything a parent can possibly need while doing it with his/her child, with so many extras. The program is extremely complete and professionally done. Every time I think it’s finally done and ready for the world to see, they add another bonus to it. It’s a truly wonderful program run by truly wonderful people!
So this is why I haven’t really been updating about MeMe. I had nothing to write about his sensory issues. Meltdowns are a thing of the past. His frustration has eased a lot ever since his brain allowed his thoughts and feelings to come through. He doesn’t argue as much about everything. He still has a few sensory things that bother him but not enough to write about.
As soon as the online therapy exercise program is ready, I’ll be sure to write more in detail about it. Until then… may I have more good news to report!