Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday night we had our first big snow of the season and all the kids were out enjoying it. I snapped a few shots of Zeke, overjoyed, catching snowflakes in his mouth. About 5 minutes into it, he began to cry. We brought him in as he cried and cried. Ryan and I were laughing at our little Rwandan's dislike of cold. He cried through a warm bath and then wanted wrapped, head to toe, in a super soft blanket. I rocked him to sleep, enjoying the snuggle time Saturday morning, Blake took Zeke down the sled 2 or 3 times; they laughed and giggled, loving every minute. Then Zeke began crying again. Really hard. We brought him in. He took a warm shower with me and then, crying, wanted Daddy to hold him really tight for a good 30 minutes. We looked at each other, thinking this wasn't just a 2 year old moment. Something wasn't right. Ah-ha! I pulled out our old binder from our home study class and thumbed through post adoption issues. Maybe this was a sensory issue? Sure enough. I get really conscious of not labeling Etienne and Zeke's behaviors to "because they are adopted." I don't want to label them and I am completely aware that mothering is not easy, regardless of your child's starting point.....that said, I also completely know my boys struggle bigger battles then Molly and Blake had to at their ages. Sensory processing disorder occurs when a kiddo (or adult) can't seem to process sensory messages coming from the environment in a smooth and efficient manner. Children with sensory processing problems often feel confused, afraid, oblivious, assaulted or angry when confronted with sensations that other children their age take in stride. These emotions may in turn play out in their behaviors. It can be a processing disruption from touch, sound, taste and vision. The disruption occurs in kids who have had extremely stressful experiences or beginnings in their lives and their brain needs time to learn to organize the senses as it receives them. BUT the brain is constantly learning and GOD ALWAYS WINS. In Zeke, as I refreshed myself on the sensory stuff, I realized he does a few of the following things besides his sensitivity to temperatures. -gagging on foods -tripping and running into things -talking CRAZY LOUD. Saying "what? what? what?" -when he is upset, he definately prefers to be swaddled and held really tight. We didn't realize last winter when we were swaddling him all the time that this action really helped with his senses being overstimulated. I found an article in which an 11year old said this "when I go outside in the winter, it feels like I have fiberglass in my clothes." Ouch! I don't write my blog to really be a resource guide, but rather a "don't do what I did" kinda source. I am going to read up on how to help his sweet brain to process a bit better. We are going to be more patient to Zeke's little idiocincricies, and keep getting him hats. He loves, loves, loves his hats. And now I know why!