When our son was 2 we started the very long process of diagnosis. We saw him struggling with tasks, events, moments, that his peers were not struggling with. Our first diagnosis came in the form of Sensory Processing Disorder, but in order to support him in school we had to dig further because SPD isn’t in the DSM and didn’t make him eligible for the support he needed. We had been seeing an Occupational Therapist for a few years, but decided to take it one step further when in Kindergarten his whole world seemed to be falling apart around him. We started working with a pediatric psychiatrist, and got on the wait list for the most amazing Neuropsychologist in our area. At the beginning of his 1st grade year, just before his 7th birthday we added some additional diagnoses to our world. Some we had never heard of and a few that were more common. Officially our son navigates the world as a child with Sensory Processing Disorder, Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder, Disruptive Mood Disregulation Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, and a specific learning disability in reading.
Nolan’s disability’s do not define him. What defines him is his incredible spirit, his loving nature, and ability to create, and his endless search for information.
We have two daughters who bookmark Nolan. Recently we have been digging deeper into what it is like to be the sisters in a family like ours.
Ainsleigh is 10 years old and was born to work with animals. She is at peace when she is at the ocean and around animals. She is a loving girl who truly wants to be helpful in this world. We are discovering a lot of really incredible things, but also some bumps in the road with this. A lot of emotions, including feeling a bit left out as a brother with a lot of appointments and needs and a four year old sister get a lot of time from mom. One way we have supported her in this struggle is having one on one time with her.
Delaney is almost 5, she is the sweetest, loving, yet spirited little girl ever. And while she probably does not understand all of this yet, she tends to model some of the behaviors Nolan has and that adds yet another layer to navigating our family. Consistency with our expectations helps us to allow her to keep her spirited personality alive with a bit of control over her inappropriate behaviors.
For the most part our kids play like any other siblings do, they fight like most siblings do, but our girls have had to learn their brothers triggers. They understand there are some things that frustrate him, get him overwhelmed, and to be honest sometimes he can be very mean to his sisters. He doesn’t do it to be hurtful, he truly gets overwhelmed and he is working on controlling his emotions. But there are days like this day at our local museum where I see progress being made. A day where all three of them had fun learning and exploring together. Hopeful for more and more of these days and less of the days where we feel like everything is falling apart around us.
Our family is not defined by being a family with a disabled child, nope we are just a whole lot of wild, a whole lot of adventure, a whole lot of Hullabaloo.
This is what I hope to do with this blog, in a world where we connect with people near and far through social media, my goal is to share with you things that make me happy, things that fill my soul, and some of those real life moments that make us human. I can only hope to bring a little bit of light and inspiration into your world, maybe even a bit of laughter and share how a perfectly imperfect person strives to find her confidence in this world. I hope to model advocacy for your children from my unique perspective having been an educator for 15 years as well as a mother of three. Just like you, I am navigating it all one day at a time.
Thank you for stopping by and letting you share my world with you.