Thanks for joining me along the journey! I'd love to hear what you want to know ... do you have questions about sensory processing disorder, gluten-free/dairy-free diets, homeschooling, faith, life in general? Send me a note or post a comment and I'll try to write something that addresses your interests and questions!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How's Malachi?

Malachi at 3 months
(c) Sweetpea Memories Photography
 I've had a few people ask about Malachi's development, wondering whether we are seeing any signs of the SPD issues that Josiah has.  It is, of course, something I've wondered about myself -- will both my boys have sensory challenges?  Will I have one "typically developing child" and one with special needs?

Josiah was first tentatively diagnosed with sensory processing difficulties at about 16 months, when he began early intervention services because he was still gagging on anything he tried to eat.  Prior to that, I didn't have a clue there was anything wrong.  In hindsight, there were signs -- he hated the baby swing and the way it triggered his moro reflex; he startled really easily at everyday noises (blinds being raised, for example); while he was very cuddly and snuggly, he didn't like to have his head touched; and, obviously, there was the gagging on baby food that we first noticed at 6 months and persisted until he was nearly two.  Knowing what we know now, it all makes sense -- but I never would have put the pieces together then.

So far, Malachi seems more "normal" in the ways that Josiah struggled -- he quite likes the baby swing, doesn't seem to be oversensitive to touch in any specific place, and out of curiosity, I gave him some mashed banana today and he didn't gag on it (though he didn't seem to like it either -- made a sour face!).  Those all seem like good signs (except perhaps the sour face, which could be oversensitivity to tastes and/or textures) and I hope for the best. 

But the fact is that there is just no way to know yet.  He does startle at loud noises, though not to the point of crying like Josiah did, and who would make a sour face at a ripe banana?  Are those signs of SPD, or just Malachi's own personality quirks?  At first, Josiah's issues seemed easy to dismiss as personal preferences, too.  And more significantly, SPD manifests in such different ways in different people that looking at the same signs may not lead us anywhere anyway!

For now, I'm trying to balance blissful ignorance with informed practice.  I'm watching his overall development (he smiles and laughs, can roll at will, has excellent head control, is learning to use his hands and feet, follows objects with his eyes) and doing what I can to provide him with sensory rich experiences (giving him textured toys, exposure to various sounds, etc.)  But mostly, I'm just cuddling and kissing and loving on my baby. 

Malachi at 3 months
(c) Sweetpea Memories Photography
I'm singing to him like I did to Josiah, bouncing him on my knee, smiling at him, holding him, talking to him, adoring him and soaking in all his baby-ness while I can.  I know just how quickly this stage passes (he's already grown up so much at 5 months!) and I don't want to miss a thing.  In the grand scheme, we caught Josiah's sensory issues blessedly early (to be fair, they were pretty obvious considering he couldn't eat -- not really something you can miss!) and I'm confident that if we connect with and love on Malachi like we did Josiah, we'll catch any challenges he presents early, too. 

If we start to discover sensory issues with Malachi, we'll cross that bridge when it comes -- but for now, there are no labels, no need for explanations about his behavior, his preferences, what he can and can't do -- for now, he's just my baby, just like Josiah was at this age.  And that's exactly how I want it!

Bottom line: we're watching Malachi with our eyes on loving him, just like we did with Josiah, and we'll take whatever comes!

1 comment:

  1. It is common for siblings to share sensory senstivities, and for us SPD mommas to notice them easier the second time! LOL

    Although only one of my biological sons has 'borderline SPD', I know that all three of my son's have some sensory integration challenges and for that reason, they have all been to OT. :)

    And can I say what DARLING photos!!

    Thanks for sharing,