Looking Back


I need to say once again, thank you to everyone who has been in contact with us over the past week regarding two of my recent posts (you can read them here and here). I continue to be overwhelmed with the amount of love and support we have received. I even got a sweet card in the mail today – nothing like hearing from a friend to make you smile.

Although day-to-day is still tough in our home, my mindset is so much more positive. A special thank you to Cynthia Miller-Lautman, an Occupational Therapist from the Montreal area who was not only instrumental in us determining that Maddy had a sensory processing disorder, but whose website, Milkintolerance, was so helpful back in September when we discovered Maddy’s food intolerances.

Since Maddy’s diagnosis, Eric and I have been looking back and recalling instances that suddenly make sense to us. Probably the first ah-ha moment, was when we realized that the reason she was happy with visitors and out in public was that on top of the extra holding and bouncing she gets, the extra stimulation makes her “feel”. The fall of 2011 was a big one for us, as I was so fortunate to have been a part of two of my closest friends weddings, Meagan and Julie.

Ash, Jules, & Meag in 2006

Being in two weddings means showers, bachelorettes, and the actual weddings, of course. So many people told us at these events what an easy baby we had. Usually I would just smile while thinking in my head, “if only you knew”.  Can you imagine what kind of heaven Maddy must’ve been in at the weddings? Loud music, multiple people holding and dancing with her, lights, and a ton of things to look at.

Another ah-ha moment we had was Maddy’s love of our sunroom. Even when she was very young, a month or two old, she loved it. When she’d be having one of her crying-all-day-long-no-matter-what-mom-and-dad-do kinda days, one way we could get the crying to stop for a minute or two was to go from the house into the sunroom. At the time we thought, “wow, she really likes temperature change,” but it probably was the temperature change, the visual change, and the sounds (we live on a fairly busy street). Maddy even loves the sunroom in the dead of winter.

The sad face we know and love

Eating was another one of those things we couldn’t quite figure out. Once in a while she would be so happy and eat a lot, but most of the time, she looked like this in her high chair:

There are a couple of instances that stick out in my mind where she ate pretty well. At Christmas, in a room full of family, she didn’t cry and ate pretty well. There were a few times where blaring music and dancing around the kitchen helped her to eat too. One of the few times we’ve eaten in a restaurant since Maddy was born was just recently. Surprise, surprise, she ate SO well. I think you can see where I’m going with this…

I’m sure as time goes on we’ll continue to think of things that suddenly make a lot of sense to us. I’m so happy that we now have an explanation for some of our more frustrating experiences with Madeleine. You know what? They don’t seem quite as frustrating anymore now that we understand what they’re all about. I’m not going to lie, it is still hard. Some days it’s REALLY hard. Some days I still don’t think I’ll make it to the end of the day. But, when I’m having those days, and can’t figure out how to help Maddy, I can remind myself why things are the way they are. I can start brainstorming ways to make Maddy more happy. I can remind myself that soon I can talk to our OT who will have new suggestions.

We have our first OT and PT sessions this week – two on Tuesday and one on Thursday. Wish us luck!


5 responses »

  1. Quick tip from a neuroscientist: the following provide lots and lots of sensory stimulation

    – loud music with lots of bass (think 12 inch sub); rock, drum and bass, dubstep, funk. Loud enough that you can feel the thump.

    – running water

    – anything that vibrates. You guys could get a lazy boy for her to sit in.

    – if light stimulation helps, think disco ball or something else with lots of colour and movements. In the same vein, crystals and window ornaments that act like a prism could be useful too.

    • Glad to see you being so positive and optimistic about Maddy. I know how hard this is, but it truly demonstrates how much you really love Maddy. She is one lucky little girl. We are all with you. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

  2. I told you on the phone that you and Eric are good parents for having a child like Maddy. I know that this past year isn’t what you imagined or what you wanted, but Maddy is lucky to have parents who have qualities needed to take care of her. She will appreciate your exhaustion and hard work down the road. And you’ll enjoy seeing her progress, too!

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