As I mentioned earlier, we have had a lot of positive to focus on the past couple of weeks in our house. We got a summary of Maddy’s progress today and we were thrilled to see it. Tomorrow we start phase two of her behavioural therapy program. We’re also picking up occupational therapy again two times a week, and setting up an assessment with a speech language pathologist to figure out our next steps in supporting Maddy’s language development.
At home we have new strategies too. We have a home program to work on the skills Maddy has been learning in her behavioural therapy program, and we are also starting to make use of a visual schedule my sister, Lindsay, prepared for us.
In an earlier post I talked about ways in which Eric and I were working to deal with the stress of raising a child with special needs. Tonight I’m sharing with you another tactic we use – listing our favourite things about Madeleine.
Maddy, we love:
- Your sweet little pigtails.
- How you love wearing boots indoors, but hate wearing pants.
- Your love (and lack of fear) of all dogs.
- That you love “Smooth Road.”
- The way you sleep with your bum in the air.
- All of your hugs… but especially the ones where you squeeze our necks or squish your cheek right up next to ours.
- The way you give us your forehead when we say, “kiss?”
- The reddish tint to your hair and your grey eyes.
- Cuddling with you in the wee morning hours (even if your definition of cuddling is actually climbing on top of us, banging your head on ours, or sticking your fingers in our eyes, ears, and noses until you fall asleep again).
- Your love of music.
- How peaceful and content you look when you’re asleep, even if you found the day a tough one.
- How much you look like your daddy.
- The sweet baby smell you still have.
- Your squishy little legs and your pudgy belly.
- Absolutely everything!
I blog a lot about our challenges… mostly because that’s what’s most therapeutic for me, but also so that people with similar experiences can read what I write and not feel so alone. And to be honest, if I had a magic wand, I would take SPD away from Maddy. I would make the way she senses our world less scary, anxiety-provoking, and painful than it is for her on a daily basis. I would make it not as challenging for her to reach the milestones that so many parents take for granted. I would make it so that she feels safe in our world. But, first and foremost, what I want you all to know, but especially what I want my sweet little girl to know is:
Madeleine, you are perfect in every way. You are the light and joy of our life. We hurt because we love you so much, not because we think anything less.