A Tale of 3 Christmases…with SPD

One quiet Christmas celebration at home done. Check.

Two more Christmases to go. One for each side of the family - Canadian and American. Somewhere in there, we need to weave a little bit of Korean culture for our son. Not to mention, try to get in some sensory play for our 4 year old son who has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), and moments of sensory retreat, as needed.

For our son, I plan on bringing his weighted vest, headphones and iPod with kids music and soft music,    his LeapPad game, and some other small fidgit toys, art supplies, etc.  We can do bubble mountains, make squish box with pillows and laundry baskets, a pillow/blanket cave, willbarger brush. We will have to visit a McD's play land or somewhere he can jump, climb, swing etc. as well - for his sensory seeking. (Otherwise, my husband and I will just have to swing him manually LOL, and do jumping jacks with him and wheel barrow and crab walking, have him push heavy boxes or chairs to get in heavy work). This is all part of the sensory diet my son needs to self-regulate. Otherwise, if he is left unable to satisfy his sensory seeking, he becomes anxious, disregulated, overwhelmed and on a sensory roller coaster.
I.J. - Wearing Auditory Listening Therapy Headphones
 + doing some sensory water/bubble play in the sink

Son I.J. - in his "Squish Box" - gives proprioceptive input - 
deep body pressure for calming and regulation.
Part of me wants to stay home just to avoid the change in routine for my son, but we haven't seen one set of grandparents in a year. He's grown so much since they saw him last, and has learned so much since then.  We do not have family or friends nearby, so we feel it is important for our son to see his grandparents whenever we can go visit. As he gets older, trips have become a bit easier than when he was a toddler. I also think, since we've learned more about SPD and are better equipped to help him with sensory diet and sensory retreat needs - that makes it easier for him. He still has his moments of struggle - but we feel it's worth him having that family connection. He really looks forward to seeing his Grandparents too.

So, here we go…Should be fun. Will be exhausting. But will be nice to see everyone again.

Ya know, I think many of us could use a sensory retreat during the holidays. Go build yourselves a tent or fort in a quiet room with blankets and couch cushions and just go hide from annoying, loud, smelly or overbearing people.  Or get yourself a big box and fill it with pillows and blankets and crawl inside with a flashlight and some books. Go wrap yourself up tightly in a blanket like a burrito and put your iPod on with soft music….tune out all the noise and excitement for 15-20 minutes. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed - go put dish soap and water in the sink and get a long straw and blow a mountain of bubbles, with long deep breaths. It will do you a world of good. Maybe we could all learn something from a child with SPD - on what is most important….listening to your body and your soul - what it needs to be calm and centered. Priceless.

Fa - La - La - La - La…

Merry Christmas Y'all….

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