No, those are not earrings…

They are earplugs.  Yes, earplugs.  My 2 year old is wearing earplugs not earrings.  Why?  Wait, let me first sift through all the not so appropriate and borderline rude responses that come to mind before I answer that one.  Sigh.  She wears them because it helps minimize auditory input and the screaming.

Wait, you say, wouldn’t that work better if you were wearing them?

Well, yes, technically speaking it could work that way, but I have discovered that putting earplugs on A blocks out enough sound that she stops screaming and is able to focus better and even talks (or tries to) more often.  The biggest benefit of earplugs I found was that she actually eats all her dinner.  For the first time in a year she ate a dinner that was entirely solid food (translation, no yogurt, applesauce, or anything else that could be eaten through a straw).  She even ate a piece of bacon.  Of course, she was still full the next morning since her system is not used to getting that much actual solids all at once.

I’ve started using them anytime either Mr. Potato is (literally) all ears or A covers her ears when we are just talking.  They have worked wonders.  Sadly though, when we are out I have to deal with people’s questions and stares.  Now, I don’t mind the questions, in fact, I welcome them.  Very few people are familiar with Sensory Processing Disorder and the various….fun aspects of dealing with the ins and outs.  I appreciate having the opportunity to educate people about SPD.

I have a problem when people respond by backing away like my child has some sort of strange, communicable disease, or rabies.  Or they tell you in so many words that there has to be something wrong with the parent for the child to “end up like that.”  Come on people, you think I chose this for my daughter or she chose this for herself?  NO, I am NOT a crummy parent that let’s their child walk all over them and I am not some “kid with a kid” who doesn’t know what they are doing!  I have been actively making sure my daughter gets the help she needs to adapt to her situation.  So until you have spent a month, a week, or even a day dealing with what I have to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, don’t you dare judge me or my child.

Okay, rant done.  I’m sure for most of you I’m preaching to the choir, but sometimes even the choir needs a reminder…I know I can be judgmental sometimes even when I don’t mean to.

Over the past few weeks I have watched my daughter eat more in one sitting than she ever has before and enjoy what she was eating.  I have heard her try to use words instead of just screaming and I have heard new words from her.  It’s not all been positive.  She is experiencing extreme separation anxiety again, making bedtime all kinds of unique fun for me; but she is learning to manage it on her own somewhat and we are beyond proud of her.

I digressed from where I was originally going with this post, but that’s what happens when the rant and lack of sleep take over.  So now that we’ve been on this merry goose chase that resembles some of my days, I think it’s time to get some shut eye so I can tackle tomorrow’s challenges, whatever they maybe.

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