Adopting a child with SPD: The Hidden Gift

     colorful-700487_640     So I am one of the lucky ones. I had always said, when we were trying to get pregnant that my main concern was spectrum issues. I was fearful of it. Not because of the actual child’s issues, but because of the self blame. Was it because I didn’t eat organic. Was it because I smoked before becoming pregnant. Because I drank that glass of wine before I knew I was pregnant. I mean, to birth a child that is in the spectrum has a built in blame game worthy of religious shame and blame.

     So I am lucky, in the fact that my son is adopted, so I look at my son with nothing but love. Sure I wonder if I could have played more classical music, had more skin to skin contact. But I don’t waste one minute on wondering if I could have done something different while pregnant. And I’m not saying bio parents look at their child with anything other than love, but with an adopted child, you assume there will be issues. Especially when you know something of the pre-natal care and environment. Instead of praying for a non-spectrum kid, it becomes very, VERY specific. I changed my prayer very quickly. I started to be very specific. Please let this child be able to communicate. Please let them have empathy and sympathy. Please let them love music, but for the love of all that is holy, please let their interest NOT be in drums, Please GOD let them not be a drummer. drum-sticks-933186_640

     So my new found prayer, more like a mantra, began to consist of those 4 things. Please: let him be verbal, let him have affect, let him love music, let him not be a drummer. My son is in the spectrum. He is SPD {Sensory Processing Disorder} and will probably later, as he is only just 3, be diagnosed ADHD or mild autistic. He does communicate. He does show empathy and sympathy. He does love music. He is a virtuoso drummer. Well, we can’t have it all.

     My son and I recently got offered the opportunity to continue our preschool education at home. Read in between the lines, he got kicked out of preschool because of hitting. That’s ok. I get it. He needs one on one time and isn’t ready developmentally for a preschool setting. I had been sitting on the fence when they told me, last minute that he would be moving up to Pre K at 2.5 rather than at 3, as to whether I should keep him in school or take the opportunity to try and work with him at home. Well, no longer a question, we are working on it at home.

     Now, my son does not self engage. He does not play by himself. He is a 24 hour a day kid. There is a reason why I might be up at 3am, it’s because that’s possibly the only time of peace. Where I know he is so sound asleep I have 8 hours of me time, what I do with it is up to me. Play on the computer, write this blog, have a glass of wine, sleep, I have choices. macbook-925914_640

     I am a member on a bunch of different SPD blogs, pages and groups and the number one thing I see with parents is a want to divert the blame onto themselves. Was it because they ate that GMO infested dinner that one time? Is it because of this or that. This is why I’m lucky. I get it. If he came from my womb, I would be wondering the same thing. But he didn’t so this is what I have, this is my deal, my hand as a mother. I can only try and do everything, even when people think I’m crazy asking for help for a 6 week old, I can just acknowledge, and move forward.

     I am also so very lucky that I have a spouse to share in this journey who acknowledges SPD and even admits she probably would have at least been diagnosed ADHD if that had been a thing when she was growing up. I am lucky that my spouse is on the same page, parenting style, as me, or better yet, we’ve found a common ground and are in agreement with consequences to our sons actions. She is even awesome enough to stay up after working 3rd shift with our son so I can have some me time at the Y. paint-1067686_640

     I now know the secret behind the “How much do I love you, I love you this much” arms outstretched thing a lot of parents do. It’s not for the child, I mean it is, but it’s also a reminder that no matter what your child has done that day, no matter what less than zero patience you are running on, come bed time, you are reminded and need to remind them that you do in fact love them more than anything.


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